A couple days ago I updated Tor Browser on Ubuntu 18.04 and suddenly problems started. When I try to start Tor Browser from the command line with tor, it says:

$ tor
Jul 21 09:54:37.835 [notice] Tor running on Linux with Libevent 2.1.8-stable, OpenSSL 1.1.1, Zlib 1.2.11, Liblzma 5.2.2, and Libzstd 1.3.3.  
Jul 21 09:54:37.835 [notice] Tor can't help you if you use it wrong!   
Learn how to be safe at https://www.torproject.org/download/download#warning  
Jul 21 09:54:37.835 [notice] Read configuration file "/etc/tor/torrc".  
Jul 21 09:54:37.840 [notice] Opening Socks listener on  
Jul 21 09:54:37.840 [warn] Could not bind to Address already in use. Is Tor already running?  
Jul 21 09:54:37.840 [warn] Failed to parse/validate config: Failed to bind one of the listener ports.  
Jul 21 09:54:37.840 [err] Reading config failed--see warnings above.

And after about 15 minutes Tor at last starts. Maybe someone knows how to make it work like before the update, when I didn't have to wait that long. Additionally yesterday I removed it and installed it again, but it still has a problem with Tor Browser not starting immediately.


I found a file at ~/.local/share/torbrowser/tbb/x86_64/tor-browser_en-US/start-tor-browser.desktop (~ is an abbreviation for /home/your-username). To toggle show/hide hidden files and folders press the keyboard combination Ctrl+H or click the three horizontal lines icon in the upper right corner of Files application and put a checkmark next to the Show Hidden Files option. When I right-clicked this file and selected Open, Tor Browser opened immediately.


Then I used the information in Properties -> Basic tab -> Command: of the start-tor-browser.desktop file to update my Tor Browser launcher so that I could quickly open Tor Browser as usual by clicking on its icon in the Dash.

If this happens again I'm going to check the start-tor-browser.desktop file again to see if it works, because apparently Tor Browser updates only the start-tor-browser.desktop file, but it does not update the Tor Browser icon that you can find in the Dash. This Tor Browser launcher must be updated manually.

The desktop launcher for Tor Browser is located at /usr/share/applications/torbrowser.desktop. To change the properties of the Tor Browser desktop launcher requires sudo. Open the terminal and type:

sudo nano '/usr/share/applications/torbrowser.desktop'

If your Ubuntu username is user change the line in torbrowser.desktop that starts with Exec= to:

Exec=sh -c '"/home/user/.local/share/torbrowser/tbb/x86_64/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/start-tor-browser" --detach || ([ !  -x "/home/user/.local/share/torbrowser/tbb/x86_64/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/start-tor-browser" ] && "$(dirname "$*")"/Browser/start-tor-browser --detach)' dummy %k

Because nano text editor does not support line wrapping you will need to use the arrow keys to move the mouse cursor to the end of the line to make sure that you copied the entire line correctly before you save the changes that you made to torbrowser.desktop.

The instructions for using the nano editor are always found at the bottom of every page. The only two nano keyboard shortcuts that you need to know are for WriteOut and Exit. Press the keyboard combination Ctrl+O and after that press Enter to save the file being edited. Press the keyboard combination Ctrl+X to exit nano.

  • 1
    Ok it worked, thank you for very accurate described solution – Ary09 Jul 21 at 10:37

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