How to Install Tor Browser on Linux Mint 21 or 20


Tor browser provides a secure, anonymous way to explore the Internet. With its open-source code and mission of protecting personal identity, Tor helps you stay safe while browsing online. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Tor Browser on Linux Mint 21 or Linux Mint 20 release series using various methods using the command line terminal with some information on basic setup.

Recommended Steps Before Installation

Before you begin, run an update on your system to ensure all packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation.

sudo apt update

Optionally, you can list the updates for users who require review or are curious.

sudo apt --list upgradable

Proceed to upgrade any outdated packages using the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

Method 1: APT Default Repository Archive

The easiest and best way to install and keep Tor Browser up to date in the options listed in the tutorial is to install Tor Browser from the default repository.

sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher -y

An alternative method is to use the Flatpak third-party installation manager or download the archive manually, which can be found in the following steps if you prefer these methods.

Method 2: Flatpak with Flathub Repository

The second option is to use the Flatpak package manager. This is another popular option similar to Snap but is featured amongst many distributions as an alternative third-party installation package manager for the latest packages.

First, re-install Flatpak if you have removed the package manager previously.

sudo apt install flatpak -y

Before you proceed, reboot your system, or else you will have issues such as application icons not appearing.

reboot

Next, you need to enable Flatpack using the following command in your terminal.

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Now install the Tor Browser using the following flatpak command.

flatpak install flathub com.github.micahflee.torbrowser-launcher -y

Troubleshoot Flatpak Tor Browser Installation

First, the most common error when installing a Flatpak from Flathub is the following error output.

"error: Unable to load summary from remote flathub: Can't fetch summary from disabled remote 'flathub,"

The fix is simple, run the following command to enable Flathub.

flatpak remote-modify --enable flathub

This will fix the issue the above issue. The next issue can be access to system files. I would only recommend using the following command if you have access permission with your installation accessing files; use the override command below.

sudo flatpak override flathub com.github.micahflee.torbrowser-launcher --filesystem=host

Please do not use this command by default unless it is needed.

See also
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Method 3: Download Tor Browser Archive & Extract

The last installation option is to install Tor Browser using the latest archive from the downloads page. This method gives you the absolute latest version, but sometimes you will need to repeat the process for significant browser changes, but for the most part, it should self-update in the browser itself.

First, use the wget command to download the latest .tar.xz link as follows:

wget https://www.torproject.org/dist/torbrowser/{version}/tor-browser-linux64-{version}_en-US.tar.xz

Note the above command is an example only. Make sure to check for the latest version.

Once you have downloaded the installation archive, extract it using:

Example only:

tar -xvJf tor-browser-linux64-{version}_en-US.tar.xz

Now, CD into the directory with.

cd tor-browser*

To start Tor Browser and set up configuration installation, use the following command:

./start-tor-browser.desktop 

Note that this will launch Tor Browser. However, you will not see it in your Show Applications menu. To install the Tor Browser icon, you will need to add –register-app to the end of the command as follows:

./start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app

How to Launch & Configure Tor Browser

Now that you have the Tor Browser installed, launching can be done in a few ways.

tor-browser

Flatpak users can launch the Tor browser using the following command from the terminal.

flatpak run com.github.micahflee.torbrowser-launcher

The Tor Browser can be found in the Internet taskbar area with the following path.

Taskbar > Internet > Tor Browser.

Example:

The first time you open Tor Browser, you will see a minor window advising Tor to download the required software for the first time; this should not be as large going forward except for significant releases, as minor updates are slight.

Once the binary archive has finished downloading, you will arrive at the Connect to Tor window.

Example (Click Image to Expand):

Most users would use Connect by default, but you can configure different settings optionally. Tor Network settings can use settings for countries with tight restrictions or users who want more privacy to use proxy connections.

Example (Click Image to Expand):

Not only is Tor an excellent way to anonymity browse the Internet without being traced, but it also has bridges! You can request or set pre-made ones to help you evade blocks. For example, on linuxcapable.com, if someone uses their malicious attacker’s Node to access this site through blocked entrances like The Onion Router (TOR), my automatic security rules may temporarily block access until they’re gone again.

So you may need to select one of the many other bridges that are not being used to attack my website; for example, this applies to many websites on the Internet; sadly, TOR is heavily abused on specific Nodes.

See also
How to Install Scribus on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Example (Click Image to Expand):

Tor Browser includes specific bridges known as “pluggable transports,” which you can easily toggle between in this panel.

Example:

My advice, however, would be to personally use a clean private proxy with TOR if you can afford it or in a country that is heavily restricted in its citizen’s freedom.

In the tutorial, the method used was to connect straight to the network as most users would. When you click connect, Depending on your location, it may take 2 to 10 seconds to connect to the network, and you will see this message while connecting.

Example:

Once connected, you will get the following page with DuckDuckGo as the default search engine.

Example (Click Image to Expand):

Congratulations, you have connected to the Tor Network through your Tor Browser.

Additional Commands & Tips

How to Update Tor Browser

Tor Browser handles updates in the browser itself for the most part. Still, anything else will be covered by the standard update command that matches your installation using the command line terminal.

APT Update Method

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Flatpak Update Method

flatpak update

How to Remove (Uninstall) Tor Browser

Use one of the following commands to suit the original installation method for users who no longer require the application.

APT Remove Method

sudo apt autoremove tor torbrowser-launcher --purge -y

This will remove any unused dependencies from this installation and any other leftovers that should be removed.

Flatpak Remove Method

flatpak remove  --delete-data com.github.micahflee.torbrowser-launcher -y

Next, run the following command for any leftover clean-ups required, similar to the autoremove command described for the apt remove example command.

flatpak remove --unused

Comments and Conclusion

The Tor Network is excellent for staying anonymous when browsing the web, but it comes at a price. When using this browser, you may experience slower load times and fewer website options because many sites choose to block access from specific locations to keep their visitors safe or comply with court orders issued against them if they are being surveilled by law enforcement agents who would rather not reveal themselves while visiting these pages.

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