Howto: Setup Vidalia TOR GUI with Ubuntu Linux, Tweak Tor for Speed and surf anonymously!

[updated] - Added ppa archive, Updated Tor to latest Version, Updated To latest Vidalia Version and added Tor speed Tweaks!

Do you want completely anonymous internet access? For Free? Tor is the open source leader to anonymous connections on the internet, you can anonymize your internet presence from AIM/ICQ/MSN/ Jabber/IRC/WWW/FTP and you can even issue a torify command at the command prompt to anonymize your wget/ssh/lynx/ftp/perl or whatever. Basically tor is for the people by the people, it is only alive because we make it so, we can choose to use it freely or use it freely and help it out by running a server on your computer to make the internet safer. Basically tor encrypts your data communications through chained/linked proxies all over the internet.

Vidalia is a cross-platform controller GUI for Tor, built using the Qt framework. Using Vidalia, you can start and stop Tor, view the status of Tor at a glance, and monitor Tor’s bandwidth usage. Vidalia also makes it easy to contribute to the Tor network by helping you set up and manage your own Tor server.

Vidalia runs on most platforms supported by Qt 4.1 or later, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux or other Unix variants using the X11 window system.

Here is how to set it up

First things first lets get the latest tor and its dependencies then install Tor
This post may be outdated, here is the latest src
sudo apt-get install libevent
tar zxvf tor- ; cd tor-
./configure && make
sudo make install
Ok now tor should be installed...

Now lets Install Vidalia GUI
I prefer to grab the latest version and compile to source but I will give you the quick and easy way and then how to compile from src
Open up System->Preferences->Software Sources and enter these repositories into 3rd Party Repositories:
deb gutsy main
deb-src gutsy main

Then apt-get:
sudo apt-get install vidalia

Alternatively you can install this package by compiling it from source, here is how:

This will apt get tor and the dependencies, wget vidalia, extract and cd to the directory and configure for you.

sudo apt-get install qt4-dev-tools qt4-designer libqt4-dev cmake

This vidalia package may be outdated, check here for the latest version!
tar zxvf vidalia-0.1.1.tar.gz

cd vidalia-0.1.1

cmake . && make

sudo make install

Now the latest vidalia and Tor are compiled and installed!

Once installed press alt F2 and open the run prompt and type in “vidalia” without the quotes, this will start tor, vidalia and you can configure tor/vidalia by right clicking on the tray applet and click on settings, right there you can view all the nodes and choose what to connect to, see node uptimes, os’s and locations with a graphical map.

For web browsing in firefox I prefer using an extention named FoxyProxy it works well with firefox and swiftfox, you can grab this extention directly from here
If you prefer stronger anonymity & protection I strongly Suggest Torbutton for firefox
Direct Download NOW
Install the addon and go through the Tor wizard and it will set you up for you and you can view which tor nodes you connect through actively via vidalia

I hope you enjoy my first tutorial on ubuntu privacy concerns. I hope many more people use tor and set up a server to anonymize the world.

Speed Tweaks for tor:
Ok we all know tor can be slower than a turtle so, lets get to editing our torrc so we can improve the speed!
gedit ~/.vidalia/torrc

Paste this at the beginning of the torrc:

# Set the Tor Circuit Build time to find faster tor servers, increments of seconds
CircuitBuildTimeout 2
# connections while Tor is not in use.
KeepalivePeriod 60
# Force Tor to consider whether to build a new circuit every NUM seconds.
NewCircuitPeriod 15
# Set How many entry guards we should we keep at a time
NumEntryGuards 8

Now ctrl-s Save and exit, and restart tor/vidalia

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