§ Private browsing hacker style

In this episode we’ll combine tor, privoxy and xombrero plus one shell script to create an easy to use, secure and anonymous browsing environment. This particular setup isn’t anything new, but the aim here is to provide something that you can fire up in five seconds. A notable part of the trio is xombrero - I believe not many people seen it yet. I still prefer chromium for ‘daily’ browsing, however setting proxy per-session is somewhat crude with it. Lastly I assume you know how to install the above software on your system - tor and privoxy should be included in your distribution; xombrero probably won’t be (I got mine from AUR), but I assume that if you know what I’m talking about here you can make software from source.

§ Setting up tor

We don’t want to have a system-wide tor, we’ll run it as our user. We need one file here, usually called torrc:

SocksPort 9050
SocksListenAddress 127.0.0.1

SocksPolicy accept 127.0.0.1
SocksPolicy reject *

Log notice file /home/drbig/Documents/Logs/tor.log
PidFile /home/drbig/.config/tor/tor.pid
RunAsDaemon 1

All you need to do here is to adjust the paths for the log and pid files. That’s it.

§ Setting up privoxy

Again, we don’t want a system-wide daemon. The relevant privoxy.conf:

forward-socks4a         / 127.0.0.1:9050 .
confdir                 /etc/privoxy
logdir                  /home/drbig/Documents/Logs
actionsfile             default.action   # Main actions file
filterfile              default.filter
logfile                 privoxy.log

#debug                  7               # 4+2+1 - logs lots of request data
debug                   4096            # Startup banner and warnings
debug                   8192            # Errors - *we highly recommended enabling this*

user-manual             /usr/share/doc/privoxy/user-manual
listen-address          127.0.0.1:9051
toggle                  1
enable-remote-toggle    0
enable-edit-actions     0
enable-remote-http-toggle 0
buffer-limit            4096

Again you’ll need to adjust a path for the log file. One caveat here: you need read access to the action files (from confdir) - on Arch I needed to add myself to the privoxy group. I left some additional options here, as usual read the man to get the whole picture.

§ One-shot startup

This will save us some typing plus provide a reminder:

#!/bin/sh
tor -f ~/.config/tor/torrc
privoxy ~/.config/privoxy.conf
echo "Ready to go. Run xombrero and do :set http_proxy=http://127.0.0.1:9051/"

Should I still point out you need to adjust the paths? And then make the script executable.

§ The end result

Xombrero is a beautiful piece of software, the true minimalist browser. I still haven’t gone through all of its features, but the ability to set proxy in 5 seconds beats all other software. Just press ESCcape and type what the script reminded you of. And you have secure and anonymous browsing.

I'm not in Deutschland

As a bonus I’m throwing in my ~/.xombrero.conf:

download_dir = /home/drbig/Downloads
download_notifications = 1
home = about:blank
cmd_font = -*-helvetica-medium-r-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-iso10646-1
external_editor = urxvt -e vim <file>
spell_check_languages = en_GB, pl_PL
statusbar_elems = TBZP|p

Happy browsing!

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Last update: 2012-11-29. » LINK » TXT » ATOM. Go to the top. Licence CC-BY-NC-SA.
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