How to Install Tor Browser on Ubuntu 20.04

If you’re new to internet privacy and security, you’ve still probably already read references to something called Tor. A widely hailed piece of internet-connected software with its own internet browser.

Tor is embraced by privacy aficionados for its reliable encryption and its history of covering users’ internet tracks.

What Is Tor?

Tor stands for The Onion Router, is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.

It directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network, consisting of more than six thousand relays, for concealing a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.

Tor Browser was launched in 2002 by the Tor Project as a browser with built-in support for the Tor Network.

It’s based on Mozilla Firefox, but it comes with several extra prepackaged privacy and security features. I will explain the benefits and drawbacks of the increased privacy and help you decide if the onion browser is right for you.

Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace the Internet activity to the user.

Tor’s intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities unmonitored.

Tor isn’t perfect when it comes to privacy, but it offers a level of anonymity on its default settings that you don’t get from other browsers without the use of a virtual private network.

That said, it takes a significant hit to performance because of that.

Despite solid security features in the browser, there are inherent security flaws with the Tor network that you should be aware of before installing. The browser is also light on features, but compatibility with Firefox add-ons partially makes up for this.

Tor is a cross platform application available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android but nothing for iOS.

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Key Features of Tor Browser

  • Complex Data encryption before it sent over the Internet.
  • Cross-Platform Availability. i.e., this application is available for Linux, Windows as well as Mac.
  • Available for architectures x86 and x86_64.
  • Automatic data decryption at client side.
  • It is a combination of Firefox Browser + Tor Project.
  • It provides anonymity to servers and websites.
  • Tor is capable of handling thousands of relay and millions of users.
  • It makes it possible to visit locked websites.
  • Performs task without revealing the IP of Source.
  • Portable – Run a pre-configured web browser directly from the USB storage device. No need to install it locally.
  • Easy to set FTP with Tor using configuration as “socks4a” proxy on “localhost” port “9050”
  • Capable of routing data to/from hidden services and applications behind the firewall.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Every application has some advantages and disadvantages. Here we have listed our observations on Tor Browser.


  • Easily connects to the Tor anonymizing network.
  • Simple interface for complex security tools.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Compatible, feature-rich browser.
  • Integrated privacy tools.


  • Slows down browsing.
  • Finding localized websites can be difficult.
  • NoScript plug-in and other privacy features may be confusing to novice users.

This article explains two methods of installing Tor Browser on Ubuntu 20.04.

Method 1: Installing Tor Browser via apt

Step #1

Installing Tor Browser using apt is a relatively easy process and takes only a few minutes to complete.

Open a terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and execute the below commands to update packages.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Note: The user must have sudo privileges to run all these commands.

Step #2

Now execute the following command to install the Tor Browser launcher package.

$ sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher

Press ‘y’ for any confirmation asked by the installer.

This will install Tor Browser launcher on your system (not Tor browser). The Tor browser will be installed in next step.

Using Tor Browser:

The Tor browser can be launched either from the command line by typing torbrowser-launcher or by clicking on the Tor Browser Launcher icon (Activities -> Tor Browser).

When you start the launcher for the first time, it will download the Tor browser and all other dependencies.

Note: In some cases it may ask you to install tor browser. Refer the following snapshot.

Once the installation finished, it will launch Tor browser on your system. Click the “Connect” button to connect Tor Browser to the Tor network for secure browsing.

Once you click on the “Connect” button, the browser will establish a connection to the Tor network and start.

The Tor browser will automatically update itself when a new version is released.

Method 2: Installing Tor Browser Launcher script via PPA

This script downloads and automatically installs the most recent version of the Tor browser and adds the application launcher icon.

The “torbrowser-launcher” package is included in the default Ubuntu repositories, but it may not always be the latest version.

We’ll install the package from the project maintainer repository.

Step #1

Type the following command to add the Tor browser launcher PPA repository.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:micahflee/ppa

Step #2

Now to Install the Tor browser launcher package execute the following command.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher

Now the Tor browser can be launched either from the command line by typing torbrowser-launcher or by clicking on the Tor Browser Launcher icon (Activities -> Tor Browser).

How to launch Tor Browser: In Method 1 of this article, I have explained step by step process. You can follow the same steps.

How to Uninstall Tor Browser from Ubuntu 20.04

For some reason, If you want to uninstall Tor Browser, then type the following command.

$ sudo apt remove torbrowser-launcher


I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to Install Tor Browser on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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