Instant privacy with tor, privoxy and docker

We have created a Docker container linuxconfig/instantprivacy that you can deploy for instant privacy. It utilizes Tor (anonymity network) and Privoxy (non-caching web-proxy) to deliver instant privacy, and is based on GNU/Linux Debian 11 Bullseye. We’re also open to feedback or feature requests that you would like to see in the container. In this tutorial, we will explain how Tor and Privoxy combine to make your web browsing private, and how to download and run the instant-privacy Docker container.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • What is Tor?
  • What is Privoxy?
  • How to use linuxconfig/instantprivacy docker image

Instant privacy with tor, privoxy and docker

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Any Linux distro
Software Docker, Tor, Privoxy
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

What is Tor?

Tor is free software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is an acronym derived from the original software project name The Onion Router. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than six thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.

Using Tor makes it more difficult for Internet activity to be traced back to the user: this includes “visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms”.Tor’s use is intended to protect the personal privacy of users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored.

What is Privoxy?

Privoxy is a non-caching web proxy with filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, manipulating cookies and modifying web page data and HTTP headers before the page is rendered by the browser. Privoxy is a “privacy enhancing proxy”, filtering Web pages and removing advertisements.

How to Use Instant Privacy Docker Image

Follow the step by step instructions below to get the linuxconfig/instantprivacy docker image up and running on your Linux system to begin your anonymous web browsing.

  1. The usage is very simple. Create and new docker container using below command:
    # docker run --name=instantprivacy -d -p 8118:8118 linuxconfig/instantprivacy

    The above will start new container and bind your local host system network port 8111 to container port 8118. All what remains is to set your browser’s proxy to localhost : 8118

  2. Alternatively, you can test your privacy container by using a wget command. First, set wget to use proxy:
    $ export http_proxy="http://localhost:8118"
  3. Next, check your external IP address:
    $ curl
  4. Now compare the IP with your real external IP. To get a new IP address simply restart the docker image:
    $ sudo docker restart instantprivacy
  5. Check your IP again:

    $ curl

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to download the linuxconfig/instantprivacy Docker image for instant privacy on a Linux system. This setup is rather simple, as it just uses Tor and Privoxy to create an environment with which you can browse anonymously. This Docker image works well to get you up and running fast, so if you are on someone else’s system you can start browsing privately in no time.

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