Need to install tor on Mac. Downloaded tor.tar.gz file from torprogect.org. Tor version is Os X 10.11.3. On torproject.org said that it has to be configure with: ./configure && make && src/or/tor. Don't know what does that mean. How do I proceed?

  • Please can you edit your question and mention what tool or file you would like to install on your Mac. tar.gz files can contain any contents and without knowing more, answers will likely be unhelpful. – Graham Miln Feb 8 '16 at 10:14

Tor Browser

Have you considered using Tor Browser instead of tor?

The Tor Browser lets you use Tor on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a pre-configured web browser to protect your anonymity, and is self-contained (portable).

Still need tor? Use brew

You can use the homebrew project to install tor on your Mac.

  1. Follow the instructions on homebrew to install the brew command:

    • Launch Terminal.app
    • Paste in the one line command from brew.sh:

      /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  2. Run the following command to install tor and any dependencies:

    brew install tor

Easy Removal

If you decide later to remove tor, you can use the command:

brew uninstall tor

Alternatively, you can probably use MacPorts.


*.tar.gz files are gzipped archive files. To unzip/unarchive the file simply double-click it. This will invoke Archive Utility and the file will be extracted to a folder (usually with the same name as the archive).

To build any tool from the sources Xcode and/or Xcode Command Line Tools are required.

Open the README file and check the build instruction. The readme mentions:

To build Tor from source:
              ./configure && make && make install

Then open Terminal and navigate to the folder: cd ~/Downloads/tor-

Enter ./configure && make && make install to configure, make and install tor. You may have to prepend sudo to make install it.

You have to install additional packages like libevent, openssl and probably some other to build it successfully.

To run tor simply enter tor in the shell.

Alternatively you can skip the && make install and just run ./configure && make. Other packages - like mentioned above - are still needed.

Then tor won't be installed to /usr/local. You still can run it in the build folder using src/or/to

I doubt that the above instructions successfully build tor after installing all required libraries/packages/tools (which will probably mess your system) because they target Linux.

So I recommend to install a packet manager like Macports or Homebrew and install tor with one of both.

  • The instructions will have the problem of required libraries but the ./configure && make etc should work as is standard Unix predating Linux (however many developers don't realise that Linux is not fully Unix and so miss things) – user151019 Feb 8 '16 at 11:55

If you want to browse the web anonymously, then Tor Browser works great. Having tor installed will be just a waste of time. However, if you want the entire network traffic routed through it, than tor is necessary.

To install tor I also recommend homebrew (see @Graham Miln answer).

But that's not it, if you want to route the entire network traffic through tor, you must also edit the Network System Preferences and add a new Location for tor.

A quick guide to do so:

  1. Open System Preferences and the Network
  2. from the dropdown menu Location, click on Edit Locations, then the + sign and name it Tor (or whatever)
  3. Go to Advanced, then Proxies. Put the checkmark in SOCKS Proxy and add the following values: SOCKS proxy server > localhost and Port > 9050.
  4. Click "OK" and then "Apply" and exit the System Preferences.

Now to actually use Tor, you must click on the Apple Menu, Locations and then the newly Tor location. Also you must run 'tor' in the Terminal. When the Terminal says that Bootstrap is at 100%, you're good to go and you can check (e.g. Safari) is running through Tor by visiting check.torprojects.org

Do not close the Terminal window while you're running Tor.

To quit Tor, do CTRL+C in the Terminal and then revert Location to Automatic.

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