Getting up to speed on Tor's past, present, and future

  1. First, read the overview page to get a basic idea of how Tor works, what it's for, and who uses it.
  2. Install Tor Browser and try it out. Be sure to read the list of warnings about ways you can screw up your anonymity. Look through the Tor Browser Design Document.
  3. Our FAQ covers all sorts of topics, including questions about setting up a client or relay, concerns about anonymity attacks, why we didn't build Tor in other ways, etc. There's a separate Abuse FAQ to answer common questions from or for relay operators. The Tor Legal FAQ is written by EFF lawyers, and aims to give you an overview of some of the legal issues that arise from The Tor Project in the US.
  4. Check out the Tor Stack Exchange Q&A Site, and help us make the questions and answers better.
  5. The manual lists all the possible entries you can put in your torrc file. We also provide a manual for the development version of Tor.
  6. If you have questions, we have an IRC channel (for users, relay operators, and developers) at #tor on If you have a bug, especially a crash bug, read how to report a Tor bug first and then tell us as much information about it as you can in our bugtracker. (If your bug is with your browser or some other application, please don't put it in our bugtracker.) The tor-talk mailing list can also be useful.
  7. Tor has a blog. We try to keep it updated every week or two with the latest news.
  8. Download and watch Roger's Tor overview talk from Internet Days in Sweden (video, slides, youtube), which provides good background on how Tor works and what it's for.
  9. Learn about our censorship circumvention side: watch our 28C3 talk in December 2011 on how governments have tried to block Tor (video, youtube, slides), an overview of what to look for in a circumvention tool, and the original "blocking-resistance and circumvention" talk from 23C3 in December 2006 (video, slides, abstract, design paper).
  10. Learn about the wide diversity of projects in the Tor ecosystem that need your help. Watch the 29c3 video on the Tor software ecosystem to learn more.
  11. Look through Tor's Design Documents. Notice that we have RFC-style specs to tell you exactly how Tor is built. Learn about the Tor proposal process for changing our design, and look over the existing proposals.
  12. Our sponsor TODO list starts with a timeline for external promises — things our sponsors have paid to see done. It also lists many other tasks and topics we'd like to tackle next.
  13. Once you're up to speed, things will continue to change surprisingly fast. The tor-dev mailing list is where the complex discussion happens, and the #tor and #tor-dev IRC channels are where the rest of the discussion happens.

Mailing List Information

Tor runs many mailing lists. New users will be most interested in:

  • tor-announce is a low volume list for announcements of new releases and critical security updates. Everybody should be on this list. There is also an RSS feed.
  • tor-talk is where a lot of discussion happens, and is where we send notifications of prerelease versions and release candidates.
  • tor-relays list is for discussions about running, configuring, and handling your tor relay or bridge. If you currently run a relay or bridge, or are thinking about doing so, this is the list for you.
  • tor-onions is like tor-relays but for onion services.
  • tor-dev is for posting by developers only, and is very low traffic.

Design Documents

Neat Links

For Developers

Browse the Tor source repository: