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#include "head.wmi" TITLE="Tor: Hidden Service Configuration Instructions"

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<h1>Configuring Hidden Services for <a href="<page index>">Tor</a></h1>
<hr />

<p>Tor allows clients and relays to offer hidden services. That is,
you can offer a web server, SSH server, etc., without revealing your
IP address to its users. In fact, because you don't use any public address,
you can run a hidden service from behind your firewall.
</p>

<p>If you have Tor and Privoxy installed, you can see hidden services
in action by visiting <a href="http://duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion/">our
example hidden service</a> or the <a
href="http://gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion/">Wikileaks hidden service</a>.
</p>

<p>This howto describes the steps for setting up your own hidden service
website. For the technical details of how the hidden service protocol
works, see our <a href="<page hidden-services>">hidden service protocol</a> page.
</p>

<hr />
<a id="zero"></a>
<h2><a class="anchor" href="#zero">Step Zero: Get Tor and Privoxy working</a></h2>
<br />

<p>Before you start, you need to make sure:</p>
<ol>
<li>Tor is up and running,</li>
<li>Privoxy is up and running,</li>
<li>Privoxy is configured to point to Tor and</li>
<li>You actually set it up correctly.</li>
</ol>


<p>Windows users should follow the <a
href="<page docs/tor-doc-windows>">Windows
howto</a>, OS X users should follow the <a
href="<page docs/tor-doc-osx>">OS
X howto</a>, and Linux/BSD/Unix users should follow the <a
href="<page docs/tor-doc-unix>">Unix howto</a>.
</p>

<p>Once you've got Tor and Privoxy installed and configured,
you can see hidden services in action by following this link to <a
href="http://duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion/">our example hidden service</a>
or the <a
href="http://gaddbiwdftapglkq.onion/">Wikileaks hidden service</a>.
It will typically take 10-60 seconds to load
(or to decide that it is currently unreachable). If it fails
immediately and your browser pops up an alert saying that
"www.duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion could not be found, please check the name and
try again" then you haven't configured Tor and Privoxy correctly; see <a
href="https://wiki.torproject.org/noreply/TheOnionRouter/TorFAQ#ItDoesntWork">the
it-doesn't-work FAQ entry</a> for some help.
</p>

<hr />
<a id="one"></a>
<h2><a class="anchor" href="#one">Step One: Install a web server locally</a></h2>
<br />

<p>First, you need to set up a web server locally. Setting up a web
server can be tricky,
so we're just going to go over a few basics here. If you get stuck
or want to do more, find a friend who can help you. We recommend you
install a new separate web server for your hidden service, since even
if you already have one installed, you may be using it (or want to use
it later) for an actual website.
</p>

<p>If you're on Unix or OS X and you're comfortable with
the command-line, by far the best way to go is to install <a
href="http://www.acme.com/software/thttpd/">thttpd</a>. Just grab the
latest tarball, untar it (it will create its own directory), and run
<kbd>./configure &amp;&amp; make</kbd>. Then <kbd>mkdir hidserv; cd
hidserv</kbd>, and run
<kbd>../thttpd -p 5222 -h localhost</kbd>. It will give you back your prompt,
and now you're running a webserver on port 5222. You can put files to
serve in the hidserv directory.
</p>

<p>If you're on Windows, you might pick <a
href="http://savant.sourceforge.net/">Savant</a> or <a
href="http://httpd.apache.org/">Apache</a>, and be sure to configure it
to bind only to localhost. You should also figure out what port you're
listening on, because you'll use it below.
</p>

<p>(The reason we bind the web server only to localhost is to make
sure it isn't publically accessible. If people could get to it directly,
they could confirm that your computer is the one offering the hidden
service.)
</p>

<p>Once you've got your web server set up, make sure it works: open your
browser and go to <a
href="http://localhost:5222/">http://localhost:5222/</a>, where 5222 is
the port that you picked above. Then try putting a file in the main html
directory, and make sure it shows up when you access the site.
</p>

<hr />
<a id="two"></a>
<h2><a class="anchor" href="#two">Step Two: Configure your hidden service</a></h2>
<br />

<p>Next, you need to configure your hidden service to point to your
local web server.
</p>

<p>First, open your torrc file in your favorite text editor. (See <a
href="https://wiki.torproject.org/noreply/TheOnionRouter/TorFAQ#torrc">the
torrc FAQ entry</a> to learn what this means.) Go to the middle section and
look for the line</p>

<pre>
\############### This section is just for location-hidden services ###
</pre>

<p>
This section of the file consists of groups of lines, each representing
one hidden service. Right now they are all commented out (the lines
start with #), so hidden services are disabled. Each group of lines
consists of one <var>HiddenServiceDir</var> line, and one or more
<var>HiddenServicePort</var> lines:</p>
<ul>
<li><var>HiddenServiceDir</var> is a directory where Tor will store information
about that hidden service.  In particular, Tor will create a file here named
<var>hostname</var> which will tell you the onion URL.  You don't need to add any
files to this directory.</li>
<li><var>HiddenServicePort</var> lets you specify a virtual port (that is, what
port people accessing the hidden service will think they're using) and an
IP address and port for redirecting connections to this virtual port.</li>
</ul>

<p>Add the following lines to your torrc:
</p>

<pre>
HiddenServiceDir /Library/Tor/var/lib/tor/hidden_service/
HiddenServicePort 80 127.0.0.1:5222
</pre>

<p>You're going to want to change the <var>HiddenServiceDir</var> line, so it points
to an actual directory that is readable/writeable by the user that will
be running Tor. The above line should work if you're using the OS X Tor
package. On Unix, try "/home/username/hidserv/" and fill in your own
username in place of "username". On Windows you might pick:</p>
<pre>
HiddenServiceDir C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\hidden_service\\
HiddenServicePort 80 127.0.0.1:5222
</pre>

<p>Now save the torrc, shut down
your Tor, and then start it again.
</p>

<p>If Tor starts up again, great. Otherwise, something is wrong. First look at
your logfiles for hints. It will print some warnings or error messages. That
should give you an idea what went wrong. Typically there are typos in the torrc
or wrong directory permissions (See <a
href="https://wiki.torproject.org/noreply/TheOnionRouter/TorFAQ#Logs">the
logging FAQ entry</a> if you don't know how to enable or find your
log file.)
</p>

<p>When Tor starts, it will automatically create the <var>HiddenServiceDir</var>
that you specified (if necessary), and it will create two files there.</p>

<dl>
<dt><var>private_key</var></dt>
<dd>First, Tor will generate a new public/private keypair for your hidden
service. It is written into a file called "private_key". Don't share this key
with others -- if you do they will be able to impersonate your hidden
service.</dd>
<dt><var>hostname</var></dt>
<dd>The other file Tor will create is called "hostname". This contains
a short summary of your public key -- it will look something like
<tt>duskgytldkxiuqc6.onion</tt>. This is the public name for your service,
and you can tell it to people, publish it on websites, put it on business
cards, etc.</dd>
</dl>

<p>If Tor runs as a different user than you, for example on
OS X, Debian, or Red Hat, then you may need to become root to be able
to view these files.</p>

<p>Now that you've restarted Tor, it is busy picking introduction points
in the Tor network, and generating a <em>hidden service
descriptor</em>. This is a signed list of introduction points along with
the service's full public key. It anonymously publishes this descriptor
to the directory servers, and other people anonymously fetch it from the
directory servers when they're trying to access your service.
</p>

<p>Try it now: paste the contents of the hostname file into your web
browser. If it works, you'll get the html page you set up in step one.
If it doesn't work, look in your logs for some hints, and keep playing
with it until it works.
</p>

<hr />
<a id="three"></a>
<h2><a class="anchor" href="#three">Step Three: More advanced tips</a></h2>
<br />

<p>If you plan to keep your service available for a long time, you might
want to make a backup copy of the <var>private_key</var> file somewhere.
</p>

<p>We avoided recommending Apache above, a) because many people might
already be running it for a public web server on their computer, and b)
because it's big
and has lots of places where it might reveal your IP address or other
identifying information, for example in 404 pages. For people who need
more functionality, though, Apache may be the right answer. Can
somebody make us a checklist of ways to lock down your Apache when you're
using it as a hidden service? Savant probably has these problems too.
</p>

<p>If you want to forward multiple virtual ports for a single hidden
service, just add more <var>HiddenServicePort</var> lines.
If you want to run multiple hidden services from the same Tor
client, just add another <var>HiddenServiceDir</var> line. All the following
<var>HiddenServicePort</var> lines refer to this <var>HiddenServiceDir</var> line, until
you add another <var>HiddenServiceDir</var> line:
</p>

<pre>
HiddenServiceDir /usr/local/etc/tor/hidden_service/
HiddenServicePort 80 127.0.0.1:8080

HiddenServiceDir /usr/local/etc/tor/other_hidden_service/
HiddenServicePort 6667 127.0.0.1:6667
HiddenServicePort 22 127.0.0.1:22
</pre>

<p>There are some anonymity issues you should keep in mind too:
</p>
<ul>
<li>As mentioned above, be careful of letting your web server reveal
identifying information about you, your computer, or your location.
For example, readers can probably determine whether it's thttpd or
Apache, and learn something about your operating system.</li>
<li>If your computer isn't online all the time, your hidden service
won't be either. This leaks information to an observant adversary.</li>
<!-- increased risks over time -->
</ul>

<hr />

<p>If you have suggestions for improving this document, please <a
href="<page contact>">send them to us</a>. Thanks!</p>

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