tor-instance-create(8) Set up a new tor instance


tor-instance-create instance_name


The Tor Debian package supports running multiple instances of the Tor daemon. This can be useful if you want to run multiple relays or brdige relays on a single system, of if you want to provide a hidden service in addition to running a relay.

tor-instance-create is the tool that creates a new instance of Tor on a Debian system. In particular, it creates a new UNIX user with a home directory and a mostly empty tor configuration file.

The new user and group are named _tor-instance_name. The user's home directory, which is also the DataDirectory of the new tor instance, is /var/lib/tor-instances/instance_name. The configuration file for that instance is /etc/tor/instances/instance_name/torrc. Logs go to syslog by default.

To start this new service, use systemctl start tor@instance_name. Stopping, restarting, and reloading the config works accordingly. Stopping/Starting/.. the tor service should affect all instances. The "main" instance which lives in /var/lib/tor and has /etc/tor/torrc as its configuration file is known to systemd as tor@default.

There currently is no tor-instance-remove script. To remove an instance, delete the user and its homedirectory once you are convinced there are no files or processes on your system still owned by that user. Then also remove the directory tree in /etc/tor/instances.


Peter Palfrader


Peter Palfrader