Tor Socks Proxy and Privoxy Containers

Saturday, September 12, 2015 ยท 4 min read

Okay so this is part 2.5 in my series of posts combining my two favorite things, Docker & Tor. If you are just starting here, to catch you up, the first post was “How to Route all Traffic through a Tor Docker container”. The second was on “Running a Tor relay with Docker”. I thought it only made sense to show how to set up a Tor socks5 proxy in a container, for routing some traffic through Tor; in contrast to the first post, where I explained how to route all your traffic.

Tor Socks5 Proxy

I have made a Docker image for this which lives at jess/tor-proxy on the Docker hub. But I will go over the details so you can build one yourself.

The Dockerfile looks like the following:

FROM alpine:latest

# Note: Tor is only in testing repo ->
RUN apk update && apk add \
    tor \
    --update-cache --repository \
    && rm -rf /var/cache/apk/*

# expose socks port

# copy in our torrc file
COPY torrc.default /etc/tor/torrc.default

# make sure files are owned by tor user
RUN chown -R tor /etc/tor

USER tor

ENTRYPOINT [ "tor" ]
CMD [ "-f", "/etc/tor/torrc.default" ]

Which looks a lot like the Dockerfile for a relay, if you recall. But the key difference is the torrc. Now the only thing I have changed from the default torrc is the following line:


This is so that it can bind correctly to the network namespace the container is using.

This image weighs in at only 11.51 MB!

To run the image:

$ docker run -d \
    --restart always \
    -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \ # i like this for all my containers, but it's optional
    -p 9050:9050 \ # publish the port
    --name torproxy \

Okay, awesome, now you have the socks5 proxy running on port 9050. Let’s test it:

# get your current ip
$ curl -L

# get your ip through the tor socks proxy
$ curl --socks http://localhost:9050  -L
# obviously they should be different ;)

# you can even curl the api
$ curl --socks http://localhost:9050  -L

If you are like me and use @ioerror’s gpg.conf you can uncomment the line:

keyserver-options http-proxy=socks5-hostname://

Now you can import and search for keys on a key server with improved anonymity. Obviously there are a bunch of other things you can use the socks proxy for, but I wanted to give this as an example.

You could even run chrome in a container through the proxy…

Can we take this even further? Yes.

Privoxy HTTP Proxy

The socks proxy is awesome, but if you want to additionally have an http proxy it is super easy!

What we can do is link a Privoxy container to our Tor proxy container.

NOTE: I have seen people have a Tor socks proxy and Privoxy in the same container. But I prefer my approach of 2 different containers, because it is cleaner, maybe sometimes you do not need both, and you completely eliminate the need for having an init system starting 2 processes in one container. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is not my personal preference.

So on to the Dockerfile, which also lives at jess/privoxy:

FROM alpine:latest

RUN apk update && apk add \
    privoxy \
    && rm -rf /var/cache/apk/*

# expose http port

# copy in our privoxy config file
COPY privoxy.conf /etc/privoxy/config

# make sure files are owned by privoxy user
RUN chown -R privoxy /etc/privoxy

USER privoxy

ENTRYPOINT [ "privoxy", "--no-daemon" ]
CMD [ "/etc/privoxy/config" ]

This image is a whopping 6.473 MB :D

The only change I made to the default privoxy config was the following:

forward-socks5 / torproxy:9050 .

This is so that when we link our torproxy container to the privoxy container, privoxy can communicate with the sock.

Let’s run it:

$ docker run -d \
    --restart always \
    -v /etc/localtime:/etc/localtime:ro \ # again a personal preference
    --link torproxy:torproxy \ # link to our torproxy container
    -p 8118:8118 \ # publish the port
    --name privoxy \

Awesome, now to test the proxy:

# get your current ip
$ curl -L

# get your ip through the http proxy
$ curl -x http://localhost:8118 -L
# obviously again, they should be different ;)

# curl the api
$ curl -x http://localhost:8118  -L

That’s all for now! Stay anonymous on the interwebs :p