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Thread: Howto: Torchat - Anonymous P2P Chat

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Howto: Install Torchat - Anonymous P2P Chat Client

    This howto has been tested & written for ubuntu gutsy 7.10 (it is also reported to work on ubuntu hardy & debian unstable). It shows you how to configure the onion router tor, and install the P2P client torchat. this client is written in python and runs on windows & OSX too!

    TorChat helps to protect you (and your chat partners) with the following features:
    • Nobody will be able to find out where you are.
    • If sb. is already observing you and sniffing your internet connection they will not be able to find out:
    • what you send or receive
    • to whom you are sending or receiving from
    • where your contacts are located

    1. Install Tor & Privoxy

    sudo apt-get install tor privoxy
    2. Configure Privoxy

    sudo gedit /etc/privoxy/config
    add this line at the end: (with the dot at the end)
    forward-socks4a / localhost:9050 .
    Now go to Firefox addons and install this neat SwitchProxy Tool. After a FireFox restart, go to Extra > Switch Proxy > manage proxies > add > standard > next.

    enter the following information into both the HTTP Proxy and SSL Proxy fields. Hostname: Port: 8118.
    use SocksV5 and port 9050 for socks
    Set up any proxy exceptions you may need (localhost, is a good idea) and then click on OK.(Do this also for the proxy label)

    3. Configure Tor:

    sudo gedit /etc/tor/torrc
    Find the following section and change it to:

    ############### This section is just for location-hidden services ###

    ## Once you have configured a hidden service, you can look at the
    ## contents of the file ".../hidden_service/hostname" for the address
    ## to tell people.
    ## HiddenServicePort x y:z says to redirect requests on port x to the
    ## address y:z.

    HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/
    HiddenServicePort 11009

    #HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/other_hidden_service/
    #HiddenServicePort 80
    #HiddenServicePort 22
    now create the hidden tor dir & restart tor:
    sudo mkdir /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/
    sudo /etc/init.d/tor restart
    4. Install Torchat from Source
    Now you can use firefox with tor. But we want chat, so get the latest Torchat source (at the time of writing this howto it was version ) and unzip it under your home.

    move source code:
    (assuming the py files are unpacked in the folder /home/username/src)
    sudo mkdir /usr/share/torchat
    sudo mv ~/src/*  /usr/share/torchat/
    Create your "buddy-list.txt" file.
    Do this only for the initial install, later you want to move your existing buddy list to the /usr/share/torchat folder

    sudo echo "" > /usr/share/torchat/buddy-list.txt
    sudo chown user:user /usr/share/torchat/buddy-list.txt
    replace user:user from above with your username

    Install needed python-wx:
    sudo apt-get install python-wxgtk2.8 python2.5
    create starter menu entry
    sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/torchat.desktop
    paste into the editor window:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Comment=anonymous chat client
    Exec=python /usr/share/torchat/
    5. get your user ID for torchat:

    sudo less /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/hostname
    this will display something like
    the green part is your id, tell this ID (without the .onion) your frinds to add you to their torchat.

    6. Tell Torchat your User ID:

    sudo gedit /usr/share/torchat/
    change OWN_HOSTNAME to yours, or it will NOT work!
    OWN_HOSTNAME = "defc7p5y3flzyjqy" #.onion ( <== change the 16 Quoted chars to your onion ID ... the green one from step 5)
    7. Run Torchat:

    Now start torchat with the Start menu Icon or from a terminal:
    python /usr/share/torchat/
    You will see a window with your contact list. One of the contacts is labled "myself". This 16 numbers and letters are your unique address inside the Tor-Network. Wait a few minutes until the icon becomes green. Give this address to your friends so that they can add you to their list or add your friends address to your list. It all basically behaves like you would expect from an instant messenger.

    The Author states that starting TorChat & logging in the tor network can sometimes take up to 15 Minutes (it takes around 1 minute for me)

    The contents of the folder /var/lib/tor/hidden_service are your personal key. They must always be kept secret. If someone wants to impersonate your identity he must and will try to steal the contents of this folder from you.

    Keep this always in mind. It would be a good idea to use TorChat in conjunction with something like TrueCrypt. To enable this, read on here

    8.Removing TorChat

    sudo rm /usr/share/applications/torchat.desktop
    sudo rm -R /usr/share/torchat/
    If you also want to remove tor (uninstall the package with dpkg -r tor), don't forget to safely delete the tor hidden_service directory /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/ with e.g. the shred tool

    9. Credits & License

    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. So knock yourself out

    Bits & pieces for this howto were in true open source spirit shamelessly taken from:
    - HOWTO surf anonymous by user dutch
    - Torchat, written by prof7bit
    - Truecrypt FAQ
    - privoxy & tor manpages
    - Installing SwitchProxy for Tor

    10. changelog:
    - added buddy-list instructions (torchat doesn't start if file doesn't exist)
    - updated torchat to Now with anonymous filesharing support
    Last edited by mtron; April 29th, 2008 at 11:13 PM.


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