Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

SelekTOR, an open source Java-based GUI front-end for Tor, was updated to version 3.12 (now 3.12e) recently and it includes new advanced options as well as a new Tor Monitor panel that shows the Tor client startup info and its current status.


For those not familiar with SelekTOR, here's a quick list of features:
  • automatically sets up your web browser to use Tor, without any addons (supports Google Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Palemoon, Iceweasel and Firefox);
  • can be used in two modes: Proxy all Traffic or Proxy by Pattern (with the latter, Tor will only be used for websites matching a pattern you can set in the SelekTOR settings);
  • allows you to quickly select the Tor exit nodes by country (useful to access websites which aren't available in your country, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, Pandora, British TV, HBO Go and so on);
  • Nodes are filtered to ensure that they support HTTP on port 80, and thus ensuring greater reliability when used with web browsers;
  • Whois and Atlas Node details (pretty graphs) available with a single mouse click;
  • more.

If you haven't tried SelekTOR yet, I suggest reading our initial SelekTOR article which includes more information, instructions for how to install SelekTOR and Tor in Ubuntu or Linux Mint (and optionally, using the latest Tor from its official repository), as well as how to use Tor and SelekTOR with Privoxy, useful for apps that don't support SOCKS5.


The latest SelekTOR V3.12 (V3.12e) ships with a new Preferences layout and quite a few new advanced options, such as an option to toggle Safe Socks on/off, useful for applications that use unsafe variations of the socks protocol - for instance, without disabling Safe Socks, Spotify doesn't work with Tor as a SOCKS5 proxy.

Another new option, called "Use 2 hop circuits", can be used for improved latency however, because this option reduces your anonymity, it is only active in Proxy by Pattern mode so if you switch to Proxy All Traffic mode, Tor will use 3 hop circuits.

Other new advanced options available in the latest SelekTOR include:
  • set the Tor logging level (Debug, Info or Notice;;
  • re-implemented the default HTTP proxy (any traffic not routed through Tor will be redirected through this HTTP proxy);
  • avoid disk writes (when enabled, Tor tries to disk less frequently);
  • optional startup arguments which can be passed to Tor.

Another new feature added recently to SeleKTOR is a Tor Monitor panel, which shows the Tor client startup info and its current status:


It's also worth mentioning that SelekTOR is now available for Windows, but it's not free and a license costs $14.95 plus tax. The Linux version remains free and open source software.

Download SelekTOR

Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives: check out our initial SelekTOR article for installation instructions (and more).