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General Information:

This is a setup for a TOR based shared hosting server. It is provided as is and before putting it into production you should make changes according to your needs. This is a work in progress and you should carefully check the commit history for changes before updating.

Installation Instructions:

The configuration was tested with a standard Debian buster and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation. It's recommended you install Debian buster (or newer) on your server, but with a little tweaking you may also get this working on other distributions and/or versions.

Uninstall packages that may interfere with this setup:

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get purge -y apache2* resolvconf eatmydata exim4* nginx* libnginx-mod* php7* && systemctl disable systemd-resolved.service

The following command will install all required packages:

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get --no-install-recommends install -y apt-transport-tor brotli bzip2 ca-certificates clamav-daemon clamav-freshclam clamav-milter curl dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d git dnsmasq hardlink haveged iptables libsasl2-modules locales locales-all logrotate lsb-release mariadb-server nano postfix postfix-mysql quota quotatool rsync ssh subversion tor unzip vim wget xz-utils zip zopfli

The following command will install all required build dependencies for nginx and php:

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get --no-install-recommends install -y autoconf bison g++ gcc ghostscript gnupg libargon2-dev libbz2-dev libbrotli-dev libc-client2007e-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libedit-dev libenchant-dev libffi-dev libgd-dev libgmp-dev libgpg-error-dev libgpgme-dev libkrb5-dev libldap2-dev liblmdb-dev libmagickwand-dev libmariadb-dev libonig-dev libpcre3-dev libpng-dev libpspell-dev libqdbm-dev libreadline-dev libsasl2-dev libsodium-dev libsqlite3-dev libssl-dev libsystemd-dev libtidy-dev libtool libwebp-dev libxml2-dev libxpm-dev libxslt1-dev libzip-dev make poppler-utils re2c zlib1g-dev

To get the latest mariadb version, you should follow these instructions to add the official repository for your distribution: (

Add torproject to our repositories:

curl -sSL | apt-key add -
echo "deb `lsb_release -cs` main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Install nodejs + yarn

curl -o- | bash
export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/"  # This loads nvm
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion"  # This loads nvm bash_completion
nvm install node
npm i -g yarn

Note that both, debian and the torproject have hidden service package archives, so you may want to edit /etc/apt/sources.list to load from those instead:

deb tor://vwakviie2ienjx6t.onion/debian `lsb_release -cs` main
deb tor://sdscoq7snqtznauu.onion/ `lsb_release -cs` main

Copy (and modify according to your needs) the site files in var/www to /var/www and the configuration files in etc to /etc after installation has finished. Then restart some services:

systemctl daemon-reload && service tor restart && service dnsmasq restart

Now there should be an onion domain in /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/hostname:

cat /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/hostname

Replace the default domain with your domain in the following files:


In /etc/postfix(-clearnet)/canonical don't change the line that has in it. It is a clearnet/tor address rewriting rule, and if you have your own clearnet domain, you should copy this and modify your copy to preserve sending mail to my host via tor and not via clearnet.

This setup has two postfix instances, one for receiving and sending mail to other .onion services and one for rewriting addresses to pass them on to a clearnet facing mail relay. You may or may not want to create the second instance by running

postmulti -e init
postmulti -I postfix-clearnet -e create
postmulti -i clearnet -e enable
postmulti -i clearnet -p start

If you created an instance, uncomment the clearnet relay related config in etc/postfix/ and make sure to copy and modify the configuration files from etc/postfix-clearnet too

If you encountered the following issue: postfix: fatal: chdir(/var/spool/postfix-clearnet): No such file or directory you can just copy the chroot from the default postfix instance like this cd /var/spool/ && cp -a postfix/ postfix-clearnet/

After copying (and modifying) the posfix configuration, you need to create databases out of the mapping files (also each time you update those files):

postalias /etc/aliases
postmap /etc/postfix/canonical /etc/postfix/sender_login_maps /etc/postfix/transport
postmap /etc/postfix-clearnet/canonical /etc/postfix-clearnet/sasl_password /etc/postfix-clearnet/transport #only if you have a second instance

To save temporary files in memory, add the following to /etc/fstab:

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0
tmpfs /var/log/nginx tmpfs rw,user,noatime 0 0

As time syncronisation is important, you should configure ntp servers in /etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf and make them match with the entries in /etc/rc.local iptables configuration

Enable the PHP-FPM default instances and nginx:

systemctl enable php7.4-fpm@default
systemctl enable nginx

Edit /etc/fstab and add the noatime,usrjquota=aquota.user,jqfmt=vfsv1 option to the /home mountpoint and noatimeto /. Then initialize quota:

mount -o remount /home
quotacheck -cMu /home
quotaon /home

Install custom optimized binaries


Install composer and sodium_compat for v3 hidden_service support

curl -sSL > /usr/bin/composer && chmod +x /usr/bin/composer
composer self-update
cd /var/www && composer install

For web base database administration, check out the latest phpmyadmin and adminer:

cd /var/www/html/ && git clone -b STABLE && cd phpmyadmin && composer install --no-dev && yarn
cd /var/www/html/ && git clone && cd adminer && git submodule update --init

Once installed create a mysql user for phpmyadmin and cofigure it in /var/www/html/phpmyadmin/ and fill $cfg['blowfish_secret'] with random characters:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON phpmyadmin.* TO 'phpmyadmin'@'%';
mysql phpmyadmin < /var/www/html/phpmyadmin/sql/create_tables.sql

For web based mail management grab the latest squirrelmail and install it in /var/www/html/squirrelmail:

cd /var/www/html/ && svn checkout && cd squirrelmail && ./configure && mkdir -p /var/www/data/squirrelmail/data /var/www/data/squirrelmail/attach && chown www-data:www-data -R /var/www/data

Once it is downloaded, it will ask you for configuration. Things to change are:

D. > select dovecot
2. Server Settings > 1. Domain > Set your own .onion domain here
2. Server Settings > B. Update SMTP settings > 7. SMTP Authentication -> y -> plain -> n User are authenticated using their username + password
4. General Options > 1. Data Directory > /data/squirrelmail/data/
4. General Options > 2. Attachment Directory > /data/squirrelmail/attach/
4. General Options > 9. Allow editing of identity > n Users should not be able to fake email addresses > y They should be able to change display name > y They should be able to set a reply to mail > y additional headers are not required
10. Language settings > 4. Enable aggressive decoding
11. Tweaks > 2. Ask user info on first login > n (commonly confuses users)
11. Tweaks > 5. Use php iconv functions > y

Create a mysql user with all permissions for our hosting management:


Then edit the database configuration in /var/www/common.php and /etc/postfix/sql/

Last but not least setup the database by running

php /var/www/setup.php

Enable systemd timers to regularly run various managing tasks:

systemctl enable hosting-del.timer && systemctl enable hosting.timer

Final step is to reboot wait about 5 minutes for all services to start and check if everything is working by creating a test account.

Live demo:

If you want to see the setup in action or create your own site on my server, you can visit my TOR hidden service or via my clearnet proxy if you don't have TOR installed.

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