Convert adblock config files to privoxy format
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Convert adblock config files to privoxy format

This is a fork of Zubr's adblock2privoxy repo with minor optimizations for regular expressions, large outputs to the CSS debug directory turned off, and upgrades for the latest ghc compiler and modules.

The webserver configation file nginx.conf is used for both element blocking and as a blackhole (including within HTTPS-secured pages) for the Proxy Autoconfiguration (PAC) file in the parent repo easylist-pac-privoxy.


adblock2privoxy [OPTION...] [URL...]

The files in the example privoxy and css directories are created with the command:

adblock2privoxy -p ./privoxy -w ./css -d ./easylist/*.txt

After installing working binaries (below), an example production run with regular updates looks like:

adblock2privoxy -p /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy/privoxy -w /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy/css -d \  \  \  \  \  \  \ \

# then every few days
adblock2privoxy -t /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy/privoxy/ab2p.task
# restart privoxy, e.g. sudo port unload privoxy ; sudo port load privoxy

Quick Build/Install Example

This will build a local /usr/local/bin/adblock2privoxy executable from source and templates saved in /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy/adblock2privoxy.

curl -sSL | sh
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy
sudo rsync -a ./adblock2privoxy* /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy
PATH=/usr/bin:$PATH sudo -E bash -c 'export STACK_ROOT=/usr/local/etc/.stack ; cd /usr/local/etc/adblock2privoxy/adblock2privoxy && stack setup --allow-different-user && stack install --local-bin-path /usr/local/bin --allow-different-user'


AdBlock Plus browser plugin has great block lists provided by big community, but it is client software and cannot work on a server as a proxy.

Privoxy proxy has good potential to block ads at server side, but it experiences acute shortage of updated block lists.

This software converts adblock lists to privoxy config files format.

Almost all adblock features are supported including

  • block/unblock requests (on privoxy)
    • all syntax features are supported except for regex templates matching host name
  • hide/unhide page elements (via CSS)
    • all syntax features are supported
  • all block request options except for outdated ones:
    • Supported: script, image, stylesheet, object, xmlhttprequest, object-subrequest, subdocument,document, elemhide, other, popup, third-party, domain=..., match-case, donottrack
    • Unsupported: collapse, background, xbl, ping and dtd
    • Tested with privoxy version 3.0.21. Element hiding feature requires a webserver to serve CSS files. See Nginx and Apache config examples provided.


Adblock files specified by [URL]... are converted to privoxy config files and auxiliarly elemHide CSS files. Local file names and http(s) addresses are accepted as URLs.

If no source URLs are specified, task file is used to determine sources: previously processed sources are processed again if any of them is expired. Nothing is done if all sources in the task file are up to date.


-v, --version
  Show version number
-p PATH, --privoxyDir=PATH
  Privoxy config output path
-w PATH, --webDir=PATH
  Css files output path
  Domain of CSS web server (required for Element Hide functionality)
-t PATH, --taskFile=PATH
  Path to task file containing urls to process and options.
-f, --forced
  Run even if no sources are expired

If taskFile is not specified explicilty, [privoxyDir]/ab2p.task is used.

If task file exists and privoxyDir, webDir or domainCSS is not specified, corresponding value is taken from task file.

If webDir is not specified and cannot be taken from task file, privoxyDir value is used for webDir.

If domainCSS is not specified and cannot be taken from task file, Element Hide functionality become disabled. No webserver is needed in this case.

domainCSS can contain just IP address if CSS web server has no associated domain. Use localhost or if you run your browser on the same machine with webserver.


Example of first run:

adblock2privoxy -p /etc/privoxy -w /var/www/privoxy -d -t my_ab2b.task my_custom.txt

Example of subsequent runs:

adblock2privoxy -t my_ab2b.task

The app generates following files

  • privoxyDir:
    • ab2p.system.action
    • ab2p.action
    • ab2p.system.filter
    • ab2p.filter
  • webDir:
    • ab2p.common.css
    • ab2p.css
    • [lot of directories for all levels of domain names]
  • taskFile:
    • special file containing execution details. It can be reused to update privoxy config from same sources with same options. Its name is ab2p.task by default.

How to apply results

  1. Install privoxy. Optionally setup it as transparent proxy. See privoxy installation manual for details.

  2. Change privoxy config file located in

  • /etc/privoxy/config for linux
  • /opt/local/etc/privoxy/config for macOS with MacPorts
  • /usr/local/etc/privoxy/config for macOS with Homebrew
  • C:\Program Files\Privoxy\config.txt for windows

Add following lines:

actionsfile ab2p.system.action
actionsfile ab2p.action
filterfile ab2p.system.filter
filterfile ab2p.filter
  1. In order to make Element hiding work you also need a webserver to serve CSS files. You can choose nginx, apache or any other webserver. See nginx installation manual, apache on linux installation manual or apache on windows intallation manual for details.

  2. Change webserver config. In examples below

  • replace with your domain or IP address (equal to --domainCSS adblock2privoxy parameter)
  • replace /var/www/privoxy with your CSS files location (equal to --webDir adblock2privoxy parameter)
  • remember, these examples are simplified to use by unexperienced people. If you're familiar with webservers administration, you'll find better ways to apply these configs.

Nginx config: add following lines into http section of nginx.conf file

  • for linux /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
  • for macOS with MacPorts /opt/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
  • for macOS with Homebrew /usr/local/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
  • for windows [nginx location]\conf\nginx.conf
server {
      listen 80;
      #ab2p css domain name (optional, should be equal to --domainCSS parameter)

      #root = --webDir parameter value
      root /var/www/privoxy;

      location ~ ^/[^/.]+\..+/ab2p.css$ {
          # first reverse domain names order
    rewrite ^/([^/]*?)\.([^/.]+)(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?/ab2p.css$ /$9/$8/$7/$6/$5/$4/$3/$2/$1/ab2p.css last;

      location ~ (^.*/+)[^/]+/+ab2p.css {
          # then try to get CSS for current domain
          # if it is unavailable - get CSS for parent domain
          try_files $uri $1ab2p.css;

Apache config: put following lines into

  • for linux: /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf (replace existing content)
  • for windows: C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\conf\httpd.conf (append to the end)
<VirtualHost *:80>
      #ab2p css domain name (optional, should be equal to --domainCSS parameter)

      #root = --webDir parameter value
      DocumentRoot /var/www/privoxy

      RewriteEngine on

      # first reverse domain names order
      RewriteRule ^/([^/]*?)\.([^/.]+)(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?(?:\.([^/.]+))?/ab2p.css$ /$9/$8/$7/$6/$5/$4/$3/$2/$1/ab2p.css [N]

      # then try to get CSS for current domain
      # if it is unavailable - get CSS for parent domain
      RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/%{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
      RewriteRule (^.*/+)[^/]+/+ab2p.css$ $1ab2p.css [N]
  1. Get adblock2privoxy output
  • Either run adblock2privoxy providing privoxy dir, web dir, domain and adblock input file urls such as
  • Or just download processed lists from downloads page and unpack privoxy to and web directories content into
    • /var/www/privoxy and /var/www/privoxy for linux
    • C:\Program Files\Privoxy and [your webserver directory] for windows
  1. Restart privoxy and webserver to load updated configs


Adblock2Privoxy installation

From binary package

There are packages for various systems available at downloads page

  • For linux: you can try RPM or DEB package (depending on your package manager).
  • For windows: Just unzip the file provided. You'll find adblock2privoxy executable is in bin folder.

From sources

You can build and run adblock2privoxy from sources if there is no binary package for your system.

  1. Ensure you have Haskell Stack environment
  • Install Stack for your platform
  1. Build the app:
cd adblock2privoxy
stack setup
stack build

[Note: issuing the command stack unpack adblock2privoxy downloads the original adblock2privoxy from Hackage to the directory ./adblock2privoxy-*, which does not contain the modifications of this fork.]

macOS build specifics

* The `.stack` directory cannot be in a path that contains spaces
* Use macOS's native gcc compiler in `/usr/bin/gcc`, not Macports (see issues).
$ which gcc

$ gcc --version
Configured with: --prefix=/Applications/ --with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
Apple LLVM version 8.1.0 (clang-802.0.42)

export PATH=/usr/bin:$PATH  # ensure that /usr/bin/gcc is found first
export STACK_ROOT=/path/to/local/stack/dir/without/spaces/.stack

stack setup
stack build

Install the binary (e.g. to /usr/local/bin):

sudo -E bash -c 'export PATH=/usr/bin:$PATH ; export STACK_ROOT=/path/to/local/stack/dir/without/spaces/.stack ; stack setup --allow-different-user ; stack install --local-bin-path /usr/local/bin --allow-different-user'
  1. Run the app:
stack exec adblock2privoxy -- [YOUR ARGS]
#for example: stack exec adblock2privoxy -- -p /etc/privoxy -d
  • From the locally installed binary (with /usr/local/bin in $PATH):
adblock2privoxy -- [YOUR ARGS]


You can create your own binary package for adblock2privoxy.

Use scripts from distribution folder for your platform.