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tor-browser-selenium Build Status

A Python library to automate Tor Browser with Selenium.


pip install tbselenium

Install geckodriver from the geckodriver releases page. Make sure you install version v0.23.0 version or newer; older versions may not be compatible with the current Tor Browser series.

Basic usage

Using with system tor

tor needs to be installed (apt install tor) and running on port 9050.

from tbselenium.tbdriver import TorBrowserDriver
with TorBrowserDriver("/path/to/TorBrowserBundle/") as driver:

Using with Stem

First, make sure you have Stem installed (pip install stem). The following will start a new tor process using Stem. It will not use the tor installed on your system.

import tbselenium.common as cm
from tbselenium.tbdriver import TorBrowserDriver
from tbselenium.utils import launch_tbb_tor_with_stem

tbb_dir = "/path/to/TorBrowserBundle/"
tor_process = launch_tbb_tor_with_stem(tbb_path=tbb_dir)
with TorBrowserDriver(tbb_dir, tor_cfg=cm.USE_STEM) as driver:


TorBrowserDriver does not download Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) for you. You should download, extract TBB and provide its path when you initialize TorBrowserDriver.

Setting geckodriver's location without using PATH

If geckodriver is not on the system PATH, the binary location can be set programmatically:


Test and development

Install the Python packages that are needed for development and testing:

pip install -r requirements-dev.txt

Install xvfb package by running apt-get install xvfb or using your distro's package manager.

Run the following to launch the tests:

./ /path/to/TorBrowserBundle/

By default, tests will be run using Xvfb, so the browser will not be visible. You may disable Xvfb by exporting the following environment variable:

export NO_XVFB=1

Running individual tests

First, export a TBB_PATH environment variable that points to the TBB version you want to use:

export TBB_PATH=/path/to/tbb/tor-browser_en-US/

Then, use py.test to launch the tests you want, e.g.:

  • py.test tbselenium/test/
  • py.test tbselenium/test/

Disabling console logs

You can redirect the logs to /dev/null by passing the tbb_logfile_path initialization parameter:

TorBrowserDriver(..., tbb_logfile_path='/dev/null')


Check the examples to discover different ways to use TorBrowserDriver


Tested with the following Tor Browser Bundle versions on Ubuntu:

  • 11.5.2
  • 12.0a2

Warning: Windows and macOS are not supported.


Solutions to potential issues:

  • Make sure you can run Firefox on the same system. This may help discover issues such as missing libraries, displays etc..
  • Outdated (or incompatible) Python selenium package: This is the source of various obscure errors. Make sure you have an up-to-date selenium package installed.
  • No display: When running on a cloud machine, follow the example to start a virtual display.
  • Outdated Tor Browser Bundle: Download and use a more recent TBB version.
  • Make sure you install the latest geckodriver version.
  • Port conflict with other (Tor) process: Pick a different SOCKS and controller port using socks_port argument.
  • Use tbb_logfile_path argument of TorBrowserDriver to debug obscure errors. This can help with problems due to missing display, missing libraries (e.g. when the LD_LIBRARY_PATH is not set correctly) or other errors that Tor Browser logs to standard output/error.
  • When you use LAUNCH_NEW_TBB_TOR option and get the following error message during the initialization, it's likely that Tor failed to bootstrap (due to network etc.):
Can't load the profile. Profile Dir: /tmp/tmpO7i1lL/webdriver-py-profilecopy If you specified a log_file in the FirefoxBinary constructor, check it for details
  • driver.get_cookies() returns an empty list. This is due to Private Browsing Mode (PBM), which Selenium uses under the hood. See #79 for a possible solution.
  • WebGL is not supported in the headless mode started with headless=True due to Firefox bug #1375585. To enable WebGL in a headless setting, use pyvirtualdisplay following the example.


Please consider citing this repository if you use tor-browser-selenium in your academic publications.

  author = {Gunes Acar and Marc Juarez and individual contributors},
  title = {tor-browser-selenium - Tor Browser automation with Selenium},
  year = {2020},
  publisher = {GitHub},
  journal = {GitHub repository},
  howpublished = {\url{}}


We greatly benefited from the following two projects: