Privacy-Focused Tor Browser 8.0 Is Based On Firefox 60 ESR, Includes New Onboarding Experience

The Tor Project released Tor Browser 8.0 yesterday, which includes a new user onboarding experience, a redesigned circuit display and improved bridge fetching. The new release is based on Firefox 60 ESR.

Tor Browser is a modified Firefox ESR version that includes extensions like TorButton, NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere, together with Tor, to provide a web browser that addresses many privacy concerns.

Tor Browser automatically starts the Tor background processes and routes traffic through the Tor network. When the browser is closed, privacy-sensitive data such as cookies and the browser history, are erased.

The latest Tor Browser 8.0, which is the first stable release to be based on Firefox 60 ESR (Extended Support Release), includes a brand new user onboarding experience (getting started guide) that exposes the application's unique features and provides quick access to various privacy settings:

Tor browser 8.0 onboarding

The circuit display was redesigned with this Tor Browser release, and moved to the site identity button (on the left-hand side of the URL bar):

Tor Browser circuit display

Users for which Tor is blocked will be glad to know that Tor Browser 8.0 simplifies the way you request bridges:

Tor bridge captcha

Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher (the window that pops up before the actual browser starts) to get a bridge IP. Previously, requesting bridges to bypass censorship required sending an email or visiting a website.

Other changes worth mentioning in Tor Browser 8.0 include:

  • Move 'New Identity', 'New Circuit' to File, hamburger menus
  • Tor Browser now uses the pure WebExtension version of NoScript
  • Show security state of .onions
  • Disable WebVR, wasm, and the Web Authentication API for now until they are properly audited
  • Enable Reader View mode again
  • Linux: Fix OpenGL software rendering on systems with newer libstdc++
  • Linux: Set SSE2 support as minimal requirement for Tor Browser 8
  • With this release there are Windows 64bit binaries available for download
  • Support for 9 new languages: Catalan, Irish, Indonesian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Hebrew, Swedish, and Traditional Chinese
  • Full changelog here

Download Tor Browser

To run Tor Browser on Linux, extract the downloaded archive and double click the Tor Browser Setup launcher.

In Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux distributions you can install the torbrowser-launcher package to get the latest Tor Browser and integrate it with your system:

sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher

This package downloads the most recent Tor Browser package for you and adds an application launcher for it to your system's menu. Tor Browser installed using this package automatically updates itself.

After installing this package, launch Tor Browser from your applications menu.