Run a Tor-Relay on Tribblix – an Illumos retro distribution

This fall, has been busy for me, and when I am busy I like to experiment and play with stuff – especially IT and nerdy stuff.

This brings me back to the days when I started with Linux, for me it was new, cool and different. Nowadays I feel like it is not so different.

So, being the hipster that I am, I set out to find something new. I've already tried and played with OmniOS a couple of years back and I liked it. And during my quest to get it on a iPXE server – I found out about Tribblix.

Tribblix is a Illumos distribution with a retro feel. And that I liked. The iPXE setup was easy since Peter Tribble – the creator and maintainer of Tribblix – already have an iPXE server up and running. So I just used the already ready target at (http://pkgs.tribblix.org/m24/ipxe.txt) and got it up and running according to the installation instructions provided by Tribblix here: http://www.tribblix.org/install.html

Enter Tor – and the recent news that Russia has decided to block Tor nationwide. I must say that I do understand why they did it from a IT-security perspective – alot of crap is originating from Russia. That is an undisputed fact. However, from a freedom perspective – this is making an already bad situation even worse. So what a perfect opporunity to run a Tor-relay on a SunOS machine! Currently, there is only 5 relays that is running on a Solaris/SunOS based kernel (including one of mine). Lets change that – more diversity in the Tor-network is a good thing.

So, assuming that you have installed Tribblix. Lets pull down the Tribblix overlay called “develop”

zap install develop

This takes a couple of minutes, and what it does is that it download and installs all the nessecary packages you need to build Tor.

We also need LibEvent, since Tor requires it. And the TRIBlibev is like libevent – but not really – we need to manually compile it.

Download the latest stable version from github, and extract it like shown below:

wget https://github.com/libevent/libevent/releases/download/release-2.1.12-stable/libevent-2.1.12-stable.tar.gz
tar -xvf libevent-2.1.12-stable.tar.gz

Lets also pull down the Tor-source code and extract:

wget https://dist.torproject.org/tor-0.4.6.9.tar.gz
tar -xvf tor-0.4.6.9.tar.gz

Great, now you should have everything you need in order to get started.

Navigate to the libevent catalogue you just extracted, and run the following:

./configure --prefix=/tmp/mc --enable-static --disable-shared
gmake
gmake install

This will create a static and temporary copy of LibEvent in the /tmp/mc catalogue. we will use that in the compilation of Tor.

When the compilation of LibEvent is done, nagivate to the Tor-catalogue and run the following:

./configure --with-libevent-dir=/tmp/mc MAKE="gmake"
gmake
gmake install

The proceedure is quite similar to the LibEvent compilation.

When the gmake install procedure is done, you can find the tor-config files in /usr/local/etc/tor/ and the binaries in /usr/local/bin/.

Configure the torrc file according to your needs, read the Tor Projects Post Install Guide and follow the recommendations.

You can now run tor by just typing /usr/local/bin/tor in your terminal – and you now have a relay running.

For now, you can use tmux in order to run it in the background.

Thanks to Peter Tribble, who told me how to get LibEvent into the system.