Vidalia

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Vidalia
Developed byMatt Edman and Justin Hipple
Latest release0.0.10 / December 25, 2006
OSCross-platform, QT4
TypeTor-GUI / Anonymity
LicenseGPL
Websitewww.vidalia-project.net

Vidalia is a type of onion and also a GUI software program for controlling and viewing the inner workings of the Tor onion router anonymity-network built using version 4 of the Qt toolkit.

Contents

[edit] What it does

Vidalia starts, or connects to, your Tor process using it's ControlPort and asks it for interesting information. Vidalia then displays this information in a very fancy graphical fashion. It also has a nice GUI which can help you setup and configure your Tor configuration file (torrc) to get a Tor client (or server) up and running so you can use the Internet anonymously without revealing your location. But that's not the real gold.

[edit] Features

Another prominent feature of Vidalia is its Tor network map, which lets the user see the geographic location of servers on the Tor network, as well as where the user's application traffic is going.

The best and most interesting feature is the CIA world-map (from the CIA factbook) based network map of Tor-servers and the connections between your Tor-client and them. The map shows the geographic location of servers on the Tor network and the user's application traffic routes between them.

Vidalia-0.8svn.jpg

Vidalia displays a list of running Tor server on the left side of the screen, and you can click on any of these servers to get all sorts of less interesting information like their bandwidth, uptime, operating system, IP and Tor-version. This serverlist shows you how much bandwidth each server has using a bar. Tork, which is a KDE program with basically the same features, has a flag next to the server list, which a nice feature Vidalia does not have but really should implement immediately.

You can click on any circut in the list of connections and get a view of the path that particular (in green) circut is taking around the globe:

Vidalia-0.8svn-map-closeup.jpg

The map, men monitor a server node, becomes more and more messy the longer it runs:

Vidalia-lines.jpg

(This is just a small fragment of the world map, it does include almost all the Tor-servers. There are almost no Tor-servers in Canada, Africa, Russia, China and Australia)

Vidalia can also upen a Tor bandwidth monitor for you which lays out how much bandwidth your Tor client (or server) is using:

Vidalia-0.8svn-bw.jpg

Note that this window as of now is very poorly coded in v0.0.8. Your CPU hits 100% if you maximize (or just enlarge) this window and it uses more than a fair share of resources at the default size...

[edit] The log view

Vidalia also has a window where you can view the message log. Here you can temporarily change Tor's config to show you loglevel Info and Debug - so you can view a buch of information about what Tor does behind the scenes. This window also allows you to save the log as evidence against you, your loved ones and other Tor-users, which is a very bad idea.

FUD aside, you may want to save the log in order to attach a snippet to a bug report.

[edit] Features new in version 0.0.9

Vidalia v0.0.9 has two nice new features:

  • You can right-click on any open circut and close it.
  • You can right-click on any server on the server-list to make Vidalia zoom in on that server on the CIA World Map.

These features are not in v0.0.8. You can checkout the latest source from svn using this command:

svn co svn://svn.vidalia-project.net/vidalia/trunk/ vidalia

may the source be with you.

[edit] Minor features

Vidalia-dock-tray.jpg

Vidalia docks in your KDE / fluxbox / Gnome application tray. Rightclicking on this gives you it's menu.

  • Pressing "New Identity" on the pop-up menu will make Tor close your current connections and make it appear as if you are coming from another IP the next time you reload/click around a website you are connected to. (Note that this may confuse sites who use your IP to keep track of who is logged in and log you out of such websites. This does not confuse sites who use cookies to track inlogged users).

[edit] Configuration

Vidalia lives in $HOME/.vidalia where you can play with vidalia.conf - Vidalia is made to configure both Tor and itself from the GUI, but there is one very important feature new to version 0.0.8 (not in 0.0.7) which is missing from the GUI config:

  • Vidalia v0.0.8+ can control remote instances of Tor (which is very nice if you are running your Tor on another box on your LAN).

You can configure what Tor-process you want Vidalia to connect to using ControlAddr and ControlPort in the [Tor] section of the configuration file:

File: $HOME/.vidalia/vidalia.conf
[Tor]
ControlAddr=192.168.0.1
ControlPort=9051

(You must re-start Vidalia after manually editing the configuration file)

[edit] Official story

The official website where you can read all about and download vidalia is: http://vidalia-project.net/


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