Put Tor on a Chumby




About: I'm a full stack web developer focusing on security and privacy.

A few years ago, Tor developer Jake Appelbaum told me about putting tor on a chumby. I didn't think much of it until recently when woot.com had a chumbys for sale. Seeing the chumby as a new toy to hack i got one.

I must say i didn't know quite what to do with the chumby besides make it tell me the time and the weather. Thinking back, i decided to make my chumby into a tor node so those using the tor network can use it as a relay. 

What is Tor?
Tor is a system intended to enable online anonymity, composed of client software and a network of servers which can hide information about users' locations and other factors which might identify them. Use of this system makes it more difficult to trace internet traffic to the user, including visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms. It is intended to protect users' personal freedom, privacy, and ability to conduct confidential business, by keeping their internet activities from being monitored. For more on the details of how tor works check out this link.

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Step 1: Supplies

For this instructable you will need the following
A Chumby One
A usb drive with at least 1 gb
A computer
And the files for chumby on tor which can be found here.

Step 2: Putting the Files on the USB Drive

First you want to download the file that was mentioned in the last step and unzip it. Put the files in the root directory of your drive using a computer.

Step 3: Installing the Files on Your Chumby

Then plug the usb drive into the chumby and reboot, the files will install and the chumby will reboot with the new tor logo.

After that you'll want to find the ip of your chumby on your local network and you can find this out from the home menu by going to Settings > Chumby Info

On my network the ip is, this will differ depending on your router settings.

Step 4: Forward Your Ports

For it to work right, you need to forward your ports. Tor uses port 443, so go into your router settings and create a custom service that forwards port 443. In the ip section, enter the ip of your chumby.

Step 5: Check If Its Working

Now that it's all set up, time to check if it's working.

You can check the log files at http://<your chumby ip>/cgi-bin/custom/torlog

You should look for something in the logs that says: [notice] Self-testing indicates your ORPort is reachable from the outside. Excellent. Publishing server descriptor.

If it doesn't try trouble shooting your router settings to get it to work right, it took me a few tries before it was solid.

Step 6: And You're Done!

Now you have tor running on your chumby so the world can use it as a node!

Pat yourself on the back for helping anonymitiy on the internet. 

WARNING: This version of tor is out of date, I plan to compile a new version soon from the source. If you compile it first, i'll give you a gold star. 

Special thanks to the Tor project.

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    11 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Sadly, couldn't get this to work. Tried both a FAT and ext2 formatted jump drive, never saw the Tor screen after rebooting, guessing it wouldn't install for some reason. :(


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Do you need to keep the USB drive in? I use my Chumby on Ethernet and need to keep the Ethernet dongle plugged in.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    would this also work on a chumby classic? or could you compile a separate version for it?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    In its newly-noded state, can your Chumby check Pandora and the weather anonymously? Or is it just a node for others?

    1 reply