I have Tor setup on my MacBook and I configured my WiFi connection to use Tor's SOCKS Proxy that is running on port 9050. When I check my connection it confirms I am browsing through Tor.

However, if I try to hit the same URL through my command line using CURL:

curl https://check.torproject.org/

I am informed that my connection is not using Tor.

I had assumed that setting the SOCKS proxy at the system settings level would handle all traffic but this does not appear to be the case.

How can I force all traffic on my machine through Tor?

  • 1
    – paj28
    Jan 26, 2016 at 7:46
  • Any explanation? Jan 26, 2016 at 7:52
  • It's a Linux distro that routes all your traffic through ToR
    – paj28
    Jan 26, 2016 at 8:13

2 Answers 2


You need to supply the proxy switch when using curl:

$ curl --proxy [PROTOCOL://]HOST[:PORT]

For system wide proxy usage:

System preferences -> Network -> Proxies

Please be aware that using Tor as a system wide proxy will most likely identify you as a person and is not a good idea if you want to be anonymous.

When for example you start your email client, it is known that you're using Tor by the end point (possibly your ISP or worse: GMail)

  • Thanks for the info. I realize that curl can be configured to use the proxy settings but I use a number of different tools from the command line and was hoping to set the proxy system wide. Currently I have my proxy settings set in the System Preferences path you mentioned - but they don't appear to be working for command line tools. I don't plan on using TOR for my daily browsing either - I was just confirming that my proxy settings were being used by testing through the browser. Jan 26, 2016 at 6:44
  • Most http aware command line tools will use the http_proxy environment variable (as described in the curl man page). For ssh you'd need to use a helper program.
    – symcbean
    Jan 26, 2016 at 13:43
  • 1
    +1 for recommending NOT to run everything through TOR Apr 22, 2016 at 15:38

Depends what you want to achieve. If you just want to be anonymous then use Tails.

If you want to hack, Tails wouldn't be a good distro - you need to set up your proxychains to go through Tor.

  • Tor is better off using torsocks, which does not use the (incredibly buggy) proxychains. It does use the same general technique though, specifically LD_PRELOAD-based injection.
    – forest
    Mar 15, 2018 at 0:57

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