Updating Tor

Given SecureDrop’s significant reliance on Tor via Onion Services, we test new Tor versions to ensure they don’t break SecureDrop before releasing them to users.

Identifying new releases

Announcements for new Tor releases are posted in the Tor forum.

Our continuous integration automatically checks for new Tor packages every night and should commit them to the securedrop-apt-test repository. Within 15 minutes they should be available for download via apt-test.freedom.press.


Use a staging environment to verify that with the new Tor release, SecureDrop functions properly as an Onion Service, both the Source Interface and protected Journalist Interface.

Then install the new Tor release on a production environment. Wait a day so it goes through the unattended-upgrades cycle, confirming that after the nightly reboot, Tor is still on the new version and running as expected.


To promote a Tor release to production, copy the *.deb files over to the securedrop-apt-prod repository and follow those instructions.