The following explains that in Whonix 14, Anon Connection Wizard can be used. Since I’m using Whonix 13, I skipped this and opted to the “Edit /usr/local/etc/torrc.d/50_user.conf”.
However, usr/local/etc/torrc.d directory didn’t exist. I created it, and the 50_user.conf file inside it. Then I followed the rest of the instructions. It didn’t have any effect (bridges were not activated).
After some time I guessed I may actually need to edit /etc/tor/torrc and not usr/local/etc/torrc.d/50_user.conf (also available only for Whonix 14…?). That worked.
I recommend changing the documentation to make it clear which file needs to be edited for the current stable version.
Tor bridges can be configured by editing /etc/tor/torrc within the Whonix-Gateway.
Then, there is a big warning, in a big box in the section “Option 2” stating exactly:
From Whonix 14 onwards, all user unique Tor configurations should be stored in /usr/local/etc/torrc.d/50_user.conf and not anywhere else. Note that Whonix will not modify /usr/local/etc/torrc.d/50_user.conf once it is created, therefore the user is responsible for adding or removing specific configurations in this file.
The difficulty is that, beyond the initial (and seemingly general) comment about torrc you quoted, the rest of the page speaks repeatedly about /usr/local/etc/torrc.d/50_user.conf, including as the very title of option 2.
I didn’t miss the clear warning about Whonix 14, but it said nothing to imply the instructions that follow won’t work for Whonix 13.
Perhaps it is obvious to those who are used to edit torrc in recent versions, but as a new user I had no reason to think the very detailed instructions don’t apply for Whonix 13.
What actually gave me a clue was the following line, in step 4:
“After editing /etc/tor/torrc, Tor must be reloaded for changes to take effect.”
This was very confusing since the document discusses edit of /usr/local/etc/torrc.d/50_user.conf and not of torrc… how come we now move to discuss that file? nevertheless from this confusion I got to the solution
I’d be happy to edit it to be clearer if I had more knowledge about the different versions and what exactly applies to which. At this point I can only state what works for Whonix 13.
Step 3 - Have the changes take effect:
sudo service tor@default reload
The explanations throughout the document are mostly good and helpful, but I find it exhausting to continuously filter through instructions not relevant to me (Qubes-Whonix and graphical whonix). It takes more time - instead of following sequentially, I need to skip sections, but very carefully, not to miss anything by mistake. This of course applies not to this page specifically. Maybe color - code the different versions (inspired by the Qubes frames colors concept )