Originally published at: https://www.whonix.org/blog/connecting-to-lantern-before-tor
Lantern is a censorship circumvention tool, an alternative to Tor bridges.
Testers only! As an exercise and proof of concept, I quickly put together a documentation chapter for Connecting to Lantern before Tor (User -> Lantern -> Tor -> Internet). Qubes-Whonix only! Non-Qubes-Whonix is unsupported.
At the moment these instructions have several limitations.
- They install Lantern in a separate ProxyVM behind sys-whonix. The motivation behind this was better security. Lantern is not installable from Debian. It's a package from the lantern website. In theory, Tor should not be compromised if Lantern was compromised. But if Lantern was compromised to begin with or more easily exploited than Tor, it is very much desirable to run Lantern in a separate ProxyVM for better isolation.
- However, this is very impractical. Since Qubes does not support static IP addresses yet, the Tor config setting /etc/tor/torrc 'Socks5Proxy 10.137.10.1:8788' is not stable. When the Lantern ProxyVM gets its IP changed, connectivity breaks and /etc/tor/torrc in sys-whonix needs a manual update. Not great.
- It would be a lot more usable to document how to run Lantern directly in sys-whonix (under user tunnel with TUNNEL_FIREWALL=true etc.) However, then we would have less isolation.
- Does not autostart Lantern yet.
- The footnotes on the wiki page contain several TODO items.
- And more...
- I probably won't be able to become a maintainer of a fully featured Lantern-Gateway comparable to Whonix-Gateway using Tor. Help welcome.
- Lantern seems to have connectivity issues on its own. Even for me in a non-censored area, it works for me in only 1 of 4 attempts. Often I needed to restart the VM and start fresh. Shutdown of Lantern does not seem to be clean. Often in the Lantern-Gateway VM - while no Whonix network is involved - I am unable to visit any websites from the automatically started lantern browser.