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privoxy - Man Page

Privacy Enhancing Proxy


privoxy [--chroot ] [--config-test ] [--help ] [--no-daemon ] [--pidfile pidfile ] [--pre-chroot-nslookup hostname ] [--user user[.group] ] [--version ] [configfile ]


Privoxy may be invoked with the following command line options:


Before changing to the user ID given in the --user option, chroot to that user's home directory, i.e. make the kernel pretend to the Privoxy process that the directory tree starts there. If set up carefully, this can limit the impact of possible vulnerabilities in Privoxy to the files contained in that hierarchy.


Exit after loading the configuration files before binding to the listen address. The exit code signals whether or not the configuration files have been successfully loaded.

If the exit code is 1, at least one of the configuration files is invalid, if it is 0, all the configuration files have been successfully loaded (but may still contain errors that can currently only be detected at run time).

This option doesn't affect the log setting, combination with "--no-daemon" is recommended if a configured log file shouldn't be used.


Print brief usage info and exit.


Don't  become  a daemon, i.e. don't fork and become process group leader, don't detach from controlling tty, and do all logging there.

--pidfile pidfile

On startup, write the process ID to pidfile. Delete the pidfile on exit. Failure to create or delete the pidfile is non-fatal. If no --pidfile option is given, no PID file will be used.

--pre-chroot-nslookup hostname

Initialize the resolver library using hostname before chroot'ing. On some systems this reduces the number of files that must be copied into the chroot tree.

--user user[.group]

After (optionally) writing the PID file, assume the user ID of user and the GID of group, or, if the optional group was not given, the default group of user. Exit if the privileges are not sufficient to do so.


Print version info and exit.

If the configfile is not specified on  the  command  line, Privoxy  will  look for a file named config in the current directory. If no configfile is found, Privoxy will fail to start.


Privoxy is a non-caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, modifying web page data and HTTP headers, controlling access, and removing ads and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. It has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks.

Privoxy is Free Software and licensed under the GNU GPLv2 or later.

Privoxy is an associated project of Software in the Public Interest (SPI).

Helping hands and donations are welcome:

Installation and Usage

Browsers can either be individually configured to use Privoxy as a HTTP proxy (recommended), or Privoxy can be combined with a packet filter to build an intercepting proxy (see config).  The default setting is  for localhost,  on port  8118 (configurable in the main config file).  To set the HTTP proxy in Firefox, go through: Tools; Options; General; Connection Settings; Manual Proxy Configuration.

For Internet Explorer, go through: Tools; Internet Properties; Connections; LAN Settings.

The Secure (SSL) Proxy should also be set to the same values, otherwise https: URLs will not be proxied. Note: Privoxy can only proxy HTTP and HTTPS traffic. Do not try it with FTP or other protocols. HTTPS presents some limitations, and not all features will work with HTTPS connections.

For other browsers, check the documentation.


Privoxy can be configured with the various configuration files. The default configuration files are: config, default.filter, default.action and default.action. user.action should be used for locally defined exceptions to the default rules in match-all.action and default.action, and user.filter for locally defined filters. These are well commented.  On Unix and Unix-like systems, these are located in /etc/privoxy/ by default.

Privoxy uses the concept of actions in order to manipulate the data stream between the browser and remote sites. There are various actions available with specific functions for such things as blocking web sites, managing cookies, etc. These actions can be invoked individually or combined, and used against individual URLs, or groups of URLs that can be defined using wildcards and regular expressions. The result is that the user has greatly enhanced control and freedom.

The actions list (ad blocks, etc) can also be configured with your web browser at http://config.privoxy.org/ (assuming the configuration allows it). Privoxy's configuration parameters  can also  be viewed at the same page. In addition, Privoxy can be toggled on/off. This is an internal page, and does not require Internet access.

See the User Manual for a detailed explanation of installation, general usage, all configuration options, new features and notes on upgrading.



Various other files should be included, but may vary depending on platform and build configuration. Additional documentation should be included in the local documentation directory.


Privoxy terminates on the SIGINT and SIGTERM signals. Log rotation scripts may cause a re-opening of the logfile by sending a SIGHUP to Privoxy. Note that unlike other daemons,  Privoxy does not need to be made aware of config file changes by SIGHUP -- it will detect them automatically. Signals other than the ones listed above aren't explicitly handled and result in the default action defined by the operating system.


Please see the User Manual on how to contact the developers, for feature requests, reporting problems, and other questions.

See Also

Other references and sites of interest to Privoxy users:

https://www.privoxy.org/, the Privoxy Home page.

https://www.privoxy.org/faq/, the Privoxy FAQ.

https://www.privoxy.org/developer-manual/, the Privoxy developer manual.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/ijbswa/, the Project Page for Privoxy on SourceForge.

http://config.privoxy.org/, the web-based user interface. Privoxy must be running for this to work. Shortcut: http://p.p/

https://sourceforge.net/p/ijbswa/actionsfile-feedback/, to submit “misses” and other configuration related suggestions to the developers.

Development Team

 Fabian Keil, lead developer
 David Schmidt
 Lee Rian
 Roland Rosenfeld
 Ian Silvester

Referenced By


05 February 2023 Privoxy 3.0.34