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/ * * File : $Source: /cvsroot/ijbswa/current/README,v $ * * Purpose : README file to give a short intro. * * Copyright : Written by and Copyright © 2001-2011 the * Privoxy team. http://www.privoxy.org/ * * Based on the Internet Junkbuster originally written * by and Copyright © 1997 Anonymous Coders and * Junkbusters Corporation. http://www.junkbusters.com * * This program is free software; you can redistribute it * and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General * Public License as published by the Free Software * Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at * your option) any later version. * * This program is distributed in the hope that it will * be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the * implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A * PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public * License for more details. * * The GNU General Public License should be included with * this file. If not, you can view it at * http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html * or write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., * 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, * USA * /

This README is included with Privoxy 3.0.23. See http://www.privoxy.org/ for more information. The current code maturity level is “stable”.

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.

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

Helping hands and donations are welcome:


For a list of changes in this release, please have a look at the “ChangeLog”, the “What’s New” section or the “Upgrader’s Notes” in the User Manual.


See the INSTALL file in this directory, for installing from raw source, and the User Manual, for all other installation types.

  1. RUN

privoxy [–help] [–version] [–no-daemon] [–pidfile PIDFILE] [–user USER [.GROUP]] [–chroot] [–pre-chroot-nslookup HOSTNAME ][config_file]

See the man page or User Manual for an explanation of each option, and other configuration and usage issues.

If no config_file is specified on the command line, Privoxy will look for a file named ‘config’ in the current directory (except Win32 which will look for ‘config.txt’). If no config_file is found, Privoxy will fail to start.


See: ‘config’, ‘default.action’, ‘user.action’, ‘default.filter’, and ‘user.filter’. ‘user.action’ and ‘user.filter’ are for personal and local configuration preferences. These are all well commented. Most of the magic is in ‘*.action’ files. ‘user.action’ should be used for any actions customizations. On Unix-like systems, these files are typically installed in / etc/privoxy. On Windows, then wherever the executable itself is installed. There are many significant changes and advances from earlier versions. The User Manual has an explanation of all configuration options, and examples: http:// www.privoxy.org/user-manual/.

Be sure to set your browser(s) for HTTP/HTTPS Proxy at :, or whatever you specify in the config file under ‘listen-address’. DEFAULT is Note that Privoxy ONLY proxies HTTP (and HTTPS) traffic. Do not try it with FTP or other protocols for the simple reason it does not work.

The actions list can be configured via the web interface accessed via http:// p.p/, as well other options.


There should be documentation in the ‘doc’ subdirectory. In particular, see the User Manual there, the FAQ, and those interested in Privoxy development, should look at developer-manual.

The source and configuration files are all well commented. The main configuration files are: ‘config’, ‘default.action’, and ‘default.filter’.

Included documentation may vary according to platform and packager. All documentation is posted on http://www.privoxy.org, in case you don’t have it, or can’t find it.


We value your feedback. In fact, we rely on it to improve Privoxy and its configuration. However, please note the following hints, so we can provide you with the best support.

6.1. Please provide sufficient information

A lot of support requests don’t contain enough information and can’t be solved without a lot of back and forth which causes unnecessary delays. Reading this section should help to prevent that.

Before contacting us to report a problem, please try to verify that it is a Privoxy problem, and not a browser or site problem or documented behaviour that just happens to be different than what you expected. If unsure, try toggling off Privoxy, and see if the problem persists.

If you are using your own custom configuration, please try the default configuration to see if the problem is configuration related. If you’re having problems with a feature that is disabled by default, please ask around on the mailing list if others can reproduce the problem.

If you aren’t using the latest Privoxy version, the problem may have been found and fixed in the meantime. We would appreciate if you could take the time to upgrade to the latest version and verify that the problem still exists.

Please be sure to provide the following information when reporting problems or requesting support:

You don’t have to tell us your actual name when filing a problem report, but if you don’t, please use a nickname so we can differentiate between your messages and the ones entered by other “anonymous” users that may respond to your request if they have the same problem or already found a solution. Note that due to spam the trackers may not always allow to post without being logged into SourceForge. If that’s the case, you are still free to create a login that isn’t directly linked to your name, though.

Please also check the status of your request a few days after submitting it, as we may request additional information. If you use a SF id, you should automatically get a mail when someone responds to your request. Please don’t bother to add an email address when using the tracker. If you prefer to communicate through email, just use one of the mailing lists directly.

If you are new to reporting problems, you might be interested in How to Report Bugs Effectively.

The appendix of the Privoxy User Manual also has helpful information on understanding actions, and action debugging.

6.2. Get Support

All users are welcome to discuss their issues on the users mailing list, where the developers also hang around.

Please don’t send private support requests to individual Privoxy developers, either use the mailing lists or the support trackers.

If you have to contact a Privoxy developer directly for other reasons, please send a real mail and do not bother with SourceForge’s messaging system. Answers to SourceForge messages are usually bounced by SourceForge’s mail server in which case the developer wasted time writing a response you don’t get. From your point of view it will look like your message has been completely ignored, so this is frustrating for all parties involved.

Note that the Privoxy mailing lists are moderated. Posts from unsubscribed addresses have to be accepted manually by a moderator. This may cause a delay of several days and if you use a subject that doesn’t clearly mention Privoxy or one of its features, your message may be accidentally discarded as spam.

If you aren’t subscribed, you should therefore spend a few seconds to come up with a proper subject. Additionally you should make it clear that you want to get CC’d. Otherwise some responses will be directed to the mailing list only, and you won’t see them.

6.3. Reporting Problems

“Problems” for our purposes, come in two forms:

6.3.1. Reporting Ads or Other Configuration Problems

Please send feedback on ads that slipped through, innocent images that were blocked, sites that don’t work properly, and other configuration related problem of default.action file, to http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id= 11118&atid=460288, the Actions File Tracker.

6.3.2. Reporting Bugs

Before reporting bugs, please make sure that the bug has not already been submitted and observe the additional hints at the top of the submit form. If already submitted, please feel free to add any info to the original report that might help to solve the issue.

6.4. Reporting security problems

If you discovered a security problem or merely suspect that a bug might be a security issue, please mail Fabian Keil fk@fabiankeil.de (OpenPGP fingerprint: 4F36 C17F 3816 9136 54A1 E850 6918 2291 8BA2 371C).

Usually you should get a response within a day, otherwise it’s likely that either your mail or the response didn’t make it. If that happens, please mail to the developer list to request a status update.

6.5. Mailing Lists

If you prefer to communicate through email, instead of using a web interface, feel free to use one of the mailing lists. To discuss issues that haven’t been completely diagnosed yet, please use the Privoxy users list. Technically interested users and people who wish to contribute to the project are always welcome on the developers list. You can find an overview of all Privoxy-related mailing lists, including list archives, at: http://sourceforge.net/mail/? group_id=11118.

6.6. SourceForge support trackers

The SourceForge support trackers may be used as well, but have various technical problems that are unlikely to be fixed anytime soon. If you don’t get a timely response, please try the mailing list as well. While it’s hosted at SourceForge as well, it usually works as expected.