Section: (1)
Updated: 08 April 2002


privoxy - Privacy Enhancing Proxy  


privoxy [--help] [--version] [--no-daemon] [--pidfile pidfile] [--user user[.group]] [configfile] (UNIX)

privoxy.exe [configfile] (Windows)



Privoxy may be invoked with the following command line options:

Print brief usage info and exit.
Print version 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
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.
--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.

If the configfile is not specified on the command line, Privoxy will look for a file named config in the current directory (except on Win32 where it will try config.txt). If no configfile is found, Privoxy will fail to start.  


Privoxy is a web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for protecting privacy, filtering web page content, managing cookies, controlling access, and removing ads, banners, pop-ups and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a very flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. Privoxy has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks.

Privoxy is based on the code of the Internet Junkbuster (tm). Junkbuster was originally written by JunkBusters Corporation, and was released as free open-source software under the GNU GPL. Stefan Waldherr made many improvements, and started the SourceForge project to continue development.

Privoxy continues the Junkbuster tradition, but adds many refinements, enhancements and new features.  


Browsers must be individually configured to use Privoxy as a HTTP proxy. The default setting is for localhost, on port 8118 (configurable in the main config file). To set the HTTP proxy in Netscape and Mozilla, go through: Edit; Preferences; Advanced; Proxies; Manual Proxy Configuration; View.

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.

For other browsers, check the documentation.  


Privoxy can be configured with the various configuration files. The default configuration files are: config, default.action, and default.filter. These are well commented. On Unix and Unix-like systems, these are located in /etc/privoxy/ by default. On Windows, OS/2 and AmigaOS, these files are in the same directory as the Privoxy executable.

The name and number of configuration files has changed from previous versions, and is subject to change as development progresses. In fact, the configuration itself is changed and much more sophisticated. See the user-manual for a brief explanation of all configuration options.

The actions list (ad blocks, etc) can also be configured with your web browser at 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.  


A brief example of what a default.action configuration might look like:

 # Define a few useful custom aliases for later use

 # Don't accept cookies
 +no-cookies = +no-cookies-set +no-cookies-read

 # Do accept cookies
 -no-cookies = -no-cookies-set -no-cookies-read

 # Treat these blocked URLs as images.
 +imageblock = +block +image

 # Define page filters we want to use.
 myfilters = +filter{html-annoyances} +filter{js-annoyances}\
             +filter{no-popups} +filter{webbugs}

 ## Default Policies (actions) ############################
 { \
  -block \
  -downgrade \
  +fast-redirects \
  myfilters \
  +no-compression \
  +hide-forwarded \
  +hide-from{block} \
  +hide-referer{forge} \
  -hide-user-agent \
  -image \
  +image-blocker{blank} \
  +no-cookies-keep \
  -no-cookies-read \
  -no-cookies-set \
  +no-popups \
  -vanilla-wafer \
  -wafer \

 # Now set exceptions to the above defined policies #######

 # Sites where we want persistant cookies
 {-no-cookies -no-cookies-keep}

 # This site requires cookies AND 'fast-redirects' on
 {-no-cookies -no-cookies-keep -fast-redirects}

 # Add custom headers, and turn off filtering of page source
 {+add-header{X-Privacy: Yes please} #-add-header{*} \
  +add-header{X-User-Tracking: No thanks!} -filter}

 # Block, and treat these URLs as 'images'.

 # Block any URLs that match these patterns

See the comments in the configuration files themselves, or the user-manual for explanations of the above syntax, and other Privoxy configuration options.  



Various other files should be included, but may vary depending on platform and build configuration. More documentation should be included in the local documentation directory, though is not complete at this time.  


Privoxy terminates on the SIGINT, SIGTERM and SIGABRT 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.  


This is a beta version of Privoxy. Not all features are well tested.

Please see the user-manual on how to contact the developers for feature requests, reporting problems, and other questions.  


Other references and sites of interest to Privoxy users:, The Privoxy Home page., the Project Page for Privoxy on Sourceforge.

http://p.p/, access Privoxy from your browser. Alternately, may work in some situations where the first does not.  


 Stefan Waldherr
 Andreas Oesterhelt
 Jon Foster
 Markus Breitenbach
 Thomas Steudten
 David Schmidt (OS/2, Mac OSX ports)
 Gabriel L. Somlo
 Hal Burgiss (docs)
 Haroon Rafique
 John Venvertloh
 Joerg Strohmayer
 Rodney Stromlund
 Rodrigo Barbosa (RPM specfiles)
 Sarantis Paskalis
 Shamim Mohamed
 Gábor Lipták
 Alexander Lazic


Privoxy 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, which is available from the Free Software Foundation, Inc, 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.




This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 15:13:15 GMT, April 08, 2002