Subject: Re: Tor Bundle vs. Vidalia Bundle
What is the difference between a Vidalia Bundle and a Tor Bundle, other than what I perceive as the obvious?
One without the other? I thought they had to work together.
What they "have" to do depends on what you're trying to do. The Tor program by itself does the legwork of building circuits and passing data to/from the network. It has no GUI and acts based on settings in the torrc text file. Tor is available on its own in the "Expert Packages" section of the download page, as the only people using Tor on its own are likely bridge, relay, and exit operators who know what they're doing. It's not a "bundle" per se.
Vidalia is GUI program that interacts with Tor and makes its settings easier to handle, along with other nifty features such as viewing the network, logs, etc. The "Vidalia Bundle" on the download page is designed to be installed on a computer you'll be using Tor on regularly. That is, it isn't "portable", can't easily be carried with you on a USB key or CD, and doesn't come with an internet browser. The bundle includes Polipo, which makes funneling HTTP and SOCKS proxies into Tor easier and safer.
The "Tor Browser Bundle" (the bundle I assume you're talking about in your post) is the same set of programs, together with a locked-down version of Firefox, that it designed to be completely portable. You don't have to install it, so it's easy to carry with you on a USB key or CD. Tor, Vidalia, Polipo, and the customized Firefox are all seamlessly started with a single button in this package.
All of this information is available on the download pages and in the documentation, I'd recommend reading through them.
Your explanation was very clear, and for someone like me, I need that. Perhaps you could write "directions" for others to use, as most I've read seem to be written only for the one writing them rather than thinking and writing for the one reading them!
I do appreciate it and I will continue to read the documentation as per your suggestion. Sure would like to help a lot more people to use Tor.