Opened 5 years ago

Closed 5 years ago

#13472 closed defect (not a bug)

Tor Browser 4.0 not able to talk with tor

Reported by: Sherief Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Keywords: tbb-helpdesk-frequent, TorBrowserTeam201410
Cc: mcs, brade, gk, mikeperry, lunar, phoul Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

Support is getting a wave of emails about Tor Browser connecting successfully but ends up with the "Something Went Wrong! Tor is not working in this browser." message.

Child Tickets

Attachments (2)

tb4-abouttor.png (146.0 KB) - added by Sherief 5 years ago.
TorButtonLog1.txt (10.8 KB) - added by Sherief 5 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (17)

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

I will post more details when users get back to me.

comment:2 in reply to:  1 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Replying to Sherief:

I will post more details when users get back to me.

This is mostly happening on Windows. I asked several users to allow firefox.exe and tor.exe though their antivirus/firewall/antispyware but they are getting the same error. Now I am not sure if Tor itself crashes or not but hopefully this user I asked will answer this question.

comment:3 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

One user said that check.torproject.org reports that he's actually using Tor but about:tor doesn't agree. Will ask more users to use check.torproject.org to confirm.

comment:4 in reply to:  3 ; Changed 5 years ago by mcs

Replying to Sherief:

One user said that check.torproject.org reports that he's actually using Tor but about:tor doesn't agree. Will ask more users to use check.torproject.org to confirm.

If the above info is accurate, then the behavior sounds a lot like #13138 (but that bug occurred 100% of the time, so this cannot be the same bug). My best guess is some kind of AV software interference since it is only affecting some people. You could try having them set extensions.torbutton.local_tor_check = false (via about:config) which will force use of a remote check.

comment:5 in reply to:  4 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Replying to mcs:

Replying to Sherief:

One user said that check.torproject.org reports that he's actually using Tor but about:tor doesn't agree. Will ask more users to use check.torproject.org to confirm.

If the above info is accurate, then the behavior sounds a lot like #13138 (but that bug occurred 100% of the time, so this cannot be the same bug). My best guess is some kind of AV software interference since it is only affecting some people. You could try having them set extensions.torbutton.local_tor_check = false (via about:config) which will force use of a remote check.

One user did set extensions.torbutton.local_tor_check to false and nothing changed for him in about:tor. I will tell more users to do the same and comment again once they get back to me.

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by mikeperry

Keywords: TorBrowserTeam201410 added

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by mcs

Status: newneeds_information

Kathy Brade and I looked at the Torbutton code related to about:tor and the local Tor check. Here are some things that would help us debug this problem:

  1. Find out if https://check.torproject.org/ reports success even when about:tor does not.
  1. When about:tor displays failure, ask the user to tell us what text is displayed in the top-right corner of that page (it should show "Tor Browser 4.0").
  1. When about:tor displays failure, does the Torbutton toolbar (onion) icon have a red X?
  1. When about:tor displays failure, have the user open the Browser Console (open hamburger menu | Developer | Browser Console or Cmd+Shift+J) and tell us what messages are present.
  1. When about:tor displays failure, have the user go through a UI customization "cycle" (without changing anything). This should trigger a "refresh" of the Tor status on the about:tor page. To do this, open the hamburger menu, click "Customize", and then click "Exit Customize" while the about:tor page is open.
  1. Ask the user to increase the Torbutton log level and send us the messages that appear on the Browser Console after Tor Browser starts up and shows a failure on the about:tor page. I am particularly interested in any lines that include "Tor socks listener:" (these are logged by the local Tor check code inside Torbutton). To increase the log level, open about:config, set the value of extensions.torbutton.loglevel to 0, and then restart the browser.

comment:8 in reply to:  7 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

I've sent a simpler version of your instructions to around 10 users. Here are the result of the first one:

Replying to mcs:

Kathy Brade and I looked at the Torbutton code related to about:tor and the local Tor check. Here are some things that would help us debug this problem:

  1. Find out if https://check.torproject.org/ reports success even when about:tor does not.

Pretty sure the above is true (according to 5 users).

  1. When about:tor displays failure, ask the user to tell us what text is displayed in the top-right corner of that page (it should show "Tor Browser 4.0").

See attached.

  1. When about:tor displays failure, does the Torbutton toolbar (onion) icon have a red X?

See attached.

  1. When about:tor displays failure, have the user open the Browser Console (open hamburger menu | Developer | Browser Console or Cmd+Shift+J) and tell us what messages are present.

User never did this.

  1. When about:tor displays failure, have the user go through a UI customization "cycle" (without changing anything). This should trigger a "refresh" of the Tor status on the about:tor page. To do this, open the hamburger menu, click "Customize", and then click "Exit Customize" while the about:tor page is open.

Success. After exiting out the user got back a all green "congratulations! tor is working" page.

  1. Ask the user to increase the Torbutton log level and send us the messages that appear on the Browser Console after Tor Browser starts up and shows a failure on the about:tor page. I am particularly interested in any lines that include "Tor socks listener:" (these are logged by the local Tor check code inside Torbutton). To increase the log level, open about:config, set the value of extensions.torbutton.loglevel to 0, and then restart the browser.

More on this when more users answer.

Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Attachment: tb4-abouttor.png added

comment:9 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

More users confirm that refreshing the about:tor page using "Customize" fixes about:tor and leveling up the log doesn't produce anything more than the default log settings do.

comment:10 Changed 5 years ago by mcs

Thanks for getting all of this information for us (since we cannot reproduce the problem ourselves, info from end-users is all we have to go on).

It does not make sense that no additional logging was produced. When extensions.torbutton.loglevel = 4 (the default), about a dozen lines are logged during browser startup; with a setting of 0 about 100 lines are logged. Please have someone try that experiment again (set extensions.torbutton.loglevel to 0, restart the browser, and send us the complete contents of the Browser Console log).

Also, is it possible that some people are running an older version of Torbutton? (Kind of crazy, I know, but we did fix a similar problem to this bug in #13138.) Please have them check that Torbutton version 1.7.0.1 is installed (by checking about:addons).

comment:11 in reply to:  10 ; Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Replying to mcs:

Thanks for getting all of this information for us (since we cannot reproduce the problem ourselves, info from end-users is all we have to go on).

Happy to help and thanks for giving us steps to guide the users.

It does not make sense that no additional logging was produced. When extensions.torbutton.loglevel = 4 (the default), about a dozen lines are logged during browser startup; with a setting of 0 about 100 lines are logged. Please have someone try that experiment again (set extensions.torbutton.loglevel to 0, restart the browser, and send us the complete contents of the Browser Console log).

I think extensions.torbutton.loglevel itself is broken (not passing params to tor correctly). I tested it myself I all I get is log level 4 [notices] and [warn] (even in the terminal).

Also, is it possible that some people are running an older version of Torbutton? (Kind of crazy, I know, but we did fix a similar problem to this bug in #13138.) Please have them check that Torbutton version 1.7.0.1 is installed (by checking about:addons).

No. I am pretty sure they're running TB 4.0 unmodified installed in a different location than the default or I made sure they delete any older TB first.

Last edited 5 years ago by Sherief (previous) (diff)

comment:12 in reply to:  11 ; Changed 5 years ago by mcs

Replying to Sherief:

I think extensions.torbutton.loglevel itself is broken (not passing params to tor correctly). I tested it myself I all I get is log level 4 [notices] and [warn] (even in the terminal).

I am not looking for tor.exe log messages. The Torbutton messages I am looking for should be logged to the Browser Console (opened via Ctrl+Shift+J on Linux and Windows and Cmd+Shift+J on Mac OS). And if the Torbutton code is generating a JavaScript exception, I am hopeful that it will be logged to the Browser Console as well.

comment:13 in reply to:  12 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Replying to mcs:

Replying to Sherief:

I think extensions.torbutton.loglevel itself is broken (not passing params to tor correctly). I tested it myself I all I get is log level 4 [notices] and [warn] (even in the terminal).

I am not looking for tor.exe log messages. The Torbutton messages I am looking for should be logged to the Browser Console (opened via Ctrl+Shift+J on Linux and Windows and Cmd+Shift+J on Mac OS). And if the Torbutton code is generating a JavaScript exception, I am hopeful that it will be logged to the Browser Console as well.

Attached log. I hope it's helpful, I am trying to get more.

Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Attachment: TorButtonLog1.txt added

comment:14 Changed 5 years ago by mcs

See also the comment here:
http://tor.stackexchange.com/a/4352/4947
(the original question seems to exactly describe this ticket)

comment:15 Changed 5 years ago by Sherief

Resolution: not a bug
Status: needs_informationclosed

Turns out users were just overwriting their Tor Browser installation and doing a fresh install solves the problem. We really really should patch TB's installer to avoid this in the future.

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