Opened 6 years ago

Last modified 3 years ago

#14121 new enhancement

make TBB usable as "system Tor"

Reported by: proper Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: proper, linostar, T(A)ILS, developers, tor+trac@… Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:



We would like to use TBB as "system Tor".



  • Most, latest technology for censorship circumvention, i.e. pluggable transports such as meek, scamblesuite, fte, etc. will not be packaged for Debian anytime soon.
  • Pluggable transports are due to their nature too dynamically evolving. There is a giant gap between availability of a pluggable transports and installability from stable distributions such as Debian.
  • Vidalia has been deprecated. There is no nicely looking, maintained way to easily configure Tor and bridges anymore besides the tor-launcher add-on.
  • TBB comes with the tor-launcher add-on, which is a well maintained GUI for configuration and troubleshooting of Tor and all sorts of the latest and greatest pluggable transports.
  • TBB comes with recent versions of Tor.
  • TBB is built reproducibly.

Current Problem

At the moment, TBB is an integrated browser package. It does not integrate well for use with other applications, with the general system. Because,

  • once you close the browser window, no other application can connect.
  • it's not possible to just configure and start Tor without opening the browser window
  • once Tor is configured, you cannot start Tor without running X server

It's still an open task how to "Make TIMB and TBB/PTTBB cooperate in a smarter way.":

Maybe we can think of something to solve both at once.


This is one solution that might work. Not necessarily the ultimate one. A rough plan.

A combination of new start scripts + environment variables obeyed by tor-launcher.

  • keep ~/tor-browser_en-US/start-tor-browser as is
  • add other launcher scripts to the Browser (or so) sub directory to keep your main directory simple
  • add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/start-tor-only
  • add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/stop-tor-only
  • add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/configure-and-start-tor
  • add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/configure-tor-only (if that is possible)
  • add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/start-browser-only (connect to previously started Tor)

That should suffice making TBB usable as "system Tor".

What do you think?


What do you think about this proposal in general?

Linostar and I have some other solutions involving xul launcher in mind. Maybe you have some other possible solution in mind?

Depending on how much, complex, difficult this task is, linostar might provide a patch to add this feature.

Child Tickets

Change History (2)

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by StrangeCharm

Cc: tor+trac@… added

comment:2 Changed 3 years ago by teor

Severity: Normal

Set all open tickets without a severity to "Normal"

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