Opened 5 years ago

Last modified 22 months ago

#14713 new task

Investigate Multiprofile/"Switchy" Support for Tor Browser

Reported by: mikeperry Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: gk, bastik.public@…, brade, mcs, isis Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description (last modified by isis)

On dev-privacy, Sid and Steve suggest that the best way forward to creating a Tor Mode for stock Firefox is the creation of a separate Firefox profile that contains all of the settings and addons we need. Then some form of UI like the Switchy addon could be used to launch new Firefox processes with this new profile. This seems like a good idea to me.

In fact, I'm curious how seamless Switchy is with Tor Browser right now, and if it is safe to use. Power users often request the ability to run multiple Tor Browsers at once, but this is not easy to support right now. I'm curious if Switchy may make things easier for them.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/switchy/?src=ss

Child Tickets

Change History (8)

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by gk

Cc: gk added

comment:2 Changed 5 years ago by bastik

Cc: bastik.public@… added

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

Replying to mikeperry:

On dev-privacy, Sid and Steve suggest that the best way forward to creating a Tor Mode for stock Firefox is the creation of a separate Firefox profile that contains all of the settings and addons we need. Then some from of UI like the Switchy addon could be used to launch new Firefox processes with this new profile. This seems like a good idea to me.

It is an interesting idea that may avoid a lot of messy issues with isolation of Tor Mode from regular Firefox mode. From the end-user perspective, it may be a complex and inconvenient solution though, e.g., users would need to maintain a second set of bookmarks unless we mirror them automatically.

comment:4 Changed 5 years ago by mcs

Cc: brade mcs added

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by isis

Cc: isis added

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by isis

Description: modified (diff)

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by cypherpunks

The -profilemanager or -P flag can be used to manage profiles. One profile is marked as the default (usually the first profile created, called default) and is loaded automatically when firefox starts. When the -P flag is passed to firefox, a prompt is displayed that shows all available profiles and asks the user to choose one to load.

From the prompt, you can delete, rename, or create new profiles. You can also disable loading the default profile automatically. This means that each time firefox is started (with or without the -P flag) the user is prompted to choose a profile to run.

This could be set up so that Tor Browser prompts the user to choose between a "Default" profile or a "Tor" profile.

You can also edit the profiles file by hand. On Windows it's located under \Tor Browser\Browser\TorBrowser\Data\Browser\profiles.ini, and the syntax looks like:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=default
IsRelative=1
Path=profile.default
Default=1

The -no-remote flag lets you launch multiple profiles at once, e.g. you could have the default profile and the tor profile loaded in separate firefox processes at the same time. You can't run the same profile twice, however.

Given this information, is a separate add-on needed? It seems like everything needed for this feature is already present in stock Firefox. Is there something I missed about Switchy?

comment:8 Changed 22 months ago by teor

Severity: Normal

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