Opened 6 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#15389 closed enhancement (fixed)

Add option for skipping Tor Launcher during Tor Mail startup

Reported by: sukhbir Owned by: sukhbir
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Archived/Tor Mail Version:
Severity: Keywords:
Cc: boklm, mrphs Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


The default behaviour of the Tor Mail bundle is to first start Tor Launcher (which starts Tor) and then start Thunderbird. This is similar to the order of operation in the Tor Browser Bundle.

However, unlike TBB, users may want to start Thunderbird without launching Tor Launcher (and Tor), so that they can use it in offline mode to read/compose emails. Currently, this can be achieved by setting the environment variable TOR_SKIP_LAUNCH to 1, after which Tor Launcher will skip starting Tor and will just start Thunderbird.

We should find a better way of doing this so that users can start Thunderbird without Tor and without setting variables. Perhaps we can have a dialog that prompts the users? Or an option in Tor Launcher?

Child Tickets

Change History (7)

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by mrphs

So this is the case for when a user has Tor Browser and doesn't want another Tor instant to be running? (i.e. because they've change the configs or set bridges)

In this case, I think the TMB should be using its own instance and have an advanced option somewhere to use the Tor Browser instead. (which technically just changes the socks5 port to 9150 if I understand this correctly)

Or are you saying that if the TMB fails to launch tor for whatever reasons, Thunderbird wont open? Coz this is probably gonna create a lot of confusions.
Maybe a good compromise here, can be a box telling user that Tor has failed to connect and give them few options:

1- Check the network settings, make sure your computer is connected to the internet, your system clock is correct, etc. and press 'Retry'

2- Maybe your ISP is blocking your access to Tor network 'Enter Bridges'

3- I don't need to connect to the Internet at the moment. 'Offline mode'

Last edited 6 years ago by mrphs (previous) (diff)

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by mrphs

uh I just realized I started to type before reading your 3rd paragraph. Yes, interacting with user and giving them a choice is always a good option, imo.

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by boklm

An other option is to have a separate start script for offline mode (for instance 'start-tor-mail-offline') which sets TOR_SKIP_LAUNCH. However it requires the user to close and open again Tor Mail when they want to switch to online mode, which is maybe not convenient.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by sukhbir

mrphs: Yes, this is for the case when a user doesn't want to start Tor or Tor doesn't start (no network connectivity). I do like the idea of having an option for "offline mode", except that I want it to be more explicit and not something that a user has to skip steps to see. What do you think?

boklm: Yup, that seems like a good way to do it. I think opening and closing Tor Mail may be an issue, but it is most certainly not a blocker. Or perhaps, we can do this from the start-tor-mail script itself, adding a command-line switch (--offline)?

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by sukhbir

Building on what mrphs said, perhaps we can add a "Skip Tor Launcher" option to the dialog box Tor Launcher shows when it fails to start Tor due to no network connectivity. Combine this with the offline mode option boklm just described and I think we have two ways of skipping it, which should be enough.

Last edited 6 years ago by sukhbir (previous) (diff)

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by sukhbir

Owner: set to sukhbir
Status: newassigned

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by sukhbir

Resolution: fixed
Status: assignedclosed

We have added an offline option to the start-tor-mail script which will skip Tor Launcher and start Thunderbird.

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