Opened 11 months ago

Last modified 10 months ago

#21165 new defect

Uninstall not working

Reported by: thwaller Owned by: sukhbir
Priority: Very High Milestone:
Component: Applications/TorBirdy Version:
Severity: Major Keywords:
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

I have tried to disable and uninstall the TorBirdy addon for Thunderbird and it leaves Thunderbird in a total mess. The proxy settings were not restored and the addons are all showing as disabled and the addons view is completely different. Emails are not showing in HTML, etc. By clearing the Proxy settings, I can now at least get emails, but there is still stuff that is not right. I am hesitating to make too many changes as I do not to mess up any chances that the changes this addon has made can be properly undone.

I installed from the Mozilla addons site.

Child Tickets

Change History (12)

comment:1 Changed 11 months ago by thwaller

I would also like to add that my Preferences window is less than functional. A few tabs do not show at all and some of the tabs appear with no content within, making settings reversal extremely hard.

Thunderbird: 51.0b1 (64-bit)

In config, I can see a lot of extensions.torbirdy entries as well. I have changed the setting to view in HTML rather than plain text, but even in HTML there are missing elements. Aside from the two settings I have mentioned, the HTML viewing and Proxy, I will not make any other changes so I can easily put them back to what this extension did.

Further update: Gmail accounts are not working, all fail to connect. As prior mentioned, this is still happening with proxy settings changed to "No Proxy".

Last edited 11 months ago by thwaller (previous) (diff)

comment:2 Changed 11 months ago by cypherpunks

Component: - Select a componentApplications/TorBirdy
Owner: set to sukhbir

comment:3 in reply to:  description ; Changed 11 months ago by tam24

I have had the same problem and have not been able to restore access to my emails. I tried clearing all proxy options in advanced config and setting it to transparent in the advanced prefs. Seems to have messed up my profile un reparably...anyone have any ideas?

re installing the plugin hasnt solved it, im using ubuntu

Replying to thwaller:

I have tried to disable and uninstall the TorBirdy addon for Thunderbird and it leaves Thunderbird in a total mess. The proxy settings were not restored and the addons are all showing as disabled and the addons view is completely different. Emails are not showing in HTML, etc. By clearing the Proxy settings, I can now at least get emails, but there is still stuff that is not right. I am hesitating to make too many changes as I do not to mess up any chances that the changes this addon has made can be properly undone.

I installed from the Mozilla addons site.

Last edited 11 months ago by tam24 (previous) (diff)

comment:4 in reply to:  3 Changed 11 months ago by thwaller

Given no response here, I decided to try and solve myself, and for the most part, it works. First, I referenced here for the changes this made to Thunderbird:
https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/torbirdy/changes
I then referenced here to see the original values and what they mean:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Mail_and_news_settings

With that information, using the 'config editor', I was able to get Thunderbird back to working condition, but I still notice a few anomalies. To fix Gmail, make sure the authorization for password is set to Oauth2 and that resolved the issue. I did not set Google to allow the less secured connections.

Hope that works for you to help resolve the problems created by this.

Only upsetting part of this is that it is advertised to have a complete removal leaving no trace. This could not be farther from the truth. So by listening to that claim and trying it, I created a problem that was left unresponded to in support. Realizing this is free and I am not paying anyone, it just leaves me untrusting to Tor product claims - still use Tor browser but no longer trust any claims or directions and treat all as no guarantee to work and risk of corruption after installation.

Replying to tam24:

I have had the same problem and have not been able to restore access to my emails. I tried clearing all proxy options in advanced config and setting it to transparent in the advanced prefs. Seems to have messed up my profile un reparably...anyone have any ideas?

re installing the plugin hasnt solved it, im using ubuntu

comment:5 Changed 11 months ago by sukhbir

I am sorry you had these problems. I tried reproducing them just in case TorBirdy was not compatible with Thunderbird 51 (should not be the case, but still) but could not.

Here is what I did: installed Thunderbird 51 Beta, installed TorBirdy from Mozilla Add-ons. Removed TorBirdy and checked the settings, and the proxy settings were restored and I couldn't find any "extensions.torbirdy.*" in the config editor.

Quick questions: did you restart Thunderbird after removing/disabling TorBirdy (Thunderbird asks you to do that).

Other issues:

  • Missing elements: we prevent third-party images from loading.

comment:6 Changed 11 months ago by thwaller

It is ok, as I mentioned, this is a free service.

My experience was completely different than yours. I did restart, both after adding and removing. Thunderbird prompts for this as well. Restart required to complete the operation.

The other issues I mentioned were all experienced after it was removed. I am aware that those policies are in place while enabled, but those were all issues after removal. What I was expecting was a removal process that left basically no trace of it being installed. I ended up with a mess, I changed many settings back in the UI, as well as needing to go through the Config changes to manually change back for those not found in the UI.

To be very honest, I never did get to see how TorBirdy worked while installed. As soon as I restarted after adding it, Thunderbird was a mess. I decided to remove it and try again when I had more time to play with settings as I needed a working client. After the uninstall, it was still a mess, as described.

comment:7 Changed 11 months ago by thwaller

I would like to add.... I was able to use a lot of the work put into this extension even without it installed. By manually undoing the changes, I was able to see what was done and keep some of the changes in place. I wanted to share this as I find a lot of benefit in the work done here. Although the install was a mess, having to go through the process helped me not only understand but see what the settings actually do and change.

So on a positive note, thank you for all of the work put into this. I can say that at a worst case, this helped me understand the security issues of Thunderbird and what, if anything, can be done to help solve those issues. So if that is a worst case, I have no complaints.

comment:8 Changed 11 months ago by thwaller

Since installing and removing this - all as discussed above, I am having an issue I cannot resolve. The setting "mailnews.display.date_senders_timezone" keeps changing itself to "true". If I manually set it to "false", it just changes itself back to true. I am assuming this could be something not removed from this plugin as this type of behavior is a part of this extension. Could you provide any information on this anomaly?

comment:9 Changed 11 months ago by sukhbir

What I was expecting was a removal process that left basically no trace of it being installed. I ended up with a mess, I changed many settings back in the UI, as well as needing to go through the Config changes to manually change back for those not found in the UI.

Which should not happen because it does remove all traces. So what I am curious about is to see if we can reproduce this. Question: did you manually change any preference before doing the uninstall?

The setting "mailnews.display.date_senders_timezone" keeps changing itself to "true". If I manually set it to "false", it just changes itself back to true.

Does it change back after restart? Again, this is a TorBirdy preference (the original preference is mailnews.display.original_date) that is covered in the wiki in the "Before using TorBirdy" section. This is a preference that TorBirdy changes and so you can't override it with your own setting. The only way to fix this (for now, we will have a way to allow preference overriding in future releases) is to compile TorBirdy with this preference removed, which I agree is not ideal but the reason behind this design is also covered in the "Before Using TorBirdy" section.

comment:10 in reply to:  3 Changed 11 months ago by sukhbir

Replying to tam24:

I have had the same problem and have not been able to restore access to my emails. I tried clearing all proxy options in advanced config and setting it to transparent in the advanced prefs. Seems to have messed up my profile un reparably...anyone have any ideas?

re installing the plugin hasnt solved it, im using ubuntu

Replying to thwaller:

I have tried to disable and uninstall the TorBirdy addon for Thunderbird and it leaves Thunderbird in a total mess. The proxy settings were not restored and the addons are all showing as disabled and the addons view is completely different. Emails are not showing in HTML, etc. By clearing the Proxy settings, I can now at least get emails, but there is still stuff that is not right. I am hesitating to make too many changes as I do not to mess up any chances that the changes this addon has made can be properly undone.

I installed from the Mozilla addons site.

Can you clarify what "have not been able to restore access to my emails" means here? (TorBirdy does not modify the mailboxes). Or was this issue related to your Thunderbird profile?

comment:11 in reply to:  9 Changed 11 months ago by thwaller

Replying to sukhbir:

Which should not happen because it does remove all traces. So what I am curious about is to see if we can reproduce this. Question: did you manually change any preference before doing the uninstall?

No. I disabled, then uninstalled right after the initial first boot into Thunderbird.

Does it change back after restart?

Yes, I have tried a few times and ways, including manually editing the config file while Thunderbird is closed and then opening. The first email I view shows as it is false, but the second email on is reverted back to true. I understand the "Before using" part, but I uninstalled TorBirdy, so none of this should even apply to me at this point, but I am left with a lot of residuals in Thunderbird. In the config file, there are approx 20-30 torbirdy parts sill remaining, and all are supposed to be removed after the uninstall. I am sure it is those parts that are partially causing some of my difficulties.

Is there a way to manually get rid of that content without messing things up worse? As in manually edit the add-on out as there is nothing left shown to uninstall from the UI? My Thunderbird is open all day most every day, and is restarted 2-3 times per day, so it gets its fair share of restarts in there, as well as OS. The current state of issues has been unchanged for a few days now, cannot figure out how to get some settings I have found back to normal, they keep getting changed. The TorBirdy add-on is not there, not appearing in add-ons, no settings or options and is not in the extensions directory either. It looks to me that the uninstall did not complete with success.

Can you clarify what "have not been able to restore access to my emails" means here? (TorBirdy does not modify the mailboxes). Or was this issue related to your Thunderbird profile?

No need, resolved by manually changing settings. It had changed connections settings, which I had to change them all back to where they need to be, now all is ok. None of those settings were changed again after I manually reverted.

comment:12 Changed 10 months ago by sukhbir

I am not sure but it does seem like that manually editing the configuration could have caused problems, including the residual TorBirdy settings. (I just realized that we point this out in https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/torbirdy#Branches). And while I thought that Thunderbird 51 may have caused issues, I tried to reproduce it on two different installations but couldn't. Anyways...

One way to start clean would be to create a new profile but do realize that you have to set your accounts and preferences again. Starting Thunderbird with thunderbird -p brings up the profile creation dialog box. More information at https://support.mozilla.org/t5/Customize-controls-options-and/Using-Multiple-Profiles/ta-p/15125.

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