Opened 10 months ago

Last modified 3 months ago

#23677 new defect

Tor should log what it thinks the time is sometime(s)

Reported by: pastly Owned by:
Priority: Medium Milestone: Tor: unspecified
Component: Core Tor/Tor Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: bootstrap, clock-skew, ux, s8-errors, 034-triage-20180328, 034-removed-20180328
Cc: catalyst, brade, mcs Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor: Sponsor8-can

Description (last modified by pastly)

Many issues come from incorrect time/date/timezone settings. And not all the time does Tor log about how it believes the user's clock is wrong by X hours and Y minutes.

For many linux/macos users we can ask them to tell us the output of date -u as a huge troubleshooting help. But not everyone is capable of that. A maybe shouldn't be expected to be.

Two ideas:

  1. Log what Tor thinks the UTC time, local time, and configured timezone are at startup once
  1. Log periodically (say, every HeartbeatPeriod) what Tor thinks [... all the above ...]

Bonus idea:

Can we put the timezone in the log line's timestamp? Would that be enough? Is that dangerous for users? Do we make promises about parse-ability that we'd be breaking?

Child Tickets

Change History (11)

comment:1 Changed 10 months ago by pastly

Description: modified (diff)

comment:2 Changed 10 months ago by catalyst

Cc: catalyst added
Keywords: bootstrap clock-skew ux added

comment:3 Changed 10 months ago by catalyst

The tor logging code already prepends a local timestamp when logging to a file, so if someone's disclosing their logs, they're already disclosing their local time if we're reading the log file in close to real time. If we start logging tor's idea of UTC time, we can infer the time zone from a single line in a past log file. I don't know if any users rely on a delay in making their log files available as a means of obscuring their time zone.

comment:4 Changed 9 months ago by nickm

Sponsor: Sponsor8-can

comment:5 Changed 6 months ago by nickm

Milestone: Tor: 0.3.3.x-finalTor: 0.3.4.x-final

comment:6 Changed 5 months ago by mcs

Cc: brade mcs added

comment:7 Changed 4 months ago by catalyst

Keywords: s8-errors added

comment:8 Changed 4 months ago by arma

Careful with this one when Tor is part of Tor Browser -- does Tor Browser start up thinking it's in UTC (for application level safety), and thus it tells Tor that it's in UTC too?

comment:9 Changed 4 months ago by nickm

Keywords: 034-triage-20180328 added

comment:10 Changed 4 months ago by nickm

Keywords: 034-removed-20180328 added

Per our triage process, these tickets are pending removal from 0.3.4.

comment:11 Changed 3 months ago by nickm

Milestone: Tor: 0.3.4.x-finalTor: unspecified

These tickets, tagged with 034-removed-*, are no longer in-scope for 0.3.4. We can reconsider any of them, if time permits.

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