Opened 6 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

Last modified 6 years ago

#6156 closed project (fixed)

Rate limit hit of check.tpo on 'new identity' in Tor Browser

Reported by: phobos Owned by: mikeperry
Priority: High Milestone:
Component: TorBrowserButton Version:
Severity: Keywords: SponsorJ tbb-bounty
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description

Remove hit of check.tpo on 'new identity' in Tor Browser. Since this new feature went live a few weeks ago, the requests per second on check.tpo has doubled and shows no signs of abating. The server is increasingly busy. See https://munin.torproject.org/torproject.org/sergii.torproject.org/apache_accesses.html (use tor-guest username and anything for the password). The next time the server crashes, everyone will be sad, even more so than before.

Option two is to remove check.tpo completely and have it done via the browser.

Child Tickets

Attachments (1)

issue6156-patch.txt (2.1 KB) - added by mcs 6 years ago.
proposed fix (do not ping upon New Identity; limit frequency).

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (12)

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

Ooh. People do know how to use New Identity. This is great news!

Or maybe only just a few of them are trying really hard to dodge Startpage's noise... It seems to have been going on too long for that, though. So maybe I should just be happy that a lot of people actually *do* know how to use our software?

Either way, file this under one of the N rocks and M hardplaces our "stopgap" update feature has hit since it's inception 8 months ago :/.

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

Oh, and btw, one of the rocks I dodged with this latest version is that no one will be sad if check falls over. Firefox will still launch, and try to load the update page of whenever check was last checkable, and simply fail that page load in that tab.

So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by phobos

Keywords: SponsorJ added
Type: defectproject

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

Keywords: tbb-bounty added

The plan for this is to turn the "You're out of date" message into some easy-to-authenticate XUL element. I'm not sure a popup is the best plan here, unless we can make it clear.

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

When we fix this, we should have a look at #6053 and see how much more work it would be to get the startpages feature working again as the default homepage.

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

Priority: normalmajor

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by mcs

Some investigation revealed that the update check is being done twice for each new window as well upon "New Identity." I will post a patch that does two things:

1) Suppresses the check when a new window is opened as part of New Identity.
2) Tracks last check time in a preference so we can reduce the ping frequency.

What is a good minimum check interval? 1 hour? 2 hours? My patch uses 15 minutes as a placeholder.

Changed 6 years ago by mcs

Attachment: issue6156-patch.txt added

proposed fix (do not ping upon New Identity; limit frequency).

comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by mcs

Status: newneeds_review

comment:9 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

Summary: Remove hit of check.tpo on 'new identity' in Tor BrowserRate limit hit of check.tpo on 'new identity' in Tor Browser

comment:10 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

Resolution: fixed
Status: needs_reviewclosed

This looks good, but the important bit here was the version check and the homepage load, not the removal of the new identity version check. I've removed the "New Identity" bits of the patch, and merged the rest. I've left the limit at 15 minutes. It is a static file after all..

The actual check.torproject.org *homepage* is probably the big issue in terms of load, but let's save that for a new ticket where we replace the update notification with some kind of browser UI, and maybe an additional ticket where we replace the browser homepage with a local version. I will make a new tickets for the update notification which will combine #4238 and #6096, and a fresh ticket for making a static, local homepage with our choice of search engine (at long last).

Calling this fixed because I think this ticket was rather unclear in the first place, and the patch does rate limit the version check, which is useful in and of itself.

comment:11 Changed 6 years ago by mikeperry

For the record, I filed #7494 for replacing check with a local homepage, and #7495 for update notifications.

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