TorBrowser on Mac OS requires write permission to application
The TorBrowser bundle will fail to launch if the current user does not have write permission to directories and files within the TorBrowser application bundle.
This means that:
- it is not possible to install TorBrowser securely in the system-wide Applications directory for use by multiple users.
- TorBrowser is leaving traces of use in an unconventional location.
In general, Mac OS X applications can't assume that they can write to their own bundles without first becoming root.
TorBrowser appears to write to Contents/Resources/Data/Tor Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/profile Library/Vidalia
There may be others -- this is where I found modified files after a simple session.
- Unzip TorBrowser-2.2.35-11-osx-x86_64-en-US.zip
- Drag the bundle to /Applications
- Launch and test.
- Switch to another user account.
- Attempt to launch. Observe permissions errors.
- find /Applications/TorBrowser_en-US.app -mtime -1d -ls
Normally these kinds of things would be in the user's home directory. Is there a good reason why they aren't? Note that the permissions problem more or less forces the user to place the whole bundle in their home anyway, so traces are still left there, though trashing the bundle is quite reliable.
Does TorBrowser want anything to persist between sessions? I would have guessed not. In which case, consider /tmp (with erase on exit) or a temporary RAM disk image using a method like http://osxdaily.com/2007/03/23/create-a-ram-disk-in-mac-os-x/. ("hdiutil attach -nobrowse" will prevent the image popping up in the Finder)
I was not able to find a ticket on this issue. I hope this is a useful report.