make TBB usable as "system Tor"
We would like to use TBB as "system Tor".
- Most, latest technology for censorship circumvention, i.e. pluggable transports such as meek, scamblesuite, fte, etc. will not be packaged for Debian anytime soon.
- Pluggable transports are due to their nature too dynamically evolving. There is a giant gap between availability of a pluggable transports and installability from stable distributions such as Debian.
- Vidalia has been deprecated. There is no nicely looking, maintained way to easily configure Tor and bridges anymore besides the tor-launcher add-on.
- TBB comes with the tor-launcher add-on, which is a well maintained GUI for configuration and troubleshooting of Tor and all sorts of the latest and greatest pluggable transports.
- TBB comes with recent versions of Tor.
- TBB is built reproducibly.
At the moment, TBB is an integrated browser package. It does not integrate well for use with other applications, with the general system. Because,
- once you close the browser window, no other application can connect.
- it's not possible to just configure and start Tor without opening the browser window
- once Tor is configured, you cannot start Tor without running X server
It's still an open task how to "Make TIMB and TBB/PTTBB cooperate in a smarter way.": https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/10950
Maybe we can think of something to solve both at once.
This is one solution that might work. Not necessarily the ultimate one. A rough plan.
A combination of new start scripts + environment variables obeyed by tor-launcher.
- keep ~/tor-browser_en-US/start-tor-browser as is
- add other launcher scripts to the Browser (or so) sub directory to keep your main directory simple
- add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/start-tor-only
- add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/stop-tor-only
- add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/configure-and-start-tor
- add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/configure-tor-only (if that is possible)
- add ~/tor-browser_en-US/Browser/start-browser-only (connect to previously started Tor)
That should suffice making TBB usable as "system Tor".
What do you think?
What do you think about this proposal in general?
Linostar and I have some other solutions involving xul launcher in mind. Maybe you have some other possible solution in mind?
Depending on how much, complex, difficult this task is, linostar might provide a patch to add this feature.