[tbb-bugs] #14393 [Tor Browser]: Users may be confused by relocated directories

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Sun Mar 6 21:49:16 UTC 2016

#14393: Users may be confused by relocated directories
 Reporter:  mikeperry      |          Owner:  tbb-team
     Type:  defect         |         Status:  new
 Priority:  Medium         |      Milestone:
Component:  Tor Browser    |        Version:
 Severity:  Normal         |     Resolution:
 Keywords:  tbb-usability  |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:                 |         Points:
  Sponsor:                 |
Changes (by txrvtn):

 * severity:   => Normal


 First, let's recap how these directories are defined.

 * The user's home directory is normally determined by the "HOME"
 environment variable.  However, older versions of GLib (which some users
 will still be using) used getpwnam or getpwuid instead.  (On top of that,
 Debian patched GLib to use the "G_HOME" environment variable in preference
 to either HOME or getpwuid.)

 * The XDG "user configuration" directory is determined by the
 "XDG_CONFIG_HOME" environment variable.  If that variable is not set,
 "$HOME/.config" is used.

 * The Desktop, Downloads, Templates, Public, Documents, Music, Pictures,
 and Videos directories are defined in the file "$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/user-
 dirs.dirs".  If this file doesn't exist, the corresponding subdirectory of
 the home directory is used by default.

 As a result:

 * The start-tor-browser script really ought to set XDG_CONFIG_HOME
 explicitly.  If this variable is set in the environment beforehand, or if
 the user is using an older version of GLib that doesn't honor HOME, they
 won't be using the TBB-specific config directory.

 * For similar reasons, the script should also set the XDG_CACHE_HOME,

 * It would be reasonably straightforward for the start-tor-browser script
 to generate an appropriate 'user-dirs.dirs' file so that Desktop,
 Downloads, etc., point to the correct locations defined by the user's
 desktop environment.

 What I personally find most annoying, though, is that typing "~" in the
 save dialog doesn't yield my home directory, but rather, the Browser
 directory.  So let me ask, is it really necessary to set HOME to begin
 with?  Are there any parts of the bundle that store files relative to
 HOME, rather than relative to XDG_CONFIG_HOME / XDG_DATA_HOME /

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/14393#comment:1>
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