[tbb-bugs] #20890 [Applications/Tor Browser]: Could not connect to Tor control port

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki blackhole at torproject.org
Tue Jun 20 01:46:15 UTC 2017

#20890: Could not connect to Tor control port
 Reporter:  torrc591                  |          Owner:  tbb-team
     Type:  defect                    |         Status:  new
 Priority:  Very High                 |      Milestone:
Component:  Applications/Tor Browser  |        Version:
 Severity:  Critical                  |     Resolution:
 Keywords:                            |  Actual Points:
Parent ID:                            |         Points:
 Reviewer:                            |        Sponsor:

Comment (by TimeForGoToBed):

 I am having the same issue (or a closely related one).  I see there are a
 number of tickets about this bug, but none of them provided any help for
 my situation.  I am running Tor Browser 7.0.1 on Windows 7 Starter (which
 is 32-bit).  I tried downgrading to 6.0.5, but that didn't help.
 Everything works fine on my Windows 7 64-bit system.

 On Windows 7 Starter system, Tor always works after a fresh install, but
 never works again after the first run.  Rebooting does not help, in my
 case, only reinstalling (or copying from an install directory saved before
 the first run).  This 32-bit system is a relatively slow netbook from a
 few years ago, so it may be the hardcoded 30-second timeout that's causing
 it to get the Tor Launcher "Could not connect to Tor Control port." popup.
 It takes over 30 seconds on this system between launching the executable
 and the Tor Status window even appearing (and the progress bar never makes
 any progress before it fails).  That timeout value should really be
 controllable via an extensions.torbutton.* preference and/or an
 environment variable.  As with the OP, disabling Windows firewall and
 antivirus doesn't help.  Also, hitting "Open Settings" after the failure
 results in a Tor Network Settings window that just displays a permanent
 "Waiting for Tor to start..." message.  After a fresh install, that
 message only appears for a few seconds, and then after pressing "Connect",
 the connecting progress bar starts making progress pretty much

 Oddly, if I do a 'telnet localhost 9151' before (or after) the "Could not
 connect to Tor Control port." popup appears, I am able to successfully
 connect to the port (though I didn't try anything beyond connecting).  I
 tried using the extensions.torlauncher.prompt_at_startup preference and
 the TOR_FORCE_NET_CONFIG=1 environment variable to get it to start with
 the Tor Network Settings dialog after the first run, in the hopes that the
 explicit wait for Tor to start would work around the 30-second timeout,
 but strangely, in that situation, too, I just get a permanent "Waiting for
 Tor to start..." message.  I have confirmed that tor.exe and firefox.exe
 are getting properly shut down between runs.  Also, as with the OP, when I
 start firefox with -console -jsconsole, I get no console output.  There
 are a couple of add-ons I need to use with Tor Browser (they do not change
 my browser signature, and I believe their authors to be trustworthy), but
 since they require restarting to use, I can never use them, since I need
 to start with a fresh install every time.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/20890#comment:2>
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