[tbb-dev] TBB in Tails: Release timing in general

Georg Koppen gk at torproject.org
Thu Oct 23 09:08:45 UTC 2014


> Hi,
> For years Tails has shipped with an Iceweasel with the (relevant) Tor
> Browser patches applied. It has worked ok, but it's been high
> maintenance, and keeping the preferences synced with TBB was a bit of a
> chore, among other issues. Since Tails 1.2 we've migrated to installing
> the Tor Browser from the actual (32-bit Linux) TBB tarballs you
> distribute. We're very much interested in your comments on how we do
> this, so please have look at our design page: [1]
> [1] https://tails.boum.org/contribute/design/#index40h3

what does adding Adblock plus have for a benefit wrt to tracking
avoidance? To put it more precisely: In which cases are the defenses in
the current Tor Browser not adequate yet Adblock plus fixes this
situation (I could not find anything on the link you gave above about
it)? (might be a separate discussion, though)

> So, now we assume that the "Tag date" above also is the time when the
> tarballs are made available for download (and preferable announced on
> tor-qa@). Given that we want at least a +24 hours, this history doesn't
> look super promising for our (Tails') plans. I'm not sure the above
> assumption is very sound, though; for instance, the initial 4.0 tarballs
> (before the rebuild for POODLE but we're ignoring such exceptions) was
> announced on tor-qa@ on 2014-10-13 10:19:08 (UTC), which was 7 hours
> before the tbb-4.0-build1 tag.

Yes, this assumption may not hold in the current model we have, where we
build first to see whether we get matching builds and tag later. I am
not sure what would be a better model as not getting matching builds is
a blocker for us. Would it be possible for you to take the builds
announced on tor-qa instead of waiting for an official tag?

> However, do you think you can become such an upstream for Tails by
> trying to provide the time window detailed above? If you believe that
> window is too narrow, I suppose Tails could drop the "same-day release"
> goal and adopt a "day-after release" goal or possible even later. What
> do you think is possible? How can we help?

We aim at the "same-day release" as well which means something like
starting builds Thursday/Friday before Mozilla's release on Tuesday,
getting builds to tor-qa by Monday and (given there are no serious
issues popping up) releasing on Tuesday. Having them sent to tor-qa by
18:00:00 (UTC) should be doable.

> To get a more concrete understanding of what exactly I'm proposing,
> let's use the next Tails release, 1.2.1, as an example: It's aimed to be
> released at 2014-11-25 18:00:00 (UTC), the same day as Firefox 31.3.0esr
> will be officially released. We'd need the (final) TBB (32-bit Linux)
> tarballs based on that Firefox version at the latest 24 hours before
> that, i.e. 2014-11-24 18:00:00 (UTC). Does that seem reasonable? I'm
> actually genuinely interested in an answer to this specific question,
> since I'm writing the Tails 1.2.1 release schedule as we speak and may
> have to adjust it if this turns out difficult for you to "promise".

We can try. How hard would it be for you to promise the
day-after-release and while trying to get Tails released the same day,
though? Does this buy you anything?


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