[tor-bugs] #3792 [Tor bundles/installation]: TBB takes too long to start up

Tor Bug Tracker & Wiki torproject-admin at torproject.org
Mon Aug 22 21:25:47 UTC 2011

#3792: TBB takes too long to start up
 Reporter:  phobos                    |          Owner:  erinn
     Type:  enhancement               |         Status:  new  
 Priority:  normal                    |      Milestone:       
Component:  Tor bundles/installation  |        Version:       
 Keywords:                            |         Parent:       
   Points:                            |   Actualpoints:       
Changes (by mikeperry):

  * owner:  mikeperry => erinn
  * component:  Tor Browser => Tor bundles/installation


 To break this down, we've got five pieces of time consumption here, which
 are all accumulating serially:

 1. Vidalia launch time (minimal?)
 2. Tor network connection and descriptor download delay (40 seconds)
 3. Firefox launch delay (20 seconds?)
 4. circuit delay for check.tp.o (10-30 seconds)
 5. circuit delay for desired website (10-30 seconds)

 The easiest way to improve this situation is to get things to start
 happening in parallel.

 For #2, Tor should be creating test circuits using an existing stable or
 fallback consensus without the need to wait to download a very fresh one
 just to test network access. I thought there was some form of ticket for a
 long-term/fallback consensus, but I cannot find it.

 For #3, Firefox should be being launched (or perhaps at least being cached
 into RAM by accessing all the associated files) while Tor is bootstrapping
 on the network.

 For #4, Tor should be pre-creating a circuit suitable for check in all
 cases. I believe it already does this? In any case, we should perhaps also
 have the option to use the fallback consensus for actual circuits while
 Tor downloads a fresh consensus, or at least to be able to use it for

 All of the above should perhaps be separate child tickets. Also, doing
 this is going to require a lot of coordination and integration testing to
 get right. Especially if we don't want the failure case of a user being
 given a Firefox window that might not work.. but perhaps a broken browser
 window is not bad if Vidalia can inform them later that Tor doesn't seem
 to be working and why, once it figures that out.

 This will be a fairly large effort and will require a lot of coordination,
 but it is probably not impossible for us to drastically reduce the time to
 first page load.

Ticket URL: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/3792#comment:1>
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