[tor-dev] Is anyone using tor-fw-helper? (Was Re: BOINC-based Tor wrapper)

Yawning Angel yawning at schwanenlied.me
Thu Jul 23 19:11:12 UTC 2015

On Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:26:33 +0000
Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at appelbaum.net> wrote:

> >> Also - does this mean that after many many years... that this new
> >> version of tor-fw-helper be enabled by default at build time?
> >> Pretty please? :-)
> >
> > Unlikely, AFAIK the general plan was to have it as a separate
> > package.
> >
> That is really a major bummer if so - we should be shipping this code
> and enabling it by default. If a user wants to run a relay, they
> should only have to express that intent with a single button.

The problem with this (and why we're not shipping it in Tor Browser,
even if it would make flashproxy actually usable/useful to a large
number of users) is because there is no one that is willing/able to deal
with every single instance of:

 * "My router crashed"
 * "My router crashed and I had to factory reset it"
 * "Why do I need to open a UDP port on my computer's firewall for
    uPnP/NAT-PMP to work, and how do I do that?"
 * "Random unrelated port mappings got blown away"
 * "My router's NAT TCP session table filled up"
 * "My ISP is complaining that I'm on some random asshole's blacklist
    because they include every single Tor Relay"
 * "Sites that used to work no longer work because some random
    asshole's blacklist includes every single Tor Relay"
 * etc, etc, etc, etc

And I certainly can't deal with "my router has a strange idea of what
the uPnP spec actually says, and it fails to port forward" (unless they
have/know how to use wireshark).

I'm as unhappy at the general situation surrounding the codebase as
anyone else, and if I thought deploying it would be a good idea, I'd be
strongly pushing for it, since I think the new code I wrote will work
for a lot of people.

But we have a gigantic userbase, and playing "consumer router support
technician" for all of the ones that ship with broken uPnP/NAT-PMP
implementations does not fill me with warm fuzzy feelings.


Yawning Angel
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