[tor-dev] GSoC 2017 - Project "Crash Reporter for Tor Browser"

Tom Ritter tom at ritter.vg
Mon Mar 20 15:18:06 UTC 2017

Hi Nur-Magomed,

Great to have you interested in this!

So we would want to use the Crash Reporter that's built into Mozilla
Firefox (which is called Breakpad, and is adapted from Chromium).  At
a high level, I would break down the project into the following

1) Get the crash reporter built (at all) in our toolchain. We
currently disable it and I know there will be at least one or two
hurdles to overcome here as we've never tried to built this on
Linux-for-Windows.  If you wish you could focus on a single platform
for this at a time (e.g. Linux) so you can move onto the next step.

2) Audit the crash reporter data and see what it is that gets
reported, when, and how. We'd want to err on the side of caution about
what we report in a dump. So we'd need to enumerate each field that
gets reported, get some samples of the data, and review if we'd want
to include it or not. We'd also want to review what prefs govern crash
submissions, how crashes get stored (which I think is on-disk next to
Tor Browser), and when they get reported.

3) Change the way they get reported. We absolutely cannot have crashes
sitting around on disk next to Tor Browser for the next time the user
starts the browser - no matter how much data we strip out of them. So
we'll need to brainstorm how we might try submitting them immediately
upon crash instead of next startup.

4) Get a submission server running. Mozilla has a ton of tools to
analyze crashes (https://crash-stats.mozilla.org/home/product/Firefox
is one and https://github.com/mozilla/socorro is the general backend).
We should look at Socorro and probably adapt it for use by Tor rather
than building our own.

5) Circle back and get the crash reporter built reproducibly, and for
all platforms. I put this one last because it may be the case that
there are annoying time-sinks here, and I think by doing this last
you'll be able to make the most headway on things that will take the
most time - like enumerating, documenting, and evaluating the fields;
and fiddling with Socorro.

This is my take on it - Georg may have additional thoughts.


On 20 March 2017 at 09:01, teor <teor2345 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 19 Mar 2017, at 19:02, Nur-Magomed <nmagoru at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi!
>> I'm interesred with project "Crash Reporter for Tor Browser".
>> I'm working on that idea, but I need some specifications about how it should work, what kind of crash information we have to get and what technologies I can use on server side (for collect information).
>> ...
> Hi Nur-Magomed,
> I've cc'd the mentors for the Crash Reporter project on this email.
> Please be aware that we have a meeting this week and next week, so some
> of us are busy travelling and working together in person.
> T
> --
> Tim Wilson-Brown (teor)
> teor2345 at gmail dot com
> PGP C855 6CED 5D90 A0C5 29F6 4D43 450C BA7F 968F 094B
> ricochet:ekmygaiu4rzgsk6n
> xmpp: teor at torproject dot org
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

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