[tor-dev] introduce some customization on the tbb

Richard Pospesel richard at torproject.org
Wed Nov 13 18:03:07 UTC 2019

Hey Sarpedon,

The tor-browser-build project (
https://gitweb.torproject.org/builders/tor-browser-build.git/ ) can be
used to build tor-browser for all the various environments, and you can
updated the /projects/firefox/config file to point to your own git repo
and commit for development. Unfortunately this is not particularly fast,
but it's really the only way to go if you need builds for platforms
other than Linux.

Alternatively, you can just build tor-browser (
https://gitweb.torproject.org/tor-browser.git/ ), and copy the relevant
bits over an existing tor-browser install. This is the workflow I use
during development on Linux and is generally pretty straight forward to
use once you have scripts setup to do the deploying.

It's theoretically possible to get this sort of incremental build setup
working for other platforms (ie building windows bins in a linux dev
environment), but it's a pain and would require delving into the
tor-browser-build firefox build and config scripts. I've done it before
for our older windows build target (before we switched to clang and
friends) and can give you some tips on how to do that if necessary.

The Tor Browser Hacking Guide should be a good resource as well, though
it is a living document so might be out of date:


If you're interested in updating/improving/adding to the
about:preferences#tor pane, than you can start by looking at this commit
which added the page:


In general, the relevant things there are in:


What sort of improvements are you looking to add? If you're interested
in submitting a patch, you should open a ticket that tracks whatever
feature you're looking to add. There we can give you early code and
design/UX feedback to improve the odds of us accepting your patch :)


On 11/9/19 4:04 PM, sarpedon montecarlo wrote:
> Hello to the community!
> my first question is that is there a solution for rapid development of
> tbb? i was wondering that each time a contributor wants to change
> something in the tbb or add extra functionality, they have to go through
> the build process which i just guess would be very time consuming. i was
> wondering that is there any containerized environment for this? any
> docker ecosystem available or other solutions that might help?
> my second question is about the changes that i want to implement. i am
> interested into the graphical settings page about bridges and tor
> process that currently tbb is exposing to the end users. if we want to
> add more functionality into this settings page, where should we start to
> change? and is there any possibility that we may have some control over
> the underlying tor process as well, for instance controlling it's
> launching or it's torrc configuration; because as i see, there must be a
> link between the graphical interface of tbb and the underlying tor
> process so that is the way we can control bridges for instance. similar
> to this i was planning to add more graphical options to the interface
> for controlling other configuration aspects of the tor process through
> it's torrc or other workarounds.
> in the past i have achieved this by writing a browser extension that
> benefits from native messaging for communication to the tor process; but
> this is not really performance friendly and an intuitive experience for
> the end users.i am not satisfied with the result. so i was interested on
> mirroring these functionalities inside tbb.
> i really appreciate your insights and thoughts on the matter,
> have a great day,
> Sarpedon.
> _______________________________________________
> tor-dev mailing list
> tor-dev at lists.torproject.org
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-dev

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