[tor-project] New Tor Metrics graph: Tor Browser downloads and updates

Karsten Loesing karsten at torproject.org
Fri Jan 27 15:15:41 UTC 2017

Hi everyone,

we just put a new graph on Tor Metrics called "Tor Browser downloads and


This graph is the result of a joint effort of the metrics team (with a
lot of input on the underlying code from iwakeh) together with Sebastian
(who co-authored the original database schema and who operates the web
log sanitizer), gk and boklm (who analyze an earlier graph and provided
insights about Tor Browser internals), and others who discussed the
graph and earlier prototypes.

Please take a look at this graph, play a bit with the two inputs (start
and end date), and give us feedback by raising questions about the data
or giving answers to previously raised questions.

The goal would be to write a blog post about this graph together with an
early analysis.

Currently open questions are:

 - gk asks on the ticket
(https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/21236#comment:11): "The
results still confuse me (like: We have 100,000 new downloads each day
but that does not show up in the update pings which basically stay the
same? We still have more than 120,000 update requests every day, even
after almost 6 weeks after the last release?). But that is probably
another story. :)"

 - hellais asked at yesterday's Vegas meeting: "how many times does a
normal tor browser do an update ping every day?" which was answered by
mikeperry and gk with "twice" "and on every start".  This is probably
something we should clarify in the graph description.

 - yawning asks on the ticket
"Does it matter that the Linux sandbox behavior is totally different
from everyone else, because it uses a different implementation to
download, update check, and update? I suspect the user base isn't that
big right now, but I'd hate to throw stats off..."

Note that we're mostly hoping for feedback on the data, not on the
presentation.  We know that there's room for making the graph prettier
or for providing more inputs to customize it.  But we already spent way
more time on this graph than we had planned, so we'd save any feedback
on the presentation (except for typos or trivial tweaks) for later in
the year.


All the best,

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