[tor-talk] Tor Browser Bundle .deb packaging solution

Jérémy Bobbio lunar at debian.org
Wed Jan 30 08:26:22 UTC 2013

Micah Lee:
> Right now no one owns the bug in trac, so I don't think anyone is
> thinking about it: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/5236
> I have limited time and I'm not sure I want the responsibility of being
> the TBB deb package maintainer, although it shouldn't be much work since
> all the real work happens in the TBB tarball. I'm more than happy to
> help develop it.
> Do any devs want to own this ticket and then I can help implement it? Or
> are there issues with this approach of packaging TBB that I'm not seeing?

There are some issues. What you are proposing might help some users, but
it's a hack, and I don't think it should be advertised as proper

> >> When a user runs the launcher script, it checks if
> >> ~/.torbrowser/$VERSION exists. If it doesn't, it extracts the TBB
> >> tarball to there. Then it runs ~/.torbrowser/$VERSION/start-tor-browser.

How do you handle home directories that are shared between multiple
systems with different architectures?

How do you handle home directories that are mounted noexec?

> >> Releasing updated versions is simple. The update would include a new TBB
> >> tarball and the launcher script would include a new version, so the next
> >> time a user runs Tor Browser it will extract the new version in their
> >> ~/.torbrowser dir.

If I understand correctly, old versions are not cleaned up. Not the
nicest in the long run.

Also, this approach does not help users to keep their bookmarks or
certficate database from one version to another. It means that a package
upgrade will result in unexpected loss of bookmarks. Even if it's only
from sight and the data are still there, I think it would result in a
pretty bad user experience.

I did not comment on this earlier because I simply still have nothing
better to show, even if I have some clues on how to get there. Actually,
Jamie Nguyen paved the way for Fedora [1]. The Debian path should not be
much different.

[1] https://gitorious.org/build-tor-browser/build-tor-browser

Jérémy Bobbio                        .''`. 
lunar at debian.org                    : :Ⓐ  :  # apt-get install anarchism
                                    `. `'` 
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