Whonix Wiki Download Docs News Support Tips Issues Contribute DONATE

Tor Browser Downloader (AnonDist) suggestion - Hard Reset / --reset

Hi. When I need to hard reset Tor Browser identity I always download a new instance of Tor Browser using Tor Browser Downloader (AnonDist) package. But the problem is that I need to download Tor Browser tarball every time I need to restart Tor Browser identity. Unfortunately, Tor Browser Downloader (AnonDist) doesn’t have an ability to cache downloaded Tor Browser tarball and keep it locally on Workstation machine. I need to download Tor Browser every time from Tor Project servers.

Can you add an ability to cache downloaded Tor Browser tarball?

When I need to hard reset Tor Browser identity

Tor Browser is designed to be amnesiac and resistant to fingerprinting. Of course certain other properties (like swap on the host or non-Whonix guest) could violate the principle.

I also do not use the integrated bookmarks of Tor Browser over similar concerns

doesn’t have an ability to cache downloaded Tor Browser tarball and keep it locally on Workstation machine

Also think this is fine. As long as verification signatures are either retrieved or stored and verified against a pinned-key during installation to avoid tampering do not see any downsides other than the storage requirements for cached installation-files.

Thank you.

Well, then what’s the difference between pressing New Identity buttion on Tor Browser and completely reinstalling Tor Browser using Tor Browser Downloader (AnonDist) ? Any difference between these two actions?

Sometimes I need to change some about:config values for my personal reasons. If I just reset them to default values will this action return my fingerprint to default value or I need to completely reinstall Tor Browser every time I change about:config options?

In theory should be possible to implement this. Such as feature was implemented in git after this suggestion has been made.

It’s still untested.

Might be available later with updates and in the next stable point release for advanced users.

See Whonix Tor Browser advanced user documentation:
Tor Browser Hard Reset

Does not work yet.

Any progress? tb-updater was released but hard reset still does not work.

With next update hopefully fixed for real. Tested this time.

A little update. tb-updater version 3:23.7-1 --reset works as described. However tb_skip_functions+=" tb_cleanup " needs to be added to the configuration file for update-torbrowser else the archive gets cleaned up after a normal download.

Thank you.

Documentation covers this using:

TB_NO_CLEANUP=true

Um? Not described in the man page or /etc/torbrowser.d/30_default.conf with tb-updater package version 3:23.7-1

Thank you

Only in the wiki for now. Not documented in the man page, not documented in the config file yet.

1 Like

Hi. Now

update-torbrowser --reset

works fine but it doesn’t check for the newer version of Tor Browser. It just resets the current cached version so I need to first perform

update-torbrowser

and then

update-torbrowser --reset

In order to reset the newer version of Tor Browser.

So I suggest to add an upgrade mechanism when --reset option in used.

The algorithm I suggest is the following:

  1. Perform $update-torbrowser --reset
  2. The system looks up for the newer Tor Browser version available
  3. Suggests to download the new version (y/n)
  4. If n then reset previous cached version without any changes in cache
  5. If y then download the newer version, cache it and reset the newer version

This raises the question, why re-download the same version anyhow if it was previously downloaded? Perhaps:

  1. Perform update-torbrowser
  2. Check the version number
  3. If it’s a new version, download it. If it is the same version and download was previously completed, and if digital software signature verification succeeded, don’t needlessly re-download.

But this is getting more and more complex for such a rather minority use case. tb-updater source code is already complex enough. The additional complexity required might make it unmaintainable.

So unless major contributions are made, this will likely never be implemented. Chapter Bug Reports, Software Development and Feature Requests chapter Community Feedback in Whonix wiki applies.

Considering --reset is a purposeful action and not default I concur the current behavior is fine.

Thank you