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Tor browser in Whonix


#1

I tried to set a homepage at Preferences -> General. the setting is saved but the browser keeps displaying the Whonix start page instead, ignoring my setting.

I guess I can edit the /usr/share/homepage/whonix-welcome-page/whonix.html file itself but looking in /usr/bin/torbroswer it seems as if the homepage set by the user is supposed to work.

running printenv, I don’t see $TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE as an environment variable.


#2

Add that environment variable to your .profile:

echo 'export TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE="www.startpage.com"' >> ~/.profile

Will take effect after next login.

To test immediately, add the variable using:
export TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE="www.startpage.com"
Launch torbrowser from same terminal:
torbrowser


#3

http://kkkkkkkkkk63ava6.onion/wiki/Tor_Browser/Advanced_Users#Custom_Homepage


#4

Looks like that wiki page could use an update.

I’m not sure which came first? @Patrick
$TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE or $TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE?

Maybe TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE (/usr/bin/torbrowser) was a workaround until Tor Browser added native support for TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE? Also, whichever one can be sourced from ~/ would be preferable.

Did it work @torbrowser?


#5

entr0py:

Looks like that wiki page could use an update.

I’m not sure which came first? @Patrick
$TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE or $TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE?

I am not sure of the timeline.

Perhaps:

  1. TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE a /usr/bin/torbrowser feature. Ignored when
    starting Tor Browser directly through
    /home/user/.tb/tor-browser/Browser/start-tor-browser.

  2. TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE a TorButton feature. In theory better than
    /home/user/.tb/tor-browser/Browser/start-tor-browser but in practice
    there could be a bug in TorButton.

  3. https://github.com/Whonix/open-link-confirmation

One could investigate using git history and whatnot.

Maybe TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE (/usr/bin/torbrowser) was a workaround until Tor Browser added native support for TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE? Also, whichever one can be sourced from ~/ would be preferable.

TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE=about:blank torbrowser

TB_CUSTOM_HOMEPAGE=about:blank bash -x torbrowser

on a technically level results in executing

x-www-browser about:blank

Which goes through https://github.com/Whonix/open-link-confirmation,
i.e. shows a confirmation popup. Reminds me that it would be cool to
have a user configurable whitelist of links which will not be asked for
confirmation.

x-www-browser about:blank btw works for me.

TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE=about:blank torbrowser doesn’t work for me.

TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE=about:blank /home/user/.tb/tor-browser/Browser/start-tor-browser also doesn’t work
for me. So it’s not a /usr/bin/torbrowser bug.

There could be a non-Whonix specific TorButton bug: “If Tor Browser
prevously started when TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE was set and later changed,
on next Tor Browser start TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE is not adhered”. Anyone
up to investigate outside of Whonix and possibly report to Tor Project?

Setting the environment variable TOR_DEFAULT_HOMEPAGE to a custom
value. This would have a similar effect as setting environment variables
as outlined in Tor Browser Transparent Proxying.

What do we mean with the latter sentence?


#6

it works. it gives the confirmation popup. anyway to get rid of that? it doesn’t show with Whonix start page, and my homepage is a local file as well. no javascript plain html perfectly safe

when I click “New Identity” the browser opens the page in the settings

it can be very helpful i don’t want to use the bookmarks toolbar because of fingerprinting


#7

start with this post: TBB and Thunderbird and read to the end (including manual patch).


#8

Do you mind editing the Tor Browser chapter for this fix?


#9

Will do after researching which env variable we should be using. Also will document skipping confirmation dialog.


#10

Thanks entr0py - you are a technical whizz (a bit like 0brand), so any of your edits are very solid.