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Re: [tor-talk] TBB as a deb (was Re: Tor is out)

I kind of like how TBB is distributed as a bunch of files in a directory
and it gave me an idea for a very simple way to package this as a deb.

The package would include the latest TBB tarball and a launcher script.
When you run the launcher, it checks to see if ~/.torbrowser/$VERSION
exist. If it doesn't, it extracts TBB into it. Then it runs

When a new version of TBB comes out, the update would just have a new
TBB tarball, and the launcher script would be adjusted to include the
new version number.

I read through both tickets about this on trac.torproject.org, and I'm
not sure it will satisfy everyone, or be allowed in Debian, but I think
it's a good start. It does, however, avoid the problem where Debian
users could have a different fingerprint than other TBB users, and
doesn't require there to be an iceweasel-src package. And it's really

I went ahead and implemented this as a kind of sloppy proof-of-concept:


Here's the really simple launcher script:


It totally works. I even added a "Tor Browser" application launcher that
uses the TBB icon. Thoughts?

On 01/15/2013 05:56 PM, Roger Dingledine wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 07:28:34PM -0500, Micah Lee wrote:
>> Are there plans to release the Tor Browser Bundle as a package in Tor's
>> official repos, e.g. http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org/?
>> This would make keeping an up-to-date TBB much more convenient.
> It sure would make things more convenient, I agree.
> See for example
> https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/3994
> https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/5236
> Basically there are a whole pile of logistical issues, stemming mainly
> from the (quite reasonable) policies around how debs are allowed to
> interact with each other.
> So, it's something that a lot of smart Debian people have thought about,
> and no clean-enough answer has emerged yet.
> It is deeply unsatisfying to me that Linux, the platform most of our
> developers use, is the one with the least user-friendly Tor package
> support. But it will take a lot of juggling and coordination to produce
> a solution that all sides find ok.
> --Roger
> _______________________________________________
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> tor-talk@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Micah Lee

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