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Hello, all, from one of the Vidalia developers.
On Jun 1, 2006, at 10:22 AM, Anothony Georgeo wrote:
Vidalia messed up me server settings, and my
comments I had made in the torrc file.
When you use Vidalia to cinfigure Tor (ie. to become a
server) Vidalia updates the torrc file it created with
this new configuration setting.
This is partially correct. Rather than duplicating Tor's torrc
parsing and saving logic in Vidalia, we just let Tor handle it itself
by issuing a SAVECONF (see http://tor.eff.org/cvs/tor/doc/control-
spec.txt for details) when some settings have changed. Roger touched
on this in an earlier post.
Vidalia seems to use these keys as a 'master' config
setting and as a 'backup' for the torrc. If the torrc
uses the server nic "A" and the reg keys use server
nic "B" Vidalia will use server nic "B".
These registry keys are used for mostly Vidalia-specific things, such
as which log messages to display, which lines to display on the
bandwidth graph, etc. If you run a Tor server with Vidalia, the
registry keys are also used to store the server-specific Tor
settings, so that you can change your server's settings even when Tor
is stopped. When Tor is started, Vidalia checks to see if any of
these server settings were modified while Tor was stopped and, if
changes were made, Vidalia tells Tor about the changes and asks Tor
to save them to its torrc.
We discovered with TorCP that it confused far too many users when we
had to explain why certain settings (settings we learn from Tor)
could only be viewed and changed when Tor is running. Again, this is
because we leave the torrc parsing logic to Tor and simply use their
simple, easy-to-use interface for learning about some of Tor's
current settings, and if Tor isn't running, we can't ask it what its
We have had a feature request for Vidalia to not use the registry to
save these settings, but rather just save them in a .ini file or
something similar on Windows, so that it's easier for Vidalia to be
run off a thumb drive. This seems reasonable and I think we're going
to be able to get to this soon.
I am very happy with Vidalia and I like where it is
going; v.0.0.5 looks good. The creator of Vidalia is
open to suggestions and feature requests.
We are open to good bug reports, too. We understand there are bugs in
Vidalia and we have never declared it to be stable, which is why it
hasn't even graduated past 0.0.x yet. Sadly, many of the bug reports
we've had have been very vague and haven't included sufficient steps
or information for us to reproduce, track down, and fix the bugs so
some are still outstanding. Plus, the reporters seem to disappear
after adding a bug report, or at least not answer our requests for
some more information to help track down their bug. So, we'd like to
know about any bugs anyone finds by adding them to our bugtracker,
but please include sufficient details to reproduce the problem, or at
least don't disappear. :)
IMO Vidalia is a great GUI with alot of
potential and an author who is very motivated.
Thanks! We have mostly been motivated thanks to help, feedback, and
constructive criticism from members of the Tor community and some
generally nice people who have helped us out. Vidalia is developed by
just two people who are still students and both have real jobs and
real lives and a really small amount of spare time. Whenever somebody
is willing to help us out, we appreciate it! I'm sure the same thing
can be said for Roger and Nick and the Tor project itself, so I bet
they'd appreciate some help, too.