[Freedombox-discuss] Tor-Installation disappeared from plinth

Sunil Mohan Adapa sunil at medhas.org
Tue Jan 5 04:03:08 UTC 2016

On 01/05/2016 03:04 AM, Dieter wrote:
> Hello!
> Some time ago, when freedombox-setup was updated in the sid-repo from
> 0.6 to 0.7, i "lost" my Tor-installation.
> With that i mean that plinth does not show tor to be installed anymore,
> although it is installed and running.
> How does Plinth check for installed packages?
> Also, i'm not using the standard ORPort setting in Tors torrc, as i'm
> running the freedombox behind a NAT.
> And since Plinth does not recognize the installed Tor, firewalld blocks
> all the connections.
> What can i do to make Plinth work properly again?

It is in 0.7, I believe, that we have moved to using obfs4proxy.  This
requires that an additional package be installed: obfs4proxy.  Plinth
checks whether all the required packages are installed before accessing
an application.  After the upgrade, it finds that the new package is
missing and will ask for installing again.

Normally this is not a problem because only the additional package will
get freshly installed and all setup procedures of Plinth are idempotent,
meaning that running setup multiple times does not mess up things.

However, the catch is that Plinth's Tor package is one of the last
package that does not yet properly adhere to the idempotency principle.
 This may cause your manual configuration changes to be overwritten.
James Valleroy has already sent in a major overhaul of the Plinth's Tor
module to fix this issue by using Augeas and at the same time fix issues
with firewall ports.

There is also a larger problem with the way Plinth manages such upgrades
and detects whether something is already setup.  Although the current
mechanism is a good step from the earlier times and helped us accelerate
development, we are aware of the limitations.  We have discussed a
solution and a fix is on the way.

For now, I suggest that that you take a backup of torrc, proceed with
Plinth's Tor installation and restore your manual changes to torrc.


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