Torvox - Portable Vidalia Bundle

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M@tty
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Torvox - Portable Vidalia Bundle

#1 Post by M@tty » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:21 pm

Download link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/kjx4de

What is it? Basically it is PortableTor, but written the way it probably should have been done in the first place.

For a start - unlike what the entry in the database says, PortableTor is not stealth. It leaves the Tor Cache in the Application Data folder of the current user. Torvox redirects it to the folder Torvox is running from.

Torvox also includes rewriting of the default configs if they are deleted accidentally. And the directory structure is, in my opinion, cleaner.

Lastly - the Vidalia + Privoxy windows are hidden (but accessible from the system tray). So all you have to do is start Torvox and then configure your web browser to point its HTTP + HTTPS proxy to localhost, port 8118.

Future features hopefully involve:
  • Retrying on a different port if a connection cannot be made on the default port of 6893
  • Having a config file whereby you can control the settings of Torvox, including wether or not to clear the Tor cache when the program is exited
  • Informing you of your Tor IP Address and its location in the world
Any suggestions and feedback are welcome. Download link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/kjx4de
Last edited by M@tty on Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

M@tty
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#2 Post by M@tty » Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:36 pm

Also, if for whatever reason you cannot download from SendSpace, I also uploaded the program to MiHD: http://mihd.net/saoz2d

zikarus
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:17 am

#3 Post by zikarus » Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:46 am

Sounds interesting.

Encounter two bugs up to now:

1. The program cannot be started out of/via the PortableAppsMenu (Mod R21b). An error occurs telling me that important files would be missing and I should download Torvox again. If I start the program directly in its folder everything starts well though...

2. Could the BSOD I encountered after quite a while - due to problems with some Fastfat.sys - have to deal with Torvox too?

M@tty
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#4 Post by M@tty » Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:53 am

The PortableAppsMenu issue is to do with the directory the Menu is using as the "Working" Directory. It uses the folder containing the PortableAppsMenu launcher as the home directory. I can not find an option in the PortableAppsMenu to change this. If you use Pegtop PStart you can set the "Home" directory manually.

I will try to write a fix for it (setting the working directory using Torvox) and update this thread later on.

As for the FastFat.sys error, this is the "Fast FAT File System Driver", and is used by Windows for handling your USB flash key. I have no idea what might cause the error, but it is not caused by Torvox itself as no drivers are directly accessed.

Thanks for the feedback, it is what motivates me to write programs such as this. :)

zikarus
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#5 Post by zikarus » Sun Jul 29, 2007 9:41 am

Great to hear you keep on working on your version. I already like it - it is much smaller than the other Portable Tor.

Btw: I have installed your pack on a second stick I own using PAM Mod too. And guess what - from this stick I can easily start Torvox from out of/via PAM. Everything is set up quite identical (same directory structure). The first stick which failed is just filled up more and there are other applications residing there which use there own (additionally included) Tor applications (Xerobank/OperaTor). But I would like to get rid of these and use clean Firefox and Opera portable versions together with an own Portable Vidalia/Tor instead. Especially since this makes updating a bit easier...

Your comment concerning the FastFAT.sys driver makes me think even more that my main stick might begin to give up...

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#6 Post by M@tty » Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:40 am

Well I shall still try to investigate regarding the working directory, since I was able to recreate your error.

Aside from that, are there any features you would like to see in Torvox?

As I said in my first post, I am going to have a configuration file, perhaps with configurable Tor Data Directory and configurable Tor control port - rather then using seperate config files to achieve this.

zikarus
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#7 Post by zikarus » Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:57 am

Everything that cleans up the app even further sounds good to me - just one config-file for various settings would be great :D

zikarus
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#8 Post by zikarus » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:18 am

Since you explicitly asked M@tty... :)

I am not a Tor expert and do not know whether it could be realized at all, but there is one feature I would really appreciate: Being able to tell Torvox to use servers from a specified country only via some kind of menu. Sometimes needed to get certain programs to work...

M@tty
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#9 Post by M@tty » Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:18 am

Well, I can't give you an answer right now, but I shall look into the control signals you can send to Tor and see if there is a way to specify country preferences.

zikarus
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#10 Post by zikarus » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:23 am

If you plan a new release of your app please include an update to the new Tor v. 0.1.2.16 and Vidalia 0.0.13... :P

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#11 Post by M@tty » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:11 am

Your wish is my command. :wink:

SendSpace link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/8893ri

MiHD link: http://mihd.net/qtk7fe

I haven't had chance to look into your other requests yet (well, not with any success anyway :oops:) so they are not present in this build. :(

I changed the directory structure to a PortableApps-Format style App/Data directory split. What this means? Well, you can't do an in-place upgrade from the older build, you have to delete and start again.

The old config files are compatible with the new build though, so if you had done any specific configuring of your preferences then just pop them into the "Data" folder and Torvox will pick them up. Otherwise, just delete the old Torvox folder and unzip the new build.

zikarus
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#12 Post by zikarus » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:19 am

:D

Thx a lot M@tty! Works flawless for me (besides the working directory issue which can simply be surpassed by starting from out of the directory instead of out of the PAM).

8)

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Silivrenion
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#13 Post by Silivrenion » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:05 am

M@tty,

Congrats on establishing another portable application such as Torvox. I wanted to let you know that Portabletor has been updated, so now it is truly stealth (No app-data remnants or disk writes). Update at http://portabletor.sf.net.

Your criticism on Portabletor, or questions about it, are strongly appreciated.

I took a look at your software and how it works, and I like the idea of automatically minimizing / starting tor (something I was pondering on setting originally, but I figured the end-user would appreciate control of whether to connect to Tor, at their own discretion.)

Very interesting directory structure, by the way. Was this built for PortableApps interfacing? You mentioned that you found my structure confusing, and I was wondering how so.

You mentioned showing your Tor IP address during a connection class. As far as I am aware, this can't be done simply for the end user, as Tor will establish multiple connections at any one time, and switch through them with timeouts. Sure, a Firefox integrated plugin could do this, but this is really the job for Vidalia -- a tor controller, and not the launcher.

Anyway, interesting build ideas, and good luck!

Steve Morley
silivrenion@gmail.com

zikarus
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#14 Post by zikarus » Sat Aug 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Well you guys don't make it easy for us poor users to choose from :oops:

Torvox comes in much smaller and according to the portableapps standard layout. Portable Tor on the other hand does work with PAM and can be started from out of there.

May be a bit naive, but from a users point of view: Why don't you stick your heads together and make a version together that combines all advantages?
8)

Anyways I hope you both keep going which way ever...

BR
z.

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Silivrenion
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#15 Post by Silivrenion » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:02 pm

Personally I'd like to make a unified solution that works for everyone, definitely I will be working on making it smaller.

I didn't take anything out of the installs because I wanted to focus on user choices - let the end user decide how they want to modify things, including all original documentation and program settings.

I'll take another look at what things are really needed and come up with a slimmer version soon.

Also, I'll look into interoperability with portable app managers for a unified package that will make everyone happy.

But yeah, you're right... people working together is definitely better than people competing!!

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