TorBox v.0.5.2 beta – contribute to our development

With TorBox v.0.5.2 some new features and improvements will be added. This makes testing the Beta version of the upcoming TorBox version very challenging. We urgently need more tester. Also important is feedback on which features you as an user are most interested, so that we don’t invest our time for something nobody is interested in.

How to install TorBox v.0.5.2 Beta (based on the latest stable release)

We are assuming that TorBox v.0.5.1 is already running on your device. Update to TorBox v.0.5.2 Beta by using entry 5 in the Update and Maintenance submenu. Choose EXPERT, answer the question Which TorBox menu branch do you like to install? with torbox-v0.5.2, but don’t change the fork (radio24).

After the replacement of the older TorBox menu, press so many times ESC, until you on the command prompt. Please, open the run file with the following command: nano run/torbox.run. Please add the following lines:

# TCS starting commands
# Syntax: TCS-<service_name>=<tcs command>
# This will configure the TCS program (do not remove or change that line - this is an anchor)

It doesn’t really matter, where you put this three lines, but it makes sense to insert it under similar three lines which are starting with # TFS starting commands.

We also recommend to replace the old torrc with the new one, if you didn’t change the configuration and/or want to preserve it:
sudo cp /home/torbox/etc/tor/torrc /etc/tor

Save the change with CTRL-O and exit nano with CTRL-X. Restart the TorBox menu with ./menu.

How to install TorBox v.0.5.2 Beta (using the installation script)

Follow the points 1-4 in our installation guide here or here. Then download and run the installation script with the following options:

cd
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/radio24/TorBox/master/install/run_install.sh
chmod a+x run_install.sh&nbsp; 
./run_install.sh --select-branch torbox-v0.5.2

Optionally, you can also add --step_by_step.

IMPORTANT

We didn’t change the version number, yet. After the update to / installation of v.0.5.2 TorBox menu will still show you v.0.5.1.

Please, give feedback

Please help us to make TorBox better. We would appreciate feedback, ideas, bug reports, pull requests etc.

Update your TorBox

Again, some time has passed since the initial release of TorBox v.0.5.1. Even if we already started to work on TorBox v.0.5.2, we decided to release an updated image of TorBox v.0.5.1 due to some critical fixes and a new tor version.

This version is based on Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye” lite (64 bit) with Linux Kernel 5.15.61 and Tor version 0.4.7.10. It contains several major fixes to reduce memory pressure on relays and possible side-channel. It also includes a major bugfix related to congestion control to reduce memory pressure on relays. Finally, another major bugfix is related to Vanguard L2 layer node selection.

One bug in the initial release was that TorBox would not automatically add a bridge when that option was chosen in the Countermeasure sub-menu. This problem is in connection with mechanize 0.4.8. For that reason, we went back to version 0.4.7. Also, bridges_get.py failed because the HTML generated by https://bridges.torproject.org/bridges?transport=obfs4 has changed. To fix it, we added the patch from lockcda (see issue #173 on GitHub). Also, the way GitHub reports the available tor versions changed and broke the installation and update scripts. We fixed the affected scripts. Also, we removed the tor-specific entries in torbox.run because of the complexity, it doesn’t give an added value.

Here are the links to the new updated TorBox v.0.5.1:
TorBox Image (about 1 GB): v.0.5.1 (20.10.2022) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.5.1 (20.10.2022) – SHA-256 values

How to update an old TorBox v.0.5.1 (19.07.2022) installation?
You can perform the following tasks to update an older TorBox v.0.5.1 (19.07.2022) installation. This shouldn’t alter your custom-made configurations – however, I don’t promise anything (if needed, make a backup!).

  1. Please, make sure that TorBox has Internet connectivity.
  2. First, update the TorBox menu in the Update and Maintenance sub-menu (entry 5) to immediately benefit from the bugfixes.
  3. Press ESC until you have left the Torbox menu and find yourself back at the command line. Here use the following commands for
    .
    • removing mechanize 0.4.8: sudo pip3 uninstall mechanize
    • installing mechanize 0.4.7: sudo pip3 install mechanize==0.4.7

• • •

Known problems and bugs
  • PROBLEM: The meek bridge has gone offline, and there is a new one to take its place (see here). The torrc is fixed – get it by updating the TorBox menu with the Update and Maintenance sub-menu and replacing your old torrc: sudo cp /home/torbox/torbox/etc/tor/torrc /etc/tor/ However, this will remove all your custom made configurations. Alternatively, you can execute the following command: sudo sed -i "s/Bridge meek_lite 192.0.2.2:2.*/Bridge meek_lite 192.0.2.18:80 BE776A53492E1E044A26F17306E1BC46A55A1625 url=https://meek.azureedge.net/ front=ajax.aspnetcdn.com/". The image file is not fixed yet — PENDING! 
  • PROBLEM: With TorBox v.0.5.1, local DNS resolution is solely resolved through tor. This restriction led to problems with the Snowflake and Meek bridge functionality because both protocols need local DNS resolution. The problem is more complex than it looks, and we will deal with it in version 0.5.2. However, as a quick fix, we changed the snowflake and meek-azure scripts to enable local DNS resolution. You can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu with the Update and Maintenance sub-menu. We also changed the Snowflake configuration in the torrc and added a second Snowflake bridge. With version 0.5.2, we will support multiple Snowflake bridges as we do with OBFS4 bridges. The image file is not fixed yet — PENDING! 
  • BUG: Due to permission problems, in some cases, temporarily stored files are blocking bridges_get.py from fetching a new OBFS4 address line. You can quickly solve the problem with the following command: rm -r /tmp/captcha.*. However, this is not a permanent solution. You can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu with the Update and Maintenance sub-menu. The image file is not fixed yet — PENDING! 

TorBox v.0.5.1 released — smashing Bugs

Honestly, TorBox v.0.5.0 was not one of our finest. When I started to fix some known problems and bugs almost a month ago, I found so much more. It was time to go into details and especially to fix to code added with version 0.5.0 – row by row. This version should run more reliable and stable than the versions before. Nevertheless, we also added and updated some of the features. However, once again, it shows also the importance of user feedback. Please report to us your problems and found bugs. We also need to know what you would like to see next and which features you request? With the TorBox GitHub repository, it is straightforward for everyone to report issues or change the code and propose it in a pull request

TorBox Image (about 1 GB): v.0.5.1 (19.07.2022) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.5.1 (19.07.2022) – SHA-256 values

Since we had to install additional software packages and update the configuration files, it is necessary to use the new image or reinstall TorBox using one of our installation scripts.

Main Menu TorBox v.0.5.1
Main Menu TorBox v.0.5.1

• • •

Changelog: v.0.5.0 –> v.0.4.0 (19.07.2022)
  • Update: The system is based on Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye” lite (64 bit) with Linux Kernel 5.15.32 and Tor version 0.4.7.8. This version fixes several bug fixes, including a high severity security issue categorised as a Denial of Service. Everyone running an earlier version should upgrade to this version. Also, congestion control should improve traffic speed and stability on the network once most exit nodes upgrade. You can find more details about it in proposal 324 in the torspec.git repository. All installation scripts are updated to work with Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye”, Debian 11 and Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS. Additionally, we also updated TorBox’s internal list of OBFS4 bridges.
  • Update: The installation script for Raspberry Pi OS had to be updated to work with the new Raspberry Pi OS images released in April. Also, starting with this version, TorBox will be only tested on the 64 bit version of the respective OS (Raspberry Pi OS, Debian and Ubuntu).
  • Update: vitor from nyxnor’s onionwash repository
  • Update: the additional network driver so that they work with the new Linux kernel (unfortunately, Fars-Robotics didn’t update their network driver since October 2021).
  • New: webssh replaces shellinabox, which seems it is not maintained anymore. With webssh, users don’t need a ssh client because every web browser can now jump in as a ssh client. A user on a wifi-client can type 192.168.42.1, someone on a cable-client 192.168.43.1. This functionality comes with a certain risk because webssh is not encrypted (this would need a self-signed certificate, which the browser doesn’t support easily). However, this shouldn’t cause any problems because the TorBox AP and its wlan or the connection cable should be controlled by you. By default, webssh cannot be accessed from the Internet. If you seek maximum security, you still can keep using an ssh client and even deactivate the webssh functionality in the Configuration sub-menu (entry 11). 
  • New: There is a new way to pass through captive portals by SPOOFING the MAC address of a device that passed the captive portal successfully. Tests showed that some captive portals could be better overcome with the old method (TUNNELLING), some function better with SPOOFING and some need combined both ways. See here for more information.
  • New: Starting with this version, TorBox randomises the MAC addresses on wlan0, wlan1, eth0 and eth1 by default. You can change that behaviour and set your own MAC address in the Configuration sub-menu (entry 8).
  • Fixed: TorBox will not try to back up the OBFS4 Bridge Relay configuration if there is no such configuration.
  • Fixed: It is impossible to simultaneously run the countermeasure against tightly configured firewalls and Snowflake, Meek and the OBFS4 Bridge Relay. This fix will prevent such a setting.
  • Fixed: A bug broke the functionality on ppp0 and usb0. Also, before executing pon, TorBox will check if pppd is already working and shut it down.
  • Fixed: Due to a little bug in the script, The menu entry, which should only activate OBFS4 bridges, which are ONLINE, fails to activate the OBFS4 mode properly. This bug prevents TorBox from deactivating the OBFS4 lines in the tor configuration file. Both are fixed.
  • Fixed: Onion Service name bug (fixed by nyxnor).
  • Improved: To prevent future bugs in the releases, a shellcheck Github action will be triggered with every pushed commit on the master repository.
  • Improved: Local DNS resolution will be solely resolved through tor. This means that TorBox will not be able to resolve DNS requests from the local terminal if tor is not running. However, some functions, like Snowflake, Meek and time synchronisation, need clearnet DNS resolution to work without a running tor, but in this case, clearnet DNS resolution is explicitly activated for that purpose, and the user is asked or informed beforehand. DNS resolution from clients will always be made through tor, regardless of the settings. With the following commands in the terminal, local clearnet resolution can be set on/off (we will add that later in a “toxic “menu):
# Turn local clearnet DNS resolution on
sudo iptables -t nat -D OUTPUT -p udp --dport 53 -j DNAT --to 127.0.0.1:9053
sudo iptables -t nat -D OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 53 -j DNAT --to 127.0.0.1:9053
sudo systemctl restart dnsmasq
# Turn local clearnet DNS resolution off
sudo systemctl stop dnsmasq
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p udp --dport 53 -j DNAT --to 127.0.0.1:9053
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 53 -j DNAT --to 127.0.0.1:9053

  • Improved: The use of Onion Services, sharing folder and TFS. For example, the sharing folder functionality and TFS can use every folder inside /var/www regardless of the name of the Onion Service. This gives the possibility that an Onion domain named x.onion can share the folder /var/www/to_be_shared, and at the same time, TFS can control up- and/or downloads to/from the same folder using the Onion domain y.onion.
  • Improved: TFS can be started multiple times with different Onion domains. The file list is now alphabetically sorted. The message below the top banner can now display multiple lines (separated by a \n). You can go into a sub-folder if you click on them, and if you start an upload in such a sub-folder, the uploaded files are placed there. Selecting multiple files and folders is now supported – they will be downloaded and compressed in a .zip file to the local client.
  • Improved: Resetting Tor and enforcing a change of the permanent entry node in the update and maintenance sub-menu doesn’t deactivate the bridge and bridge relay mode anymore.
  • Improved: Turning systemd-journald.service off by default to further reduce the logs.


TorBox v.0.5.0 is a major upgrade because starting with this version, it not only can be used to help clients to access the Internet safely and circumvent censorship, it also allows to bring your content in a safe and uncensored way to the Internet. Again, nyxnor, with his OnionJuggler project, was a key driver behind the Onion Services implementation into TorBox. With this version, TorBox introduces Onion Service support to share a simple website or/and files through Onion Services. However, this is only the start; in subsequent versions, we plan to support Onion Service access management on TorBox itself, and also a secure chat module is already programmed by Zotil but not yet implemented due to a lack of time. The support of Onion Services has much potential for developing TorBox further, but because our time is limited, it is essential that you give us feedback, what you need and want to see in the next version. Please feel free to use the discussion forum to tell us your needs.

TorBox Image (about 985 MB): v.0.5.0 (02.01.2022) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.5.0 (02.01.2022) – SHA-256 values

Since we had to install additional software packages and update the configuration files, it is necessary to use the new image or to reinstall TorBox using one of our installation scripts.

The new Onion Service sub-menu of TorBox v.0.5.0, which can be found in the “defend the open internet” sub-menu.

Besides the support of Onion Services, TorBox brings additional updates, improvements and fixes:

  • Update: The system is based on Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye” lite with Linux Kernel 5.10.63 and Tor version 0.4.6.9. This version fixes several bugs from earlier versions of Tor. One important fix is the removal of DNS timeout metric from the overload general signal. During our test, we had the feeling that Tor version 0.4.6.9 works more stable and reliable than the versions before. All installation scripts are updated to work with Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye”, Debian 11 and Ubuntu Server 20.04.3 LTS / 21.10. Additionally, we also updated TorBox’s internal list of OBFS4 bridges.
  • New: The introduction of an Onion Services implementation allows the creation of Onion Services for public use or only for selected clients using client access restrictions. With the Onion Services sub-menu (found in the “defend the open Internet” sub-menu), it is easy to share a folder with a static webpage, files etc. on an .onion domain with our without client access control, even if the TorBox is located behind a firewall, a network translator or placed in a censoring country. With TorBox File Sharing (TFS), upload and/or download files can be allowed to the public or specific clients. 
  • New: Since 2021, the TorBox team observed more and more providers (especially in connection with open hotspots) blocking ports needed for tor to work properly (tor commonly uses ports 80, 443, 9001 and 9030 for network traffic and directory information). Therefore, TorBox uses by default countermeasures against a tightly configured firewall taking care that tor uses only ports 80 and 443 for its data stream. We didn’t observe any negative impact (nevertheless, probably this feature should be deactivated if a bridge relay is run on the TorBox).
  • New: torrc is now edited by nyxnor’s vitor, which checks the accuracy of tor configuration inside torrc before saving the new configuration file. This should avoid a broken tor configuration by using the advanced tor configuration editor. Vitor is part of the OnionJuggler project. Also, after changing tor’s configuration, TorBox is asking to restart tor.
  • New: The team has been working hard to improve the code’s quality and introduced some basic coding guidelines, which we will implement step by step in the coming up versions. Also, we started to check the code with ShellCheck. Thanks to nyxnor for the inspiration!
  • Improved: The “first-use” script introduced in TorBox’s last version had some major shortcomings, expecting the Internet is connected to the Ethernet interface. With TorBox v0.5.0, the “first-use” script was extensively rewritten. It supports now all the usual connection types. Additionally, if the countermeasures against a tightly configured firewall setting should stay activated, what we highly recommend.
  • Improved: As part of our new basic coding guidelines, we rewrote the “Update and Reset” sub-menu, now called “Update and Maintenance”. At the same time, we improved the update routines, which also updates the installed Python modules and Snowflake (if tor is updated). The ability to remove all OBFS4 Bridge Relay Data was moved into the OBFS4 Bridge Relay sub-menu.
  • Improved: The TorBox Wireless Manager (TWM) is now sorting the list of available wifi along with the signal strength. Hidden networks are only displayed after pushing the H key to declutter the main screen.  Also, the code under the hut was again optimized (for example, a timeout was added if the AP doesn’t respond after sending a wrong password, optimizations for small screens and more).
  • Improved: If TorBox’s WLAN is permanently disabled, the TWM tries to reconnect to a Wireless Network on wlan0, not only on wlan1. However, if wlan0 and wlan1 are available,  TWM will prioritize wlan1 (in this case, we think there is a reason why an USB wifi adapter is connected to the TorBox 😉). This also fixed an issue mentioned by connected201.
  • Improved: TorBox’s Automatic Counter Measures (TACA) checks after reconnecting with a wifi network if the interface got an IP address from the remote DHCP server. If this is not the case, it restarts the interface, triggering the request for a new IP. Also, TACA will detect if the system time is out of sync and re-synchronize it with ntpdate.
  • ImprovedCaptive Portals are a pain in the ass! If the login page cannot be reached for whatever reason, TorBox provides a direct way back into the TWM (network reset included) to try it again. We have the experience that Captive Portals are getting harder to pass. However, currently, we are experimenting with another alternative way to deal with Captive Portals. If successful, we will add it immediately to TorBox v.0.5.0, which will be available after updating the TorBox menu in the “Update and Maintenance” sub-menu.
  • Improved: Cable support is easier to accomplish now. We reviewed and simplified the code to achieve this goal. Consequently, we merged set_interface and set_captive into set_interface_2 and set_captive_2 and removed the older files. This also fixed an issue mentioned by connected201.
  • Improved: Usability of the Countermeasure against a disconnection when idle feature.
  • Improved: The tor log file is now shown with a filter to declutter the output, and “Bootstrapped 100% (done): Done” message is highlighted in white.
  • Improved: The Bridge Relay backup file is placed into ~/backup.
  • Fixed: In the expert mode of the tor install scripts and the “Update and Maintenance” sub-menu, a hiccup due to a broken sort algorithm prevented the showing up of tor x.x.10 versions.
  • Fixed: Even TorBox’s WLAN was permanently disabled, it was activated again when using wlan0 as an Internet source. This bug was reported by connected201.
  • FixedSnowflake is running again.
  • Security: We must mask both tor services to ensure no use of tor connections before configuring TorBox with the “first use” routine.
  • Security: Since the last TorBox version, all access to a tor related URL (for example, torproject.org) directly from the TorBox have been done through tor for security reasons. Thanks to an advice from nyxnor, we switched to a more secure curl SOCKS5 method (curl -x socks5h://127.0.0.1:9050).
  • Removed: Display of the Vanguards log because there is nothing interesting to see.

• • •

We need your feedback!!

We hope this version pleases you. However, we are dependent on feedback. It is not just about fixing bugs and improving usability, but also about supporting additional interfaces and hardware in future releases:

  • What do you like?
  • What should be improved (why and how)?
  • What would you like to see next? Which features do you request?

With the TorBox GitHub repository, it is straightforward for everyone to report issues or change the code and propose it in a pull request. Because we continue to travel around, it sometimes needs more time to address the issues and proposals. 

For future versions, it is essential that we know what you need and want to see from the Onion Services implementation. Please feel free to use the discussion forum to tell us your needs.

• • •

Known problems and bugs
  • BUG: TorBox will not automatically add a bridge when that option is chosen in the Countermeasure sub-menu. There are two reasons:
    .
    • It seems that version 0.4.8 of mechanize will not be correctly installed –> we had to switch back to version 0.4.7
      You can fix that bug manually with the following commands:
      sudo pip3 uninstall mechanize
      sudo pip3 install mechanize==0.4.7

    • The script bridges_get.py started to fail because the HTML generated by https://bridges.torproject.org/bridges?transport=obfs4 has changed –> we added the patch from lockcda (see issue #173 on GitHub). You can replace the old script with the patched one by updating the TorBox menu with the Update and Maintenance sub-menu. BUG FIXED✔︎
  • PROBLEM: Installing TorBox using one of the installation scripts or updating tor using the Update and Maintenance sub-menu fails or installs an older version of tor. The problem lies in how GitHub reports to the script’s question about which versions of tor are available. We changed all affected scripts. New installations with the installation scripts are not affected by this problem anymore. For updating tor on a running system, please fix the problem by updating the TorBox menu with the Update and Maintenance sub-menu. BUG FIXED✔︎

Update your TorBox

Six months have passed since the initial release of TorBox v.0.5.0. Version 0.5.1 will probably be released at the end of this year. Nevertheless, it was time to fix some bugs in version v.0.5.0 (especially concerning using OBFS4 bridges). If you re-install TorBox (using the image file or one of the installation scripts), in the case of Raspberry Pi OS, you will find the 64bit version with the Linux kernel 5.15.32 and Tor version 0.4.7.8.

Also new in the update: The MAC addresses of the network interfaces are now randomized. At the same time, a new way of overcoming captive portals is introduced, which is based on manipulating the MAC address of the Raspi network interface that is connected to the Internet (we have already reported on this in the blog here; however, details about the implementation and use can be found here).

TorBox provides two approaches to passing through a captive portal: SPOOFING or TUNNELLING. The new and preferred method is SPOOFING.

Here are the links to the new updated TorBox v.0.5.0 version (Update 001):

TorBox Image (~1 GB) : v.0.5.0 (03.07.2022) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.5.0 (03.07.2022) – SHA-256 values

• • •

How to update an old TorBox v.0.5.0 (02.01.2022) installation?

You can perform the following tasks to update an older TorBox v.0.5.0 (02.01.2022) installation. This shouldn’t alter your custom-made configurations – however, I don’t promise anything (if needed, make a backup!).

  1. Please, make sure that TorBox has Internet connectivity.
  2. First, update the TorBox menu in the Update and Maintenance sub-menu (entry 5) to immediately benefit from the bug fixes.
  3. Update the base system, the additional network drivers and the Tor version: Go to the Update and Maintenance sub-menu and use entries 1, 2 and 4.
  4. Press ESC until you have left the Torbox menu and find yourself back at the command line. Here use the following commands:
    sudo apt-get -y install macchanger
    cd; cd torbox; sudo cp etc/rc.local /etc
  5. Reboot TorBox.

• • •

We need your feedback!!

We hope this version pleases you. However, we are dependent on feedback. It is not just about fixing bugs and improving usability but also about supporting additional interfaces and hardware in future releases:

  • What do you like?
  • What should be improved (why and how)?
  • What would you like to see next? Which features do you request?

With the TorBox GitHub repository, it is straightforward for everyone to report issues or change the code and propose it in a pull request. Because we continue to travel around, it sometimes needs more time to address the problems and proposals.

For future versions, it is essential that we know what you need and want to see from the Onion Services implementation. Please feel free to use the discussion forum to tell us your needs.

• • •

Known problems and bugs
  • BUG: The latest official version (4.0.x) of the Python module Django will break the upload functionality. The bug can be fixed with the following command:
    sudo pip3 install Django==3.2.14
    The installation scripts are already fixed. However, the image file is not fixed yet — PENDING! 
  • BUG: The SPOOFING method to pass through captive portal is broken due to a bug. Also the example in the dialog suggests that the elements of the MAC address is seprated by a “-” instead of an “:”, which leads to an error message. You can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and maintenance sub-menu entry 5). However, the image file is not fixed yet — PENDING! 
  • BUG: Using bridges, following error is appearing: line 118+119: online_check: command not found" (no connection to bridge database). This is because of a change of the path of the torbox library (torbox.lib), which uses a ~ . This wasn’t a good idea – we changed to the absolute path. You can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and maintenance sub-menu entry 5). However, the image file is not fixed yet — PENDING! 

TorBox v.0.5.0 released — juggling with Onions

TorBox v.0.5.0 is a major upgrade because starting with this version, it not only can be used to help clients to access the Internet safely and circumvent censorship, it also allows to bring your content in a safe and uncensored way to the Internet. Again, nyxnor, with his OnionJuggler project, was a key driver behind the Onion Services implementation into TorBox. With this version, TorBox introduces Onion Service support to share a simple website or/and files through Onion Services. However, this is only the start; in subsequent versions, we plan to support Onion Service access management on TorBox itself, and also a secure chat module is already programmed by Zotil but not yet implemented due to a lack of time. The support of Onion Services has much potential for developing TorBox further, but because our time is limited, it is essential that you give us feedback, what you need and want to see in the next version. Please feel free to use the discussion forum to tell us your needs.

TorBox Image (about 985 MB): v.0.5.0 (02.01.2022) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.5.0 (02.01.2022) – SHA-256 values

Since we had to install additional software packages and update the configuration files, it is necessary to use the new image or to reinstall TorBox using one of our installation scripts.

The new Onion Service sub-menu of TorBox v.0.5.0, which can be found in the “defend the open internet” sub-menu.

Besides the support of Onion Services, TorBox brings additional updates, improvements and fixes:

  • Update: The system is based on Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye” lite with Linux Kernel 5.10.63 and Tor version 0.4.6.9. This version fixes several bugs from earlier versions of Tor. One important fix is the removal of DNS timeout metric from the overload general signal. During our test, we had the feeling that Tor version 0.4.6.9 works more stable and reliable than the versions before. All installation scripts are updated to work with Raspberry Pi OS “Bullseye”, Debian 11 and Ubuntu Server 20.04.3 LTS / 21.10. Additionally, we also updated TorBox’s internal list of OBFS4 bridges.
  • New: The introduction of an Onion Services implementation allows the creation of Onion Services for public use or only for selected clients using client access restrictions. With the Onion Services sub-menu (found in the “defend the open Internet” sub-menu), it is easy to share a folder with a static webpage, files etc. on an .onion domain with our without client access control, even if the TorBox is located behind a firewall, a network translator or placed in a censoring country. With TorBox File Sharing (TFS), upload and/or download files can be allowed to the public or specific clients. 
  • New: Since 2021, the TorBox team observed more and more providers (especially in connection with open hotspots) blocking ports needed for tor to work properly (tor commonly uses ports 80, 443, 9001 and 9030 for network traffic and directory information). Therefore, TorBox uses by default countermeasures against a tightly configured firewall taking care that tor uses only ports 80 and 443 for its data stream. We didn’t observe any negative impact (nevertheless, probably this feature should be deactivated if a bridge relay is run on the TorBox).
  • New: torrc is now edited by nyxnor’s vitor, which checks the accuracy of tor configuration inside torrc before saving the new configuration file. This should avoid a broken tor configuration by using the advanced tor configuration editor. Vitor is part of the OnionJuggler project. Also, after changing tor’s configuration, TorBox is asking to restart tor.
  • New: The team has been working hard to improve the code’s quality and introduced some basic coding guidelines, which we will implement step by step in the coming up versions. Also, we started to check the code with ShellCheck. Thanks to nyxnor for the inspiration!
  • Improved: The “first-use” script introduced in TorBox’s last version had some major shortcomings, expecting the Internet is connected to the Ethernet interface. With TorBox v0.5.0, the “first-use” script was extensively rewritten. It supports now all the usual connection types. Additionally, if the countermeasures against a tightly configured firewall setting should stay activated, what we highly recommend.
  • Improved: As part of our new basic coding guidelines, we rewrote the “Update and Reset” sub-menu, now called “Update and Maintenance”. At the same time, we improved the update routines, which also updates the installed Python modules and Snowflake (if tor is updated). The ability to remove all OBFS4 Bridge Relay Data was moved into the OBFS4 Bridge Relay sub-menu.
  • Improved: The TorBox Wireless Manager (TWM) is now sorting the list of available wifi along with the signal strength. Hidden networks are only displayed after pushing the H key to declutter the main screen.  Also, the code under the hut was again optimized (for example, a timeout was added if the AP doesn’t respond after sending a wrong password, optimizations for small screens and more).
  • Improved: If TorBox’s WLAN is permanently disabled, the TWM tries to reconnect to a Wireless Network on wlan0, not only on wlan1. However, if wlan0 and wlan1 are available,  TWM will prioritize wlan1 (in this case, we think there is a reason why an USB wifi adapter is connected to the TorBox 😉). This also fixed an issue mentioned by connected201.
  • Improved: TorBox’s Automatic Counter Measures (TACA) checks after reconnecting with a wifi network if the interface got an IP address from the remote DHCP server. If this is not the case, it restarts the interface, triggering the request for a new IP. Also, TACA will detect if the system time is out of sync and re-synchronize it with ntpdate.
  • Improved: Captive Portals are a pain in the ass! If the login page cannot be reached for whatever reason, TorBox provides a direct way back into the TWM (network reset included) to try it again. We have the experience that Captive Portals are getting harder to pass. However, currently, we are experimenting with another alternative way to deal with Captive Portals. If successful, we will add it immediately to TorBox v.0.5.0, which will be available after updating the TorBox menu in the “Update and Maintenance” sub-menu.
  • Improved: Cable support is easier to accomplish now. We reviewed and simplified the code to achieve this goal. Consequently, we merged set_interface and set_captive into set_interface_2 and set_captive_2 and removed the older files. This also fixed an issue mentioned by connected201.
  • Improved: Usability of the Countermeasure against a disconnection when idle feature.
  • Improved: The tor log file is now shown with a filter to declutter the output, and “Bootstrapped 100% (done): Done” message is highlighted in white.
  • Improved: The Bridge Relay backup file is placed into ~/backup.
  • Fixed: In the expert mode of the tor install scripts and the “Update and Maintenance” sub-menu, a hiccup due to a broken sort algorithm prevented the showing up of tor x.x.10 versions.
  • Fixed: Even TorBox’s WLAN was permanently disabled, it was activated again when using wlan0 as an Internet source. This bug was reported by connected201.
  • Fixed: Snowflake is running again.
  • Security: We must mask both tor services to ensure no use of tor connections before configuring TorBox with the “first use” routine.
  • Security: Since the last TorBox version, all access to a tor related URL (for example, torproject.org) directly from the TorBox have been done through tor for security reasons. Thanks to an advice from nyxnor, we switched to a more secure curl SOCKS5 method (curl -x socks5h://127.0.0.1:9050).
  • Removed: Display of the Vanguards log because there is nothing interesting to see.

• • •

We need your feedback!!

We hope this version pleases you. However, we are dependent on feedback. It is not just about fixing bugs and improving usability, but also about supporting additional interfaces and hardware in future releases:

  • What do you like?
  • What should be improved (why and how)?
  • What would you like to see next? Which features do you request?

With the TorBox GitHub repository, it is straightforward for everyone to report issues or change the code and propose it in a pull request. Because we continue to travel around, it sometimes needs more time to address the issues and proposals. 

For future versions, it is essential that we know what you need and want to see from the Onion Services implementation. Please feel free to use the discussion forum to tell us your needs.

• • •

Known problems and bugs
  • BUG: Due to a little bug in the script, The menu entry, which should only activate OBFS4 bridges, which are ONLINE, fails to activate the OBFS4 mode properly. This bug also prevents TorBox to deactivate the OBFS4 lines in the tor configuration file. It can be fixed by updating the TorBox menu in the Update & Maintenance sub-menu (entry 5) and by choosing “Force to deactivate the OBFS4 mode” in the same sub-menu (entry 10). The image file is not fixed yet — PENDING!

Should we change the way how TorBox is dealing with captive portals?

Please participate on our Github discussion board. I need as much input as necessary to decide if we should permanently change how TorBox is dealing with captive portals.

Current situation

When the user changes the connection settings in the main menu, he is confronted with a dialogue asking if it is a direct connection or a captive portal. So far, the master branch and the v.0.5.0 release open a tunnel between a client and the captive portal to make it possible to deal with the login page of the captive portal. The idea behind it is that the captive portal put the MAC address of the TorBox in a whitelist so that we can connect the TorBox with the Internet. I call that method “TUNNELING”.

Problem

For whatever reason, it seems that the “TUNNELING” method will not always work, and it appears that the number of captive portals blocking this approach is increasing. However, due to a small sample, I’m not entirely sure if this observation can be generalized or I was only the “lucky one” with this problem.

Solution

With the new_captive_portal_pass_through branch, I introduced an alternative way to deal with captive portals, called “SPOOFING”. The idea is that a client directly connects a captive portal and opens it. When TorBox connects the captive portal, it asks for a MAC address. The user can enter the MAC address of the client, which is already whitelisted from the captive portal and connect to the Internet. So far, I only tested a handful of captive portals, and it worked not only well but better than the “TUNNELING” method. Currently, the new_captive_portal_pass_through branch offers both methods.

new_captive_portal_pass_through

To install the new_captive_portal_pass_through branch is easy by using the expert mode of entry 5 of the Update & Maintenance sub-menu. Additionally, you have to copy the updated rc.local file to /etcsudo cp etc/rc.local /etc

Questions

The next step in the new_captive_portal_pass_through branch is to allow users to list, change and reset the MAC addresses on every available interface. This questions the current approach to deal with captive portals:

  • Should we still offer both methods or depreciate the “TUNNELING” method? Did you test the new “SPOOFING” method and fail to access a captive portal with this new method? –> we will keep offering both methods because SPOOFING, too, is not always working.
  • Should we even differentiate between a direct connection and a connection through captive portals anymore? What could a better approach look like?
  • In which sub-menu should I place the entry to list, change and reset the MAC addresses? Configuration or Countermeasure sub-menu or somewhere else

Please join our discussion on our Github discussion board.

Update your TorBox

We have good and bad news…

Bad News
The next TorBox release (v.0.5.0) will not be published before the end of the year. We will not update the image file befor, because we need the time to properly implement Onion Service support and to intensively test the new version.

Good News
We updated our installation script so that it works with the latest Raspberry Pi OS version, which is based on Debian 11 (Bullseye). We also updated some installation paths to the unofficial Tor Repository, a new Go version, to update additional network drivers. We also added some new options to the installation script:

Syntax : run_install.sh [-h|--help] [--select-tor] [--select-branch branch_name] [--step_by_step]
Options: -h, --help     : Shows this help screen ;-)
         --select-tor   : Let select a specific tor version (default: newest stable version)
         --select-fork fork_owner_name
			            : Let select a specific fork from a GitHub user (fork_owner_name)
         --select-branch branch_name
                        : Let select a specific TorBox branch (default: master)
         --step_by_step : Executes the installation step by step

With the --select-branch v.0.5.0 option, adventurous fellas have the option to install TorBox v.0.5.0 ALPHA (the menus are still labelled as v.0.4.2). For more information on v.0.5.0, see our discussion page on Github.

By the way, if you want to help with the project, please look for our Job Postings

TorBox v.0.4.2 released — hardening

Again, thanks to several approaches by nyxnor, the core changes in TorBox v.0.4.2 is about hardening it (see also our discussion here). Our goal is to offer users in authoritarian countries the safest possible way to install and use TorBox. That said, I want to remind you once more that it is strongly advised not to use TorBox if your well-being depends on your anonymity. In such a situation, it is advisable to use Tails.

The hardening of TorBox also slightly changes the first time start procedure. After finishing the installation with the installation script or with flashing the image file of the SD Card (at least 8 Gb are necessary), login to the TorBox by using a  SSH client (192.168.42.1 on a WiFi client and 192.168.43.1 on a cable client) or a web browser (https://192.168.42.1:9000 on a WiFi client and https://192.168.43.1:9000 on a cable client) is mandatory, because TorBox will ask the user during its first start if he wants to activate OBFS4 bridges for hiding the use of tor. The integrated OBFS4 bridges should help with that, although patience is necessary because that process could easily take 5 minutes to be successful. Also, activating OBFS4 bridges can be problematic behind a tightly configured (see more here). However, if you cannot connect to the Tor network yet, don’t panic – your selection is saved, and you can choose safely entry 5-10 in the main menu (we will improve the usability with the next version). This is only necessary during the first start after flashing the TorBox image on the SD cards. However, you can change your decision and configure the use of bridges later in the Countermeasure sub-menu.

After finishing the installation with the installation script or with flashing the image file during the first start-up, TorBox will ask the user, if he wants to activate OBFS4 bridges (remark: the dialogue box will slightly differ if installed with the installation script).

TorBox Image (about 910 MB): v.0.4.2 (02.08.2021) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.4.2 (02.08.2021) – SHA-256 values

Since we had to install additional software packages and update the configuration files, we recommend using the new image rather than updating an existing system. However, we have added a short guide at the end of this post for those who absolutely must update from the previous version (not older!).

• • •

Changelog: v.0.4.1 (13.06.2021) –> v.0.4.2 (02.08.2021)
  • IMPORTANT: Installing TorBox requires at least an 8 GB SD Card.
  • Update: The system is based on Raspberry Pi OS “Buster” Lite with a Linux Kernel 5.10.49 and Tor version 0.4.6.6. Tor version 0.4.6.6 fixes several security issues, including a denial-of-service attack against onion service clients and another denial-of-service attack against relays. The 0.4.6.x series includes numerous features and bugfixes, including a significant improvement to our circuit timeout algorithm that should improve observed client performance and a way for relays to report when they are overloaded. 
  • Update: Internal list of OBFS4 bridges is actualized, and the Meek-Azure, as well as the Snowflake configurations are updated in torrc based on the Tor Browser 10.5.2.
  • Update: The Adafruit’s PiTFT display installer.
  • New: The install scripts were extensively rewritten to be more reliable and secure in highly authoritarian countries. Tor will only be activated after a restart and a login by SSH or a web browser. This gives the user the possibility to start pluggable transports and bridges from the beginning to hide the use of tor in a better way and improve the user’s security. These improvements were proposed and highly influenced by nyxnor. Also, the installation script is more configurable, and these configurations will be stored into run/torbox.run after the installation.
  • New: Optional but highly recommended, automatic counteractions on log related events can be activated in the Countermeasure sub-menu. These counteractions should avoid the downtime of the connection to the tor network and give a better user experience, especially on connections with lower bandwidth. Most likely, this feature will be implemented as default in the next TorBox version. However, we are dependent on your feedback on this new feature. For more information, see under “Test and play with the ‘automatization’ feature“.
  • New: Wifi driver for RTL8812bu for Raspberry Pi OS added and for Debian/Ubuntu updated.
  • Fixed: Access on the Tor Control port from the clients produces a warning message in the tor log. Even if we don’t assess this as a security risk, to avoid the warning message, access on the Tor Control Port from the clients is disabled by default but can be activated in the Configuration sub-menu
  • Improved: By default, all access to a tor related URL (torproject.org) will be done through tor for security reasons of users in highly authoritarian countries. This includes tor and Torbox menu updates as well as bridge fetching and checking. If a connection through tor is not possible, the user is asked if it is safe to access the URL directly. If the user agrees, the local DNS resolution will be made through public name servers to avoid cheap censorship mechanisms (for more information, see here); if the user disagrees, the access on the tor related URL is blocked.
  • Improved: The file run/torbox.run is modified to a configuration file. The public name servers and the connectivity-check URL can be changed there and are used by every script (for more information, see here).
  • Improved: Configuring the TorBox bridge relay allows to set the bridge distribution method (requested by DEC-entralized, see details in the commit d5b0045eec2e79c60dfd33b0239a5d1e4291597f).
  • Improved: The configuration of the TorBox bridge relay can also be changed when the OBFS4 bridge relay is running. No deactivation before and activation after the changes are necessary anymore.
  • Improved: Pressing ENTER in the TorBox bridge relay configuration dialogue doesn’t set the default values but the latest used ones.
  • Improved: The installations scripts and the compatibility for Debian and Ubuntu systems as well as for 64 bit systems.
  • Improved: We have a new way to set the hostname, which should avoid error messages.
  • Removed: We don’t install tor from the Torproject repository anymore. As a fallback, a LTS version of tor is installed from the Raspberry Pi OS and the Debian repository (depending on your system), which is replaced from the latest stable version from the Tor’s Github Repository. This gives us a fallback – if someone uses the installation script and Tor’s Github Repository is blocked, the LTS version of tor is still installed, and the user can update to a newer version later through tor. So far, this is the best way to solve the „chicken or the egg“ problem.
  • Removed: The new_ident script is replaced by tor-prompt commands in the menu script (SIGNAL NEWNYM).
  • Experimental: Vanguards – Guard discovery and related traffic analysis protection – added (mentioned by nyxnor, see details in issue #72). Vanguards are optional and have to be activated in the Countermeasure sub-menu.

• • •

How to update from TorBox v.0.4.1 (13.06.2021)?

To update a TorBox v.0.4.1 (13.06.2021) installation, you can perform the following tasks. This deletes all your custom made configurations but does not alter your bridge relay keys. Nevertheless, we recommend, if possible, using the new image.

  1. Please, make sure that TorBox has Internet connectivity.
  2. Update the system: Go to the Update and Reset sub-menu, update the base system and the TorBox menu (entries 1 and 5).
  3. To ensure that all necessary packages are installed, execute the following commands (please, make sure that you copy the entire line!):
    sudo apt-get -y install hostapd isc-dhcp-server usbmuxd dnsmasq dnsutils tcpdump iftop vnstat debian-goodies apt-transport-https dirmngr python3-pip python3-pil imagemagick tesseract-ocr ntpdate screen git openvpn ppp shellinabox python3-stem raspberrypi-kernel-headers dkms nyx obfs4proxy apt-transport-tor build-essential automake libevent-dev libssl-dev asciidoc bc devscripts dh-apparmor libcap-dev liblzma-dev libsystemd-dev libzstd-dev quilt zlib1g-dev
  4. Update tor: Go to the Update and Reset sub-menu again and actualize the the TorBox menu (entry 4).
  5. Install Vanguards, if you want to use it:
    sudo bash install/install_vanguards.sh
  6. Replace the changed configuration files:
    # Backup in case
    sudo cp /etc/tor/torrc /etc/tor/torrc.bak
    # ATTENTION: This will overwrite your modifications as well as the configuration for the OBFS4 bridge relay
    # If you run a bridge relay use "backup/restore the Bridge Relay configuration"
    sudo cp etc/tor/torrc /etc/tor/
    cp etc/system/system.d/rc.local /etc/system/system.d/
    The commands above should work. Alternatively, you could also go to the Update and Reset sub-menu and reset the entire TorBox configuration from there (entry 8).
  7. Reboot TorBox.

• • •

Your feedback is welcome!!

We hope this version pleases you. However, we are dependent on feedback. It is not just about fixing bugs and improving usability, but also about supporting additional interfaces and hardware in future releases:

  • What do you like?
  • What should be improved (why and how)?
  • What would you like to see next? Which features do you request?

With the TorBox GitHub repository, it is straightforward for everyone to report issues or to change the code and to propose it in a pull request. Because we continue to travel around, it sometimes needs a little more time to address the issues and proposals. 

• • •

Known problems and bugs
  • BUG: The current image file is built with Linux Kernel 5.10.52. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that all the additional network drivers (Realtek 8188eu, 8188fu, 8192eu, 8812au, 8812bu, 8814au, 8821au, 8821cu, and 8822bu) are not yet available for this Linux Kernel Version. The latest supported Linux Kernel is version 5.10.49. Those already working with the current image file or who have updated the system and need one of these network drivers can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5) and executing the following command on TorBox’s command prompt:
    cd ~/torbox
    bash install/step_back_to_kernel_5.10.49

    Afterwards, rerun menu entry 2 in the Update and Reset sub-menu.
    The current image is updated. BUG FIXED✔︎
    .
  • BUG: The integration of TorBox’s automatic counteractions into rc.local resulted in some nasty bugs, which we didn’t see before: rc.local needs absolute paths, not relative ones; there was also an error in getting the name of the internet interface from the run-file, which broke the execution of the automat script. We also put the logs of TorBox’s automatic counteractions into a separate file (/var/log/tor/automat.log) so that it is easier to see if automatic counteractions were activated or not. You can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). The current image is updated. BUG FIXED✔︎
    .
  • BUG: Due to a little bug in the script, TorBox tells during the activation of the Meek-Azure bridge that the bridge is offline, which is not the case. However, you can continue, and the bridge will work without any problem. You can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). The current image is updated. BUG FIXED✔︎
    .
  • BUG: Pressing the enter key in the OBFS4 port definition (“port number of the OBFS4”) during the OBFS4 Bridge Relay configuration will not automatically take the latest used or the default number. This will result to a faulty torrc entry (ServerTransportListenAddr obfs4 0.0.0.0: instead of, for example, ServerTransportListenAddr obfs4 0.0.0.0:443). This will prevent tor from starting until the ServerTransportListenAddr line is fixed or deactivated. The workaround is easy: don’t press the enter key during the OBFS4 Bridge Relay configuration, but write the number into the dialogue. However, you can fix the bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). The current image is updated. BUG FIXED✔︎

TorBox v.0.4.0 released — welcome TorBox Wireless Manager!

In the last months, we travelled around, and with this release, we tried to implement some improvements based on our experience with the daily application of the TorBox. The most significant improvement is abolishing wicd and introducing our new TorBox Wireless Manager (TWM). Not only is the TWM much easier to use, but it also doesn’t need so much power. Another pleasant novelty is the support of Azur-Meek and Snowflake, which should also work in China. During our travels, we have noticed incorrect DNS resolution regarding torproject.org in some countries. Probably, this is a kind of cheap censorship mechanism. For this reason, during the installation and updates, local DNS resolutions are made through Google’s and Cloudflare’s Domain Name Servers instead of using the Internet Providers presetting delivered by DHCPImportant: these settings are only for TorBox local traffic; all data from the clients are routed through Tor (including DNS requests). Nevertheless, some user complained about using Google’s and Cloudflare’s DNS servers and requested to implement other DNS servers. In the FAQ, we explain our decision in detail and how someone, who cannot live with it, has the possibility to change these settings.

TorBox Image (about 1 GB): v.0.4.0 (10.04.2021) – SHA-256 values
TorBox Menu only: v.0.4.0 (10.04.2021) – SHA-256 values

We strongly recommend using the new image rather than updating an existing system. 

The new TorBox Wireless Manager, which replaces wicd.

• • •

Changelog:v.0.3.2 (24.08.2020) –> v.0.4.0 (10.04.2021)
  • Update: The system is based on Raspberry Pi OS “Buster” Lite with a Linux Kernel 5.10.17 and Tor version 0.4.5.7. The Tor Project fixed in this latest version two critical denial-of-service bugs: TROVE-2021-001 and TROVE-2021-002, of which only the first one is relevant for clients.
  • New: wicd has been replaced by the TorBox Wireless Manager (TWM). We like to hear your feedback.
  • New: Support for Meek-Azure and Snowflake implemented, which should also work in China. Meek uses a technique called “domain fronting” to send a message to a Tor relay in a way that is hard to block. Meek-Azure makes it look like you are browsing to Microsoft’s Azure server  instead of using Tor. Snowflake is an improvement upon Flashproxy. It sends your traffic through WebRTC, a peer-to-peer protocol with built-in NAT punching. However, because Meek-Azure and Snowflake are slower, OBFS4 bridges should be used first. If not needed, the best is not to use bridges in the first place. Please, tell us about your experiences with the use of bridges to circumvent censorship.
  • New: Based on several user requests, the configuration sub-menu (entry 11) comprises now an option to block all HTTP plain text traffic through Tor. This should avoid unencrypted data traffic at the Exit Node, which could break your anonymity (see here). However, it is possible that not only http-requests but also other tools, such as VPN clients, will no longer work. Where possible, we recommend installing HTTPS Everywhere in the Browser. We like to hear your feedback on your experiences about that feature so that we can decide if we should block all HTTP plain text traffic by default, starting with one of the next releases.
  • New: Based on several user requests, TorBox can be configured to be accessed with SSH from the Internet.
  • New: Based on several user requests, support for additional network driver were added: Realtek 8188eu, 8188fu, 8192eu, 8812au, 8814au, 8821au, 8821cu, and 8822bu.
  • New: It is now possible to connect/disconnect the TorBox from a VPN using the countermeasure sub-menu without changing Tor’s primary interface to the Internet. With this feature, the user can influence the route of the local network data from the command line and, for example, circumvent censorship measures that don’t allow updating TorBox. Additionally, it gives the possibility to completely disconnect the TorBox from a VPN after finishing using main menu entry 9, which enables TorBox to use route Tor over VPN (for more information about Tor over VPN / VPN over Tor, see here).
  • New: In the main menu, in the top of the right corner, a message shows not only if Tor is working (meaning https://check.torproject.org returns a positive result), but also if the TorBox is connected to a VPN (meaning that local network data from the command prompt is routed through VPN).
  • New: Installation script for Debian 10 (Buster) and Debian 11 (Bullseye) – for more information, see here.
  • Fixed: The user “torbox” was not a member of the group “netdev”, which causes a display error in the entry 1 and 3 in the update and reset sub-menu.
  • Fixed: During the installation of TorBox with the installation script, Tor will be compiled because the the Tor Project doesn’t provide a binary version for the Raspberry Pi. We had this option before in the update and reset sub-menu but not in the installation script, which leads to missing tor packages.
  • Fixed: Fixed the download path for the TorBox menu in the installation as well as in the update and reset sub-menu. We also changed the GitHub download path for the Raspberry Pi Framebuffer Copy needed for AdAfruits Pi TFT installation. GitHub is suddenly changing URLs, which is a pain in the ass.
  • Fixed: Missing path to torbox.lib in some scripts, which use Bridges and prevented Tor from restarting automatically.
  • Fixed: Wrong  menu entry relating to the countermeasure against a disconnection when idle after a restart.
  • Improved: During the installation and updates, local DNS resolutions are made through Google’s and Cloudflare’s Domain Name Servers to avoid cheap censorship mechanism. Important: these settings are only for TorBox local traffic; all data from the clients are routed through Tor (including DNS requests). For more information and an explanation of how it is possible to change it, see here.
  • Improved: The support for Sixfab Shields/HATs for cellular connections can now be installed offline.
  • Improved: The script to install the Adafruit PI TFT is now locally stored and not fetched from the Adafruit Github Repository (Adafruit changed it, and it was broken). However, an Internet connection is still necessary for the installation.
  • Improved: The support for installing TorBox on a Ubuntu 20.04 / 20.10 or Debian Buster/Bullseye system. TorBox’s implementation on other systems and hardware is experimental because we do not have the resources to check all details on all different installations. You can help us with reporting errors back to us.
  • Improved: Cleaned up the code and outsourced more essential functions into the TorBox library or separate sub-scripts. This will help to maintain the code in future releases properly.
  • Improved: The appearance of all menus has been streamlined, and in the files, we fixed some minor errors.
The Countermeasure sub-menu of TorBox v.0.4.0.
The countermeasure sub-menu of TorBox v.0.4.0 with Snowflake and Meek-Azure.

• • •

Known problems and bugs
  • LIMITATION: If HTTP plain text traffic is blocked (configuration sub-menu entry 11), .onion addresses, which use “http://”doesn’t work anymore directly with Chrome and Chromium. Both browsers will behave like all other browsers by default, because based on IETF RFC 7686, applications that do not implement the Tor protocol generate an error upon the use of .onion and do not perform a DNS lookup. However, .onion addresses using “http://” can be used through SOCKS 5 even if the HTTP plain text traffic is blocked. Onion addresses using “http://” can also be used with the Tor Browser – with or without its own Tor instance – running on a client. 🙂 In other words, blocking HTTP plain text traffic does not work if SOCKS 5 proxy functionality or Tor Browser is used on a client. 🙁 WARNING MESSAGE ADDED✔︎
    .
  • PROBLEM: People running an OBFS4 bridge relay will probably encounter the following hourly error message: “Unable to find IPv6 address for ORPort xxxx.” It seems that with Tor version 0.4.5.* the Tor Project focuses on improving the IPv6 support (until now, a Tor relay needs a public IPv4 address). At the same time, they changed the address auto-discovery behaviour (see here, here and here), which probably leads to this hourly error message. Even, the Tor Project writes in the Changelog for 0.4.5.7 that they removed “a spammy log notice falsely claiming that the IPv4/v6 address was missing”, it doesn’t seem to work completely. However, this error message has no negative on the operation and the status on Metrics. PROBLEM SOLVED✔︎
    .
  • BUG: Entry 5 in the update and reset sub-menu, which should update the TorBox menu fails to remove the old lib/__pycache__ directory. Even if saying yes to remove it, the update will be incompleted because it cannot replace the old lib directory. Unfortunatelly, all files in that directory except lib/__pycache__ are deleted, so that the TorBox menu will not properly work anymore. It can be fixed with the following procedure:
    – Leave the TorBox menu by pressing ESC
    – Type sudo chmod a+w -R lib
    – Start TorBox menu again by typing ./menu
    – Start the update and reset sub-menu and execute entry 5
    .
    After this procedure and the successful update, the bug is fixed. The current image is updated.  BUG FIXED✔︎
    .
  • BUG: This affects only Bridge Relay operators: due to a bug in the main menu script, every second time when the main menu was started, the OBFS4 and ORPort was blocked, which set the Bridge Relay offline. You can fix these bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). The current image is updated.  BUG FIXED✔︎
    .
  • BUG: Already in TorBox v.0.3.2, main menu’s start-up can be stuck on the message “Checking connectivity to the Internet – please wait…” for an annoying amount of time if TorBox has no Internet connection. In TorBox v.0.4.0, the introduced timeout had no effect because we did it in a wrong way. You can fix these bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). The current image is updated. BUG FIXED✔︎.
    .
  • BUG: Using entry 10 in the configuration sub-menu to enable the SSH access to TorBox from the Internet was not permanent when chosen so, but was permanent when chosen temporary (for a description and a quick fix, see issue #46). You can fix these bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). BUG FIXED✔︎
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  • BUG: Entry 7 in the update and reset sub-menu did not erase all passwords in the TorBox Wireless Manager. To take effect, a reboot is needed. You can fix these bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). BUG FIXED✔︎

    BUG: Because of a wrong variable name, the Snowflake and the Meek-Azure bridges got in the way (for details see issue #48). Nyxnor fixed the bug with the pull request #49 and #51. You can fix these bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). BUG FIXED✔︎
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  • BUG: Since TorBox v.0.3.2, we introduced a new SOCKS v5, which supports destination address stream isolation. Unfortunately, we used the port number, which is reserved for the Tor control port. So far, this didn’t have any adverse side effects. However, this is not the way it supposed to be. For that reason, we changed the SOCKS v5 port for destination address stream isolation to 9052. You can fix these bug by changing in /etc/tor/torrc the following lines: SocksPort 192.168.42.1:9051 IsolateDestAddr -> SocksPort 192.168.42.1:9052 IsolateDestAddr and SocksPort 192.168.43.1:9052 IsolateDestAddr -> SocksPort 192.168.42.1:9052 IsolateDestAdd (with or without #) or by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5) and than copying the default torrc to /etc (cp etc/tor/torrc /etc/tor/torrc). The proposed fix will most likely break tor because the menu script must also be adapted to the new port. For that reason, the fix will be included in TorBox v.0.4.1. BUG NOT FIXED IN v.0.4.0😬
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  • LOOK&FEEL: Because we offer several install scripts, which dependent on the operating system, install Tor in different ways, we decided to put the repository for Tor’s binaries and sources, knowing that, for example, on Raspberry Pi OS with apt-get update an error message is shown, which does not affect. However, inexperienced users might be discouraged by the error message. See also issue #36. You can fix these bug by updating the TorBox menu (update and reset sub-menu entry 5). The current image is updated. CLOSED✔︎

Update your TorBox

We have good and bad news…

Bad News
The next TorBox release (v.0.3.3 or v.0.4.0) will probably not be published before the end of March 2021. The reason is that, currently, we travel around and test TorBox in real-world use. The drawn lessons learned will be implemented in the next releases. At the same time, as bandwidth spoiled freaks, we realized that in some places in the world the Internet connections are suicidally slow. This makes a release during our trip pretty much impossible.

Good News
If you have TorBox 0.3.2, you don’t need to wait to update the base system or the Tor version on your TorBox. First, choose entry 1 in the Update and Reset submenu to update your base system (to Linux Kernel 5.4.83). However, this will not update Tor because, for whatever reason, the Tor Project repository doesn’t support armhf anymore. To update Tor, choose entry 3 in the Update and Reset submenu. This will update Tor to the version 0.4.4.6. This version has an improved guard selection algorithms, adds v3 onion balance support and includes fixes for TROVE-2020-005.

The status message seen under entry 3 in the Update and Reset submenu after the update to the newest Tor version.

Travelling around, we expired in some countries a wrong DNS resolution regarding torproject.org. Probably, this is a kind of cheap censorship mechanism. This is why we added to our update script a set of open name servers. In other words, if entry 3 in the Update and Reset submenu produce an error and refuse to update Tor, try first entry 4, leave the Update and Reset submenu (it has to be reloaded) and try entry 3 again. In the next TorBox version, these set of open name servers will be installed as default. Important: these open name servers are only used for the DNS requests directly from the command prompt of the TorBox (during installations, updates, administrative work etc.), but not by the clients. Clients DNS requests are resolved through Tor.

We are working hard to replace wicd with our own lightweight wireless manager for TorBox v.0.4.0. The main reason is that it seems that wicd is not developed further. Several attempts to contact the developers went unanswered. The current version of wicd doesn’t support Python version 3, which produces some headaches under Ubuntu. At the same time, however, it is also an opportunity to significantly simplify the handling of wireless networks in TorBox.

Test version of the new TorBox Wireless Manager, which is replacing wicd in the next major release of TorBox.