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Feature #9473

Improve "Unable to connect" error message from Tor Browser

Added by anonym over 4 years ago. Updated 9 months ago.

Status:
Confirmed
Priority:
Normal
Assignee:
-
Category:
-
Target version:
-
Start date:
05/26/2015
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Feature Branch:
Type of work:
User interface design
Starter:
Affected tool:
Browser

Description

We want to improve the error message for the "Unable to connect" message one gets when trying to reach a LAN web server in the Tor Browser. Likely we want to do this in Torbutton since they would also benefit from it.

See discussion on tails-dev@ for some initial thoughts on what we want to do, and #9466#note-2 for how to do it.


Related issues

Related to Tails - Feature #8711: Investigate how we could improve the error message when browsing LAN from usual Tor Browser Resolved 01/16/2015
Related to Tails - Feature #14544: Spend software developer time on smallish UX improvements In Progress 08/31/2018
Blocked by Tails - Bug #8061: Customize error messages in Tor Browser and remove the "Tor is not ready" popup Confirmed 10/11/2014

History

#1 Updated by anonym over 4 years ago

  • Related to Feature #8711: Investigate how we could improve the error message when browsing LAN from usual Tor Browser added

#2 Updated by anonym over 4 years ago

  • Target version changed from Tails_1.4.1 to Tails_1.6

#3 Updated by anonym over 4 years ago

  • Assignee changed from anonym to sajolida
  • QA Check set to Info Needed

How exactly would you like this page to be modified? Please reassign to me when done.

#4 Updated by sajolida over 4 years ago

  • Assignee changed from sajolida to anonym

Are we going to amend the exisiting page or are we going to write new custom page for that? Then content will be very different so I need to know that beforehand.

#5 Updated by anonym over 4 years ago

sajolida wrote:

Are we going to amend the exisiting page or are we going to write new custom page for that? Then content will be very different so I need to know that beforehand.

Right. Sorry for assigning it to you prematurely. Let's wait until a decision has been made in the thread on tails-dev@/tails-ux@.

#6 Updated by anonym about 4 years ago

  • Assignee changed from anonym to sajolida

anonym wrote:

sajolida wrote:

Are we going to amend the exisiting page or are we going to write new custom page for that? Then content will be very different so I need to know that beforehand.

Right. Sorry for assigning it to you prematurely. Let's wait until a decision has been made in the thread on tails-dev@/tails-ux@.

Any update? Like I said, depending on what we want, the approaches will be pretty different, and I'd rather not waste time investigating the one we won't use. Time is getting short for getting this into Tails 1.6, so I need to know this pretty soon, or postpone this ticket yet again.

#7 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

  • Target version deleted (Tails_1.6)
  • QA Check deleted (Info Needed)

Sorry, I've been slow on this. It's part of the things that I find cool and somehow important but never make it to be urgent enough to be tackled. I read the thread again and I think that we should:

  • Go for a completed rewrite of the page (copying bits of it that are still relevant).
  • Include all cases that might break including:
    • No network connection (already existing)
    • Remote server down or unexisting (already existing)
    • Remove firewall or proxy from existing page
    • LAN (new)
    • "The proxy server is refusing connections", ie. Tor is not started yet for some reason. (new)
    • Captive portals (new)
    • "Tor circuits are sometimes slow and Tor exits are some times blocked,
      retry with 'New Tor circuit for this site'"

What we need to do before being able to write this is:

  • Verify what's specific to Tails and what could be pushed upstream in Torbutton. But starting experimenting this in Tails.
  • Decide in which order should these points be presented on that page.
  • Customize the look of the page to make it stand out (title + onion logo).

So I guess this ticket should be assigned to me and will not be ready in time for 1.6 :) Also, out hyopthesis that this would create tons of user support requests didn't really happen I think. I'll still check with frontdesk.

While working on this or afterwards, we might realize that it's worth having two different custom pages, one to replace "Unable to connect" and another one to replace "The proxy server is refusing connections". But let's start with this one first and see how things go...

#8 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

  • Type of work changed from Code to End-user documentation

#9 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

  • Type of work changed from End-user documentation to User interface design
  • Blueprint set to https://tails.boum.org/blueprint/browser_error_messages/

Currently the "The proxy server is refusing connections" screen only appears on boot, when Tor has never been started yet. If after that, the network connection is lost for example, Tor is still running in the background, so you get the "Unable to connect".

This means that the same state ("not connected to any network") currently lead to two different screen depending on whether you've connected already to a network. I don't think it's consistent and rather have one screen to catch all cases to start with.

I created a blueprint to start working on this. It's pretty much empty now: https://tails.boum.org/blueprint/browser_error_messages/

#10 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

  • Subject changed from Improve the error message when browsing LAN from usual Tor Browser to Improve "Unable to connect" error message from Tor Browser

Making the title of this ticket more generic. The coding work should be the same, it's a bit more writting but it is worth doing everything once and for good.

#11 Updated by intrigeri about 4 years ago

This means that the same state ("not connected to any network") currently lead to two different screen depending on whether you've connected already to a network. I don't think it's consistent and rather have one screen to catch all cases to start with.

Something like this should avoid this problem (see the down part of the case):

$ cat /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/60-tor.sh 
#! /bin/sh

# Run only when the interface is eth* or wlan*:
echo "$1" | grep -qsE '^(eth|wlan)' || exit 0

# Debian#754218
if [ -d /run/systemd/system ]; then
   systemctl list-jobs | grep -q network.target && exit 0
fi

case "$2" in
   down)
      # Stop Tor iff. all interfaces are down
      NMSTATE=$(nmcli -t -f state general)
      case "$NMSTATE" in
     connected)
        exit 0
        ;;
     *)
        service tor stop
        ;;
      esac
      ;;
   *)
      exit 0
      ;;
esac

Works for me on sid.

#12 Updated by sajolida about 4 years ago

Thanks for the patch!

If I understand it correctly (didn't test it), it would display the screen "The proxy server is refusing connections" consistently when there is no network connection (either on boot or later on). But we would continue having two different error screens "The proxy server is refusing connections" and "Unable to connect".

I'd have to think in depth about that in comparison to having a single screen to rule them all.

#13 Updated by intrigeri about 4 years ago

If I understand it correctly (didn't test it), it would display the screen "The proxy server is refusing connections" consistently when there is no network connection (either on boot or later on).

Right. I now realize that this may actually be out of the scope of this ticket, since it has nothing to do with trying to access a webserver on the LAN.

#14 Updated by sajolida over 1 year ago

  • Related to Feature #14544: Spend software developer time on smallish UX improvements added

#15 Updated by sajolida over 1 year ago

  • Related to Bug #8061: Customize error messages in Tor Browser and remove the "Tor is not ready" popup added

#16 Updated by sajolida 9 months ago

  • Assignee deleted (sajolida)

#17 Updated by intrigeri 8 months ago

  • Related to deleted (Bug #8061: Customize error messages in Tor Browser and remove the "Tor is not ready" popup)

#18 Updated by intrigeri 8 months ago

  • Blocked by Bug #8061: Customize error messages in Tor Browser and remove the "Tor is not ready" popup added

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