Orfox: Aspiring To Bring Tor Browser To Android

2014 Google Summer of Code pupil, has proven we’re able to build Firefox for Android with a few of the configurations and configurations from the Tor Browser desktop software. This application was called by us Orfox, in homage to Orbot and our current Orweb web browser. This was a good first step, but we were doing the build on Mozilla’s Firefox code repository, and then retrofitting pieces from Tor Browser’s code, which wasn’t the right way to do things, honestly. As of today, we have a well balanced alpha release ready for testing, and are quickly moving towards a general public beta in a few weeks.

Our plan is to positively encourage users to move from Orweb to Orfox, and stop active development of Orweb, removing to from the Google Play Store even. Orbot (SOCKS) proxying on start-up. Below you will see screenshots and our current group of Orfox FAQS from the task wiki. Where can I find all the relevant Orfox project parts?

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How is Orfox different than Tor Browser for desktop? Orfox is built from the same source code as Tor Browser (which is made upon Firefox), but with a few minimal adjustments to the personal privacy enhancing features to make sure they are compatible with Firefox for Android and the Android operating system. AF-Droid appndroid components of Firefox for Android. The Orfox repository is a fork of the Tor Browser repository with the required changes and Android-specific code as areas on top of the Tor Browser work. We could keep our repository in sync with updates and release of Tor Browser.

Orfox includes a “Request Mobile Site” option that allows you to change the user-agent from the typical Tor Browser agent to a revised Android specific one: “Mozilla/5.0 (Android; Mobile; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/31.0”. That is useful to be able to start to see the mobile version of the website, but will reduce the amount your web browser blends in with other browsers. Orfox currently permits users to bookmark sites, and could have additional data written to drive beyond the actual core gecko web browser component does. We are auditing all drive write code still, and identifying how to appropriately disable or harden it.

Beyond the primary Tor Browser components, Orfox also must ensure all Android-specific code is properly routed through the Tor proxy, and hardened to safeguard against data and privacy leaks normally. Orfox adds patches at the Android Java code layer to enable proxying of all Java network HTTP communications through the neighborhood Orbot HTTP proxy (HTTP localhost:8118 for the present time, but moving to SOCKS). 2 million times. It is VERY VERY SIMPLE, as it only has one tabs, no bookmark capacity, and an minimal consumer experience extremely.

Orweb is built upon the bundled WebView (Webkit) browser component within the Android operating system. This has proven to be problematic because we can not control the version of this component, and cannot update it when pests are located straight. In addition, Google has made it very hard to effectively control the network proxy settings of all areas of this component, making it difficult to ensure that traffic will not drip on all OS and devices versions. Orweb also only provides a very limited amount of capacity for Tor Browser, related to reducing browser fingerprinting primarily, minimizing disk writes, and cookie and history management.