Tor And Firefox 3.0b5 in Hardy

May 20, 2008 at 18:06 | Posted in Tech | 3 Comments
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I have recently noticed several hits on my blog looking for TOR and Firefox 3.0b5. So Since I use both and Since I know that TorButton does not yet (at least the last time I checked) work with Firefox 3.0b5. I figured I’d write a quick howto on setting up a Safe Tor/Firefox in Hardy Heron.

The instructions below assume that you have already installed TOR and Privoxy and set them up correctly.

The first thing you will need to do is to create a separate profile for Tor browsing. The more paranoid may wish to set up a separate user account for TOR browsing thus further preventing the chance of data leakage.

To set up a separate profile, make sure there are no instances of Firefox running, then open a terminal and enter the command:

firefox -ProfileManager

A window that looks like this should show up:

Profile Manager

Create a new profile that you will use for tor only, I called mine TorFox to avoid confusion.

Now we need to create a new launcher to use the TorFox profile.

right click on the desktop and choose Create Launcher

that will bring up this Dialog

Launcher Dialogue

Fill it in like this

Type:          Leave set to Application

Name:        A name you like (I used TorFox)

Command: firefox -P TorFox -no-remote

(The value after the -P should be the name you called you TOR Profile)

Comment:  Whatever you want to show up as the tooltip

now click the icon button and if you want the Firefox icon you can find it in:


then click OK and we are ready to start setting up your TorFox.

Click the launcher (or double click if you system is set to use double clicks)

a Firefox will open up. Just double check that it is not your normal (default) profile firefox. It shouldn’t have any of your favourites, add-ons, or other setting.. It should be a fresh firefox.

once you have that, Click Edit -> Preferences

on the Main Tab

click Manage Add-ons and disable or uninstall all Add-ons (there should only be the Ubuntu firefox modifications as this should be a fresh profile)

Then at the top of the Add-ons window you will see an option for Plugins

Click it and then disable all plugins.

Once that is done exit the add-ons window and click Content on the Preferences window.

on the Content tab uncheck Enable JavaScript and Enable Java

now click Applications at the top of the Preferences window

Set all the action so that they do not use external applications. So either set them to Preview in Firefox or Always Ask or Save File Of these Save File is probably the safest bit some things don’t have that option (Podcast, Video Podcast, Web Feed) so those you will need to set to Preview in Firefox. It should look something like this:

Application Preferences

Now click the Privacy tab at the top of the Preferences window

uncheck all the history items.

The more paranoid can uncheck all the cookie options but that will greatly limit the sites you can go to so I personally accept both types of cookies but have the Keep Until option set to clear the cookies when I close firefox.

Check the Always Clear Private Data. Click the Settings button beside it and make sure all options are checked. Uncheck Ask me before clearing private data.

Now we move on to the Security Tab

I uncheck both of the Tell me if the site… options because these most likely leak information by looking up the site you are going to against a on a remote site.

Also uncheck the Remember passwords options. (If you don’t store them they cant leak)

and finally on to the Advanced tab:

under Advanced there are several tabs

we’ll start on the Network Tab, Click the Settings button beside Connections

set it up like this:

Connection settings for TOR

Also Check the Tell me when a website asks to store data offline and use the Exceptions button to be sure that are no pre-set exceptions.

On the Update Tab under Advanced

uncheck all the Update options.

Your  Tor/Firefox should now be ready for a test drive. If you find you cannot connect to anything you probably need to edit the /etc/privoxy/config file and be sure it has:

forward-socks4a   /      .

in it. The . at the end of that line is necessary.

I hope this help get people going. If anyone sees something I missed (yes I know that changing user agents might be a good idea but that is a little more advanced then I wanted to get into in this howto) Please let me know.


P.S. If you want to use both firefoxes tor and non TOR you will need to edit the launchers for the regular Firefox and add the options -P default -no-remote to their command lines so that it launches the correct profile and does not open a tab in the other browser. This will create the minor annoyance of needing to close out the browser before clicking a link in another program (like evolution) but I feel the assurance that I’m not opening a TOR browser when I meant to open a Regular one worth that minor hassle.

Also you may want to set different Themes for each browser so you can quickly spot which one you are woring in (prevents “ooopses” of accidentaly usinf a TOR browser for something that you’d rather not have going over the TOR network.)


Si3054 and Hardy Heron… The Saga Continues

May 16, 2008 at 14:46 | Posted in Tech | Comments Off on Si3054 and Hardy Heron… The Saga Continues
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Well it seems I may have been a little overly optimistic when I wrote this Blog entry. Although sending faxes was indeed working fine it seems receiving a fax was not so hot.. after more reading a tweaking I now can do both sending and receiving. It seems that in order to receive a fax properly you need to slow the modem down to 4800 baud (eeesh). So if you are only interested in sending faxes from you laptop you might want to ignore these settings and keep the nice 14.4 baud that you can send at.

Basically it boils down to needing to add to parameters to your faxing software.

the “capabilities” parameters passed to efax should look like:


your’s may vary.. the important number in that string is the second 1 which sets the baud to 4800

you will also need to add the parameter

+MS=32,0,4800,4800 to your modem init string. Again yours may vary the important part here is the 4800,4800 which forces the modem to only use 4800 baud.

Receiving is still not perfect but at least you get a lot more then just the top 8th of the first page.

hope this helps… again this is ONLY needed for receiving.

Getting a Si3054 modem working on Hardy Heron

May 7, 2008 at 10:00 | Posted in Tech | 2 Comments
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Over the last 2 days or so I’ve been enjoying the challenge of getting the Si3054 modem in my laptop to work with Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04). Early on I was quite pleased when the scanmodem script from recognized my modem and said all I needed was to install the slmodemd daemon for it. I was even more pleased to see that slmodemd was in the repositories as sl-modem-daemon.

I installed the package and started testing … and that is where I hit a snag.. Everything seemed o.k. but I kept getting “NO DIALTONE” when trying to talk to the modem.. and it was coming back way too fast so I could tell it wasn’t even really checking. After much googling and reading of documentation I found a post that recommended downloading SLMODEMD.gcc4.1.tar.gz and trying the slmodemd out of it. I did.. it worked. I could fax and everything… cool

so here is a brief rundown for others having the same problem.

First do install the package from the repository and test it with the appropriate settings which will look something like:

sudo slmodemd -c CANADA --alsa hw:0,6

Obviously you will need to change the settings to match your location and hardware

— update —

O.k. realized I forgot to tell people how to determine the “right” hardware”. There is a script from the people that make the drivers here. Download it.. then:

gunzip scanModem.gz

chmod u+x scanModem


This will create a directory called “Modem

In that Directory you’ll find lots of info. You’ll primarily be interested in a file called ModemData.txt. In that file look for a like that reads like:

"The modem cards detected by "aplay -l"  are:
card 2: Intel [HDA Intel], device 6: Si3054 Modem [Si3054 Modem]"

This line tells me my setting (things have changed since I first wrote this) should be hw:2,6

—- end update —-

Then test the modem. I used minicom as I have been around modems since the days of 300 baud and am just plain used to talking to them with “AT” commands. You may wish to try the recommended wvdial test recommended on the linmodem homepage, or what ever other test you are comfortable with that will return good information from the modem.

If, like me, you find that you aren’t able to get anywhere try downloading SLMODEMD.gcc4.1.tar.gz. Extract it to a folder and then open that folder in a terminal.

make sure no copies of slmodem are running:

ps -A | grep slmodemd

should return nothing if you see a one running just

sudo killall slmodemd

now run the new slmodemd from the package you downloaded with

sudo ./slmodemd -g dialout -c CANADA --alsa hw:0,6

the -g dialout is added because the downloaded package is set to have a default group of UUCP that doesn’t fit well with Ubuntu (non root users won’t be able to access the modem because they aren’t part of the uucp group). Again you will need to set the country and Hardware up to match your location and hardware.

go and do your testing again. (minicom, wvdial, etc). If it works ctrl-c out of the slmodemd process. you can now either choose to just run the new one manually all the time (rather a pain) or just:

sudo cp ./slmodemd /usr/sbin/slmodemd

To replace the not working one with the one we just downloaded

Then you will want to edit /etc/default/sl-modem-daemon and set the following

Set the SLMODEMD_DEVICE= to your hardware (in my case SLMODEMD_DEVICE=hw:0,6)

Set the SLMODEMD_COUNTRY= to the correct country (slmodemd --countrylist will pop out a list of supported countries)

you’ll also need to edit the OPTS= line so it looks like OPTS=”-g dialout” or you’ll have the uucp group/permissions problem mentioned above.

now save the file

and you should be able to do a

sudo /etc/init.d/sl-modem-daemon restart


ps -A | grep slmodemd

to see that it started o.k.

and then run your tests again and (hopefully) you now have a working modem

——- Update ——–

If you are trying to receive faxes and still having problems check this post.

Hardy Heron: Day 1, Part 2

April 20, 2008 at 18:33 | Posted in Tech | Comments Off on Hardy Heron: Day 1, Part 2
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Well a few minor bugs are showing up.. but as this is still a release candidate I’m not going to complain. Currently, I have to unplug my webcam when rebooting for some reason or it and part of the system get badly hung up. (it works like a charm if I plug it in after booting). Also, kqemu seems unstable now. Again not a biggie for me as my processor doesn’t support virtualization anyway so the speed increase using kqemu wasn’t huge.

For those interested you can find the specs on my hardware here.

I am very impressed with all the work that has been done to make the User Interface nice to use and many of the applications have some much appreciated upgrades


Things I like:

Totem has grown up a lot with the addition of DVD support (though not menus yet as far as i can see). it has nice search features and even a youtube plug-in

Totem with YouTube plug-in

Vino, aka Remote Desktop not sports “advanced” features and they are much appreciated ones like encryption and custom port selection.

Vino advanced Preferences

The system monitor also has a snazzy new look

Gnome System Monitor

There are too many other improvements that I will go into.. but some of them are for applications I use that aren’t in the just installed it, bare bones install so I’ll go into them in a separate post.

Hardy Heron: Day 1

April 20, 2008 at 13:11 | Posted in Tech | Comments Off on Hardy Heron: Day 1
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Yesterday I upgraded to the Release Candidate version of Hardy Heron using the update manager. Everything went exceedingly smoothly with only a few minor glitches. the panel and desktop launchers for Firefox lost their icon (easily fixed by pointing them to the new one), and on first boot several panel applets chocked, died and restarted (mostly due to old configs I suspect). This corrected it self and hasn’t been a problem since. The Dev’s may want to put in a notice for less experienced users to let them know that this might occur and not to stress about it too much.

Aside form that first impressions are exceedingly favourable. Nothing broke. The system as a whole is even snappier then it was before which is a pleasant surprise as I never felt that Gutsy was slow in any way.

It is still very early in my “Checking it out Process” so I’ll be posting more in the following days. But on first impressions. If Gutsy kicked Vista’s ass (which it certainly did on my laptop) Hardy will easily bury it.

Stay posted. I’ll definitely be writing more as I get a chance to check out the various changes and new applications.

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