Tails 3 keeps collapsing the Firefox bookmarks toolbar

November 27, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ok, this is another problem that I constantly asked about. In Tails 3 and beyond, the bookmark bar annoyingly disappears upon each reboot. The tails support maillist and tails subreddit didn’t have any answers, so I looked at it closer myself.

Ok, it seems that the config file is stored in ./.tor-browser/profile.default/xulstore.json

Exact contents here:

{“chrome://browser/content/browser.xul”:{“navigator-toolbox”:{“iconsize”:”small”},”main-window”:{“screenX”:”90″,”screenY”:”117″,”width”:”1000″,”height”:”571″,”sizemode”:”normal”},”PersonalToolbar”:{“collapsed”:”false”},”sidebar-box”:{“sidebarcommand”:””,”width”:””,”src”:””},”sidebar-title”:{“value”:””}}}

Basically, this is the file that stores your bookmark bar toolbar settings. Take a look at this line:

“PersonalToolbar”:{“collapsed”:”false”}

This should be set to “false”. The funny thing is is that I tried to put the xulstore.json in the “dotfiles” directory, so it remembers the settings. But for some reason, the file gets overwritten by tails on the first loading of tor-browser.

Don’t know how to fix this and the maillists/subreddit are not helping. If someone knows a good workaround/solution, please leave a comment in my blog and I will update this blog post, so other people can benefit.

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Electrum is stuck synchronizing

November 26, 2017 at 11:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I do some consulting for some clients from time to time and I notice that a lot of people have this problem. Anyway, this problem seems to be especially prevalent in electrum on tails, as it uses an older version of electrum.

Here’s the deal, older versions of electrum do not support a technology called “RBF” (Replace By Fee). RBF allows you to replace an already submitted 0-confirmation transaction with a replacement transaction that has a higher fee. This is useful if you need to speed up a slow transaction on the network. (Beware of RBF, the sender can double spend the transaction and rip you off!.)

But I digress. . .

Anyway, yeah. Tails 2.7.9 does NOT support RBF transactions, so it gets confused and doesn’t know what to do when it sees it and gets “stuck”. RBF transactions are common with bitcoin tumbling anonymizing service like bitblender. You basically have to upgrade electrum to a newer version that understands RBF.

Here are the steps:
1) Download the electrum binary from the official electrum site, https://www.electrum.org/ . MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE OFFICIAL SITE, THERE’S A LOT OF PHISHING SITES OUT THERE.
2) VERIFY THE BINARY. You want to do this just in case a hacker breaks into the site and puts an 0wned verison of the binary on there.
3) Backup the electrum key. in tails, this is under the /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/electrum directory. Either back it up in a separate directory, such as /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/Persistent/backups/electrum or back it up ona separate USB. Another alternative is to write down the seed on a separate piece of paper and keep that seed safe, away from prying eyes
4) Unpack the binary and put it in folder somewhere that is persistent. Example: /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/Electrum-3.0.2
5) Open your “terminal” window and load the binary /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/Electrum-3.0.2/electrum and it should run

You can create an icon on your desktop by putting a .desktop file in /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/dotfiles/Desktop/electrum.desktop

This is the desktop file that I use:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Lightweight Bitcoin Client
Exec=/home/amnesia/Persistent/Electrum-3.0.2/electrum %u
GenericName[en_US]=Bitcoin Wallet
GenericName=Bitcoin Wallet
Icon=electrum
Name[en_US]=Electrum Bitcoin Wallet
Name=Electrum Bitcoin Wallet
Categories=Finance;Network;
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Type=Application
MimeType=x-scheme-handler/bitcoin;

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