Orbot v11 is out!

After previous fits and starts, we’ve stabilized Orbot v11 now with the RC6 release. Our core testers and public users via the Google Play distribution are back to happy and stable states of being.

The latest version can be found:

1) In Google Play:

2) In our F-Droid repo:

3) Our via direct APK here:

As always you can file bugs on trac.torproject.org or the guardian
tracker: https://dev.guardianproject.info/projects/orbot/issues/new

A few things I learned during this latest Orbot effort:

– 0.2.4.-alpha is not stable yet on Android, causing a variety of to-be-debugged issues. Based on that, we rolled back to
for this release. We may still do a final/stable v11 release once Tor 0.2.3.
is declared stable.

– Android has a “Strict Mode” feature that can sometimes cause halts, exits at various points based on certain types of undesirable behaviour, like accessing the network on a main thread. The new up/down data stats inadvertently accessed the localhost Tor control port on the main thread. Most devices just have it set to log a warning to the debug output, but on a few devices it made things go boom.

– We needed to rewrite our iptables rules quite a bit to use a separate user defined chain “ORBOT” with a jump point in OUTPUT chain. This allows us to easily flush all ORBOT rules. We realized this was necessary because as some devices switch between 3G and wifi connections, iptables rules are reapplied automatically causing multiple instances of the same rule. Only a flush can clear all of instances of these out easily. Second, we can’t do a global iptables –flush because it not only removes some rules set by other apps, it also appears to knock out internet connectivity/routing completely on some newer devices, based on some required default rules that are in place.

– With the increasing bountiful diversity of Android devices, firmwares and operating system versions, it continues to be a burden to solve all issues for all people. However, most of the issues are related to our “root” and transproxy features, and not the core Orbot app features or bundled Tor binary. We are eager to move to a
user-defined/soft VPN model to support transparent proxying in the v12 release, and move away from utilizing root in any manner.

That’s all for now.