Onion address for Qubes Community Forum?

Hi Qubians,

I would like to ask whether there is an onion address for the forum available.

  • If so, could that be shared?

  • If not, would it be possible to create it?

2 Likes

AFAIK, one does not currently exist. While it is, of course, possible to create one, the question is who would set it up and maintain it. We’ve had a lot of problems with our onion mirror of the Qubes website:

Ah…see. I didn’t set up an onion service myself yet, but I’ll have a look into it.

I think the occasional problems are with the site syncing, and not the
package repository.
My understanding is that the site used to sync daily with a random delay

  • so a report of “today’s announcement being out of sync” is neither hear
    nor there. I think this has now been upped to twice a day - which still
    leaves the possibility of 23 hours between updates.
    I’ve asked and there may be possibility of hosting discourse instance
    also - what’s the current system load for that?

If this were to be done like the whonix forum it would involve us having access to the back-end. But since this forum is hosted by discourse (Inc) we don’t have that kind of access. And while it is possible to ask them to install certain popular plugins, I’m almost sure this is something that will no be possible for them to setup for us. Which would leave the option of self hosting which would put further burden on on infrastructure maintenance.

But if there are (technically) simpler ways of going about this, then I’m all ears.

No, it’s much more than that. For example, the onion mirror still doesn’t have this Intro update I pushed nearly a month ago.

I’ll pass this on, and try to find out what’s happening.

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And of course, its a simple config error. The job was changed from pull
to fetch, so that there would only be a rebuild in the event of changes.
But the return code checking on the git call was completely borked.
I’ve rewritten this.
Let’s monitor over the coming weeks.

Is anyone able to tell me what the current discourse requirement is?

I think the actual mirroring shouldn’t be an issue, but there are some
system issues I need to get my head around. Is the idea that the onion
forum would be fully functional or a read-only copy?

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I had in mind a fully functional onion site, but that depends on Discourse’s policy whether their support it or not.

I am told that a significant issue would be in syncing replies on the
onion back to the origin site.
It may be possible to get round this by coding replies to the onion to
actually be bounced to the origin. We obviously don’t want two replies,
and this would be a neat workround. Time for ponder and test. (SO much
to do.)

Is space negligible at the moment?
A fairly decent mail archive comes in at about 3.5G, but it seems to me
that the Forum will tend to use more images and attachments.

Just to check if I am understanding correctly. What you (@unman) are proposing is stetting up another forum that would mirror this one and sync replies?

They way whonix does it for their forum is (from what I understand):

  • Tweaking the discourse nginx server accept traffic from the onion url as well
  • installing tor and setting up the onion service for the discourse webserver port
  • Adding this tiny plugin to discourse so it can handle well two domains.

This would make the onion forum work just like the original. But this way should not be possible in the current hosting plan this server is on.

That works if you have one database, and the onion and clearnet sites
are front ends to it.
That isn’t an option for us because the Forum is hosted at discourse.
So either we switch to self hosting, or we host a discourse mirror, and
handle replies to the onion server to hit the clearnet backend. I think
that would be possible.

Exactly

I am told that a significant issue would be in syncing replies on the
onion back to the origin site.
It may be possible to get round this by coding replies to the onion
to
actually be bounced to the origin. We obviously don’t want two
replies,
and this would be a neat workround.

It should work, because the clearnet forum would stay to be the master,
hence the onion site will be just the slave; in theory…

Time for ponder and test. (SO much
to do.)

Tell me about…

Is space negligible at the moment?
A fairly decent mail archive comes in at about 3.5G, but it seems to
me
that the Forum will tend to use more images and attachments.

Most likely.