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Is the recommended way to update the TBB still by replacing the old version (and handling bookmarks and Data/Tor separately)? I hate losing preferences such as fonts, NoScript configuration etc. To handle this, I've moved the Data directory out of the top-level TBB directory and symlinked to it. On update, I download the new tar file, unpack it, delete the new Data directory, and symlink back to the saved Data directory. I'm fairly new to TBB, but this has worked so far. Are there security implications to doing it this way? Thanks for any help.

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On the plus side you retain the information about your Guard nodes. So this will probably increase the security. On the other side you won't get any updated configuration. So for instance the default torrc might change, settings or plugins of the Tor Browser Bundle can change. By using symlinks you will not learn about this changes.

So a reasonable compromise might be to export your settings from time to time and to completely renew the installation (plus importing the old settings). This way keep the advantage of the guard nodes and your Data directory.

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If you keep the Firefox profile from one version to another it means that changes in the default Tor Browser profile might not be propagated to your profile. Unless you do a manual review of profile changes with each release and adapt your profile accordingly, you might run into troubles.

Work on an integrated update system is ongoing. Please note that as part of this effort, upcoming bundles will have a different file organization.

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I would do that but not for the entire Data directory, but for the Data/Browser one. torrc can be easily checked by hand in order to get default updates and modified with your bridges or preferences

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