Torch Browser Bad

If you ever start seeing alerterdaemon crash logs in your Console, you've probably installed the Torch Browser at some point. Maybe you were just curious to try a browser with a media bias; maybe you wanted to see this new flavor of Chrome; maybe you'd heard it was a good way to download videos from YouTube. I don't know, and I'm not one to judge.


After seeing these logs, you get curious, you start poking about a bit more and discover that alerterdaemon lives here:


You Google this /usr/local/libexec/alerterdaemon and there are no results. None. Whatsoever. And now you're getting nervous.


So you start sleuthing. This daemon was modified on July 30th. What else was modified on July 30th? Well, not that much, it turns out. But there is an application in my Applications folder called Torch with that same modification date. I still have the installer, so I run it, command-i the thing and it tells me that all it installs is in /Applications. 


I'm here to tell you, my friends, that that is an outright lie.

A find command for the date in question reveals that the Torch installer installs a veritable buttload of junk all over the filesystem. There's stuff in /Library, there's a bunch of things in your home account. Oh, it's a scene, man, a real mess. And, yes, there's even:

I wanted to post about this for a couple reasons. Firstly I just want to say shame on the Torch browser installer team. You provide an installer that lies about what it installs, and you provide no uninstaller. This is a terrible practice that undermines the trust of your potential users, which I count myself no longer among.

Second, I wanted there to be some search results for this alerterdaemon. There's nothing scarier than Google finding nothing. It is truly terrifying. Hopefully this post will remedy this particular instance.

Thus ends the PSA. Please resume your regular activities.


A reader emailed me asking how I managed to remove all Torch-related errata. Here's what I did.

First I got the modification time of alerterdaemon:
ls -la /usr/local/libexec/alerterdaemon -rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 294980 Jun 18 15:16 /usr/local/libexec/alerterdaemon

Then I did a find for everything on my boot drive that had the same modification time. You'll need to figure the number of days ago Torch was installed and enter that numer for the -mtime option. For the grep part enter the modification time pulled from ls. Finally, I specified the -x option to prevent traversing devices other than the boot drive:
sudo find -x / -name "*" -mtime 98 -ls | grep 15:16

Then I just went through and deleted everything that looked like it was part of the Torch install.

Also, here's the result of that command. This is pretty much everything I can determine that was installed by the Torch installer. Bear in mind, this is an older version, and things will likely have changed significantly in newer versions of their installer.