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uProxy is a browser extension that lets users share their internet connection.



uProxy is built using the following tools:

  • Grunt to write the tasks that build uProxy
  • TypeScript as the primary language we code in; this compiles to JavaScript. It gives us type-checking and has some syntax improvements on JS, while letting us incrementally migrate and easily include external JS packages and frameworks.
  • Jasmine for testing
  • Polymer for UI
  • Travis for continuous integration
  • Shippable for docker-integrated continuous integration

To manage dependencies we use:

  • npm to install node modules that we use for our build process. (Specified in package.json)
  • Bower to install libraries that we use in the UI
    (specified in bower.json) including Polymer.

Development setup

Please read the uProxy Coding Guide to learn more about contributing to uProxy. For a high level technical overview of uProxy, see the uProxy Design Doc.

Prerequisites to build uProxy

Note: you will either need to run these as root, or set the directories they
modify (/usr/local) to being editable by your user (sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local)

  • git

    • Most machines will have git pre-installed. If you need to install git, you can find instructions from the git website.
    • For Windows, install the desktop git app, which provides an easy-to-use interface for git.
  • node and npm (Node's package manager):

    • On Mac with Brew, you can do: brew install node (You may need to update your brew package manager, e.g. brew update). You can also install directly from a Mac package off the NodeJS Website.

      • If you do not have Homebrew, you can install it by running ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
    • On Ubuntu, you can do apt-get install nodejs.

    • You may need to create a symlink (if we are not running legacy node) <br>
      Use this: <br>
      ln -s /usr/bin/nodejs /usr/bin/node

    • On Archlinux, you can do 'pacman -S nodejs'.

    • On Windows, you can download the installer from the NodeJS Website.

    • You may need to set your $NODE_PATH environment variable appropriately
      (e.g. it might be: /usr/local/share/npm/lib/node_modules).

    • To run binaries from globally-installed npm packages without
      fully-qualifying paths, make sure you have added your npm bin directory to your path

      • on Mac or Ubuntu, e.g. export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/share/npm/bin/grunt
      • on Windows,
        • Open Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced System Settings
        • In the Advanced tab, click on "Environment Variables"
        • In System Variables, click on "Path" (or "PATH")
        • At the end of the "Variable value:" string, append a ";" and the path to your bin directory, e.g. "C:\Program Files\nodejs\node_modules\npm\lib;C:\Users\<YOUR_PATH>\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\grunt-cli\bin"
  • Grunt: Install globally with npm install -g grunt-cli

    • To install globally on Windows, open the command prompt as admin and then run the command

Building uProxy from source

  1. In your terminal, navigate to a directory where you would like to download uProxy. E.g., cd ~/uProxy

  2. Clone the uProxy repository: git clone or git clone if you have your ssh access to GitHub set up (useful if you use 2-step auth for GitHub, which you should do).

  3. Navigate into uProxy's root directory with cd uproxy

  4. Setup build tools and third-party dependencies:

    • In OS X or Linux, run ./ install
    • In Windows, run .\setup.cmd install instead (in cmd or PowerShell).
  5. Run grunt - this will build everything, including uProxy for Chrome and Firefox.

Note that if any local dependencies have changed (i.e. changes to bower dependencies, updates to FreeDOM), you will have to run ./ install to update these dependencies, then rerun grunt

Installing and running


These are the steps to try uProxy in the Chrome browser.

  • In Chrome, go to chrome://extensions, make sure 'Developer mode' is enabled
  • Click 'Load unpacked extension...' and select build/dev/uproxy/chrome/app
  • Click 'Load unpacked extension...' and select build/dev/uproxy/chrome/extension

You need both the uProxy Chrome App and the uProxy Extension.

You can use grunt build_chrome from the root directory of the repository to re-compile just Chrome components.


These are the steps to try uProxy in the Firefox browser.

  • To run the add-on you need to have the Firefox add-on SDK installed.
    Instructions can be found here:

    • A quick way to get started is to download/extract the zip mentioned in "Prerequisites"
  • Run cd build/dev/uproxy/firefox

  • Run cfx run and Firefox should launch with the uProxy add-on installed

You can use grunt build_firefox from the root directory of the repository to compile just Firefox comonents.

Development and re-building uProxy

uProxy uses the Grunt build system for its build tasks. Here is a list
of uProxy's Grunt commands:

  • build - Builds everything, making stuff in the build directory (and runs tests).
    • build_chrome - Build Chrome app and extension
      • build_chrome_app - Build just Chrome app
      • build_chrome_ext - Build just Chrome extension
    • build_firefox - Build just Firefox
  • dist - Generates distribution files, including the Firefox xpi
  • clean - Cleans up
  • test - Run unit tests
  • integration_test - Run integration tests
  • everything - 'build', 'test' and then 'integration_test'

The easiest way to stay current is to pull changes, run grunt build to build
your distribution, and re-run as you make changes to the files.

Before submitting any changes to the repository, make sure to run grunt test
to make sure it passes all unit tests. Failing tests are enough to immediately
reject submissions. :)

uProxy for Android

uProxy can now be built as an Android App, using the Cordova Chrome Apps (CCA)
tool, also known as the Chrome Apps for Mobile Toolchain.
After following the steps under "Building uProxy from source",

  1. Install the Android SDK. The easiest way to get it is as part of Android Studio.
    • Linux-only Add the Android tools to your path, e.g. by modifying your .bashrc to include PATH=$PATH:$HOME/android-studio/tools.
  2. Install the adb tool.
    • MacOS: adb is included with Android Studio.
    • Linux: adb is available through your package manager. For example, on Ubuntu run apt-get install android-tools-adb.
  3. Confirm that your cca package is ready by running node_modules/.bin/cca checkenv from the git checkout root directory.
    • If this fails, set the ANDROID_HOME variable to the Android SDK path in your .bashrc, e.g. export ANDROID_HOME=$HOME/Android/Sdk

Then you can build the app using grunt build_android. The output, a file ending
in .apk, will appear in build/dev/uproxy/android/platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/.
Depending on the build configuration, the file might be named android-debug.apk,
android-armv7-debug.apk, etc..

Installing on an Android device

  • To install the app, first Enable USB Debugging
    on your test phone, then connect it to your computer and accept the connection
    on the phone.
  • Then, on your computer, install the app on the phone using a command like
    adb install -r build/dev/uproxy/android/platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/android-debug.apk.
  • You may then launch the app from the phone. Rerunning this command should close the app
    and replace it with a new version, but will not overwrite saved state on the device.

If you encounter an error or want to complete delete uProxy from your phone, you can do so via
Settings -> Apps -> uProxy, which as a button labeled "Uninstall for all users".

Installing on an Android emulator

  • Create a virtual device using the Android Virtual Device
    with an API of 21
    (Lollipop) or higher.
  • Launch the emulator and check adb devices at the command line to
    make sure an emulator is running.
  • Install the app from the command line with adb install -r build/dev/uproxy/android/platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/android-debug.apk. You should see success if the app is installed.
  • You may then launch the app from the emulator.

Creating a Play Store release build

Android app release builds must be signed. To create a release build:

  1. Get the appropriate play_store_keys.p12 and files, and symlink them into a keys directory in the git repo root.
    • The uProxy team's release keys are stored in a secure location, not in the public git repository. Symlinking ensures that you do not accidentally copy the keys into insecure storage.
  2. Run grunt release_android
  3. From the build/dev/uproxy/android/platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/ directory, upload android-release.apk, android-x86-release.apk, and android-armv7-release.apk to the Play Store using the multiple APK upload procedure.
    • This allows us to have a smaller build (~10 MB) for modern Android, and a larger build (~33 MB) for older Android versions that need Crosswalk because the system webview is too old to run uProxy.

Fixing compilation and setup

  • If something is going wrong during the build process, please try running grunt clean, ./ clean, and re-running ./ install

  • If things are not working, check that you have recent versions of bower, npm, and node.

Layout of files

Configuration and setup files

  • Gruntfile.js a file that specifies common tasks, e.g. how to build and package uProxy.
  • bower.json specifies dependent libraries from Bower.
  • package.json specifies dependent libraries from NPM.
  • .gitignore what git should ignore
  • .bowerrc tells bower where to put files
  • .travis.yml Travis auto-testing
  • tools directory contains some typescript and javascript to help Grunt.
  • third_party/tsd.json specifies the typescript definitions to use

Source code

  • src holds all source code; no compiled files
  • src/generic_ui generic user interface code
  • src/generic_core generic uproxy core-functionality code
  • src/chrome/app code specific to the chrome app
  • src/chrome/extension code specific to the chrome extension
  • src/firefox code specific to firefox
  • third_party holds external libraries we depend on that are copied into this repository
  • node_modules dynamically generated npm module dependencies
  • scraps temporary holding for sharing scraps of code

Dynamically created directories (grunt clean should remove them)

  • build created by grunt tasks; holds the built code, but none of the code that was compiled.
  • build/dist created by grunt tasks; holds final distribution versions
  • .grunt holds grunt cache stuff
  • .tscache holds typescript cache stuff
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