Possible SQRL Windows Client minor bug

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td47

Member
Jun 23, 2019
6
0
Hello, I have downloaded and installed SQRL client on my desktop, and set up my SQRL ID.

I backed it up to a USB stick, but could not do a "safe remove" of it. With all dialogues closed, it still would not safe remove, so I tried an SQRL exit on the system-tray icon, then I WAS able to remove the USB stick. It seems that the SQRL client has a file-handle or other structure still active, after the desired function is completed, holding up the USB safe-remove function.

NOTE: this problem ALSO manifested after an SQRL Identity Import from a standard USB stick, on a separate machine (my laptop using Windows 10 1809). It seems to be easily reproducible.

It is not a big issue, just a minor irritation.
 

PHolder

Well-known member
May 19, 2018
918
124
I backed it up to a USB stick, but could not do a "safe remove" of it.
It's a normal file, you could simply use Windows Explorer to browse into the folder in MyDocuments and copy it where ever you needed a backup copy. The SQRL client would have no way to know you did this. So thus I feel compelled to ask how you made your backup that the SQRL client could know about it and keep it open?
 

td47

Member
Jun 23, 2019
6
0
Well, the option to back it up to an EXTERNAL stick is recommended, and in Steve's Documentation, he states it is best to NOT keep any recovery/backup stuff permanently ON the device you run the client on, thus using the USB stick.
Having observed that after SEVERAL attempts to do USB Safe Remove failed with the often seen error message that a program is holding it still busy, THEN doing an SQRL exit, and THEN straight away I was able to do the safe remove, I think it is a natural, and logical conclusion to make. Have you actually tried this yourself?
 

Vela Nanashi

Well-known member
May 19, 2018
633
107
Maybe writes should be flushed and files closed after that, so windows knows the file is no longer in use, I would think that is already done in SQRL though.

However if you copy a file it should not inherit its open state from the file you made the copy from, so it sounds more likely that windows explorer kept it open and was doing a lazy flush, thus preventing safe removal, the time it took you to turn off SQRL might have been enough for windows to get to write it to the usb stick for real though.
 

PHolder

Well-known member
May 19, 2018
918
124
Well, the option to back it up to an EXTERNAL stick is recommended, and in Steve's Documentation, he states it is best to NOT keep any recovery/backup stuff permanently ON the device you run the client on, thus using the USB stick
I'm not denying you are experiencing the issue, but I don't understand HOW... so I will ask again... HOW did you do the back up? What specific steps did you take to make the backup?

Steve is suggesting you make a copy of the file (using a file manager) onto a removable USB device and then immediately remove it. SQRL does not have to be involved in this at all, and in fact it would be advised to always close any program before making a backup of its data.
 

PHolder

Well-known member
May 19, 2018
918
124
@Steve:

Can you look over any file write operations to make sure the file is fully closed and released by the OS once written?
 

Paul F

Active member
Apr 11, 2019
37
6
Toronto
What specific steps did you take to make the backup?
Right-click on the SQRL "tray" icon. Select Manage SQRL. Select Backup / Export Identity. Select Store In File. Save to a USB Thumb Drive. It's known behaviour, see http://www.GRC.com/groups/sqrl:16946 . The file itself is not locked and can be deleted, but the USB is still 'in use'. The USB drive can be ejected using Windows Disk Management - not sure if that's a safe or forced eject.
 
Last edited:

td47

Member
Jun 23, 2019
6
0
In reply to @PHolder (sorry for late reply), I only know ONE way (the official way) of exporting my ID, and it is EXACTLY how @Paul F states:
" Right-click on the SQRL "tray" icon. Select Manage SQRL. Select Backup / Export Identity. Select Store In File. Save to a USB Thumb Drive. " - so this IS via the SQRL client program. I reproduced this issue (consistently) using a DIFFERENT USB stick, and the behaviour is exactly the same (i.e. safe removal of your chosen USB backup media via the "safely remove hardware" icon is NOT possible until you exit the SQRL client).

As quoted in article/post 16946, this seems to have been a known issue since October 2017. Perhaps this can be reflected in Steve's excellent documentation somewhere, until this minor issue is fixed in a future update?
 

Steve

Administrator
Staff member
May 6, 2018
992
290
www.grc.com
Thanks, everyone. I have added this to my short but growing ToDo list for a next release! Since RayG had reported this, as Paul F noted, but I'm sure I never tried it, it must be that it just slipped past me. :(
 

PHolder

Well-known member
May 19, 2018
918
124
To be clear for @td47 ... I'm not thick... really... and I didn't mean to be difficult. To me "export" is not "backup"... I know that's pedantic, but that was where my head was at. For me, I just used Windows [File] Explorer to make my backup by just copying the .sqrl file out of the SQRL folder in my user Documents folder. (While the SQRL client was shut down.)
 

td47

Member
Jun 23, 2019
6
0
FYI: Just wanted to show here, for new users, and those new to this great new product SQRL, what we are discussing, as the ID Management Functions are NOT shown by default (export and import options), so I have attached 2 images showing the differences, so it is obvious to new users (and those reluctant to change options to "see what it does differently" when the box is ticked) :)

Manage_SQRL_operation_standard.jpgManage_SQRL_operation_With_ID_MGMT_Functions.jpg
 

Vela Nanashi

Well-known member
May 19, 2018
633
107
That is good that you show that :) I am a show me everything and advanced features enabler myself mostly out of curiosity and wanting to know what I can do :)
 

td47

Member
Jun 23, 2019
6
0
To be clear for @td47 ... I'm not thick... really... and I didn't mean to be difficult. To me "export" is not "backup"... I know that's pedantic, but that was where my head was at. For me, I just used Windows [File] Explorer to make my backup by just copying the .sqrl file out of the SQRL folder in my user Documents folder. (While the SQRL client was shut down.)
Sure, no problem, I never took it as being difficult, you just wanted to be clear what method I used to backup/export, and I failed to make it clear, and I should have posted the graphics that I posted in another post below. Steve has used both terms (Backup & Export) in the selectable option box in his SQRL APP GUI, but of course it is not the default to show those management options up-front, so with your kind prompting, I have done that.