[tor-dev] Memorable onion addresses (was Discussion on the crypto migration plan of the identity keys of Hidden Services)

Lunar lunar at torproject.org
Tue Jun 18 19:56:21 UTC 2013

Matthew Finkel:
> Some months ago, the petname system interested me enough that I started
> to write a proposal for it. At this point, it's wound up in bitrot.
> Though I'd spent a bit of time working on it, there was no comprehensive
> way to accomplish it. One thing to remember about petnames is that they
> are *user defined*. […]
> The problem I ran into with this scheme is where the mappings should be
> stored - who is in control of this? In short, is this a mapping that Tor
> persistently stores or is it a client application that handles this. AND
> if it is a client application, that becomes a usabibility nightmare
> because if Tor Browser has an interface for it, then that's great but
> what if I'm using irssi and lynx on a headless system? If Tor maintains
> this database, then for the petname to perform as expected, every
> application would need to support a minimal Controller and have the
> ability to resolve the name mappings (and possibly append to them,
> also).

What looks like a possible way to solve the problem you describe:

The address book would be stored by the Tor daemon, in a persistent

A new host extension would be introduced so that when an
application tries to connect to `torproject.myonions` through Tor, it
will connect to the hidden service that holds the name `torproject` in
the local address book.

Editing the local address book would be done through commands sent
through Tor control port. The Tor Browser could gain a new
`about:myonions` page for GUI editing. Editing capacities could also be
added to Arm for headless system. And we could even make the address
book file human editable to have `vi` as a fallback.

(I don't really like `myonions` but I'm sure someone will come with
something better.)

Usability wise, I wonder if we could implement some kind of web links
that could quickly add a new name in the local address book (after user

Lunar                                             <lunar at torproject.org>
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