[tor-dev] exitmap modules that make *lots* of connections

Roger Dingledine arma at mit.edu
Sun May 8 07:49:53 UTC 2016

On Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 04:22:48PM -0400, Zack Weinberg wrote:
> I'm working on an exitmap module that wants to feed order of 5000
> short-lived streams through each exit relay.  I think this is running
> foul of some sort of upper limit (in STEM, or in Tor itself, not sure)
> on the number of streams a circuit can be used for, or how long, or
> something.

Tor has a built-in "if a stream has been waiting for a connected cell
for 10 seconds, something has gone wrong" feature, where it disconnects
from that circuit, and marks the circuit as not worth using for future
streams. (Assuming the stream hasn't timed out, Tor would then say "oh
hey, I need to find a circuit for this stream", and start the process
over again.)

It looks from your logs like you're attaching a bunch of streams to
a circuit, and one or more of the begin cells (heck, maybe even all of
them) aren't getting any answer in the first 10 seconds.

> 2016-04-22 16:07:54,115 [DEBUG]: Circuit status change: CIRC 6 BUILT
> [fp],[fp] PURPOSE=GENERAL TIME_CREATED=2016-04-22T20:07:53.305851
> 2016-04-22 16:07:58,118 [DEBUG]: Attempting to attach stream 98 to circuit 6.
> 2016-04-22 16:08:04,697 [DEBUG]: Circuit status change: CIRC 6 CLOSED
> TIME_CREATED=2016-04-22T20:07:53.305851 REASON=FINISHED

This is interesting. If the later streams were still attached to the
circuit, the circuit shouldn't be closing here. Are you sure the streams
actually get attached (and stay attached)?

It looks like you're only giving me exitmap logs, not Tor logs, so it's
hard to tell for sure what's going on underneath.

For why it says PURPOSE=PATH_BIAS_TESTING there, check
out the pathbias_send_usable_probe() function which calls
circuit_change_purpose(). If this function is happening, your Tor log
should see

           "Sending pathbias testing cell to %s:25 on stream %d for circ %d.",
           probe_nonce, ocirc->pathbias_probe_id, ocirc->global_identifier);

(The pathbias stuff has never been tested well I believe, so it's
totally possible there are easy bugs in it. For example, maybe we're
queueing that pathbias testing cell for sending, and at the same time
we're marking the circuit as worth closing now because it's empty.)

> You can see that circuit 6 is no longer available, but the module is
> still trying to use it.

That does indeed sound like an exitmap bug.


More information about the tor-dev mailing list