[tor-project] Onion sites vs onion services vs hidden services

Aaron Johnson aaron.m.johnson at nrl.navy.mil
Thu May 5 13:52:08 UTC 2016

We wrote up a proposed terminology for onion services up as part of Sponsor R work: <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/sponsors/SponsorR/Terminology <https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/org/sponsors/SponsorR/Terminology>>.  I’ll quote the terms we recommended:

1. "onion service" should be preferred to refer to what is now called a "hidden service". If other flavors of onion services develop in the future, this term could refer to all of them, with more specific terms being used when it is necessary to make the distinction.
2. “onionsite" should be preferred to refer to a website (i.e. an HTTP service serving up HTML) available as an onion service. This can be extended to other specific types of services, such as onion chatroom, onion storage, onion cloud service, etc.
3. "onion address" should be preferred to refer specifically to the xyz.onion address itself.
4. “onionspace" should be used to refer to the set of available onion services. For example, you can say “my site is in onionspace” instead of “my site is in the Dark Web”.
5. "onion namespace" should be used to refer to the set of onion addresses currently available or used "recently" (context-dependent).


> On May 5, 2016, at 7:58 AM, Jesse V <kernelcorn at riseup.net> wrote:
> On 05/04/2016 11:54 AM, Nathan Freitas wrote:
>> Actually, for me, the user of the word "service" is something that is a
>> machine-readable endpoint, an API or protocol, while "site" is a meant
>> to have some human-facing aspect that is able to be browsed or read
>> through a web browser or something of that nature.
>> I would say that Ricochet is only an onionservice, while something like
>> SecureDrop or Globaleaks would be an onionsite that offers onionservices
>> as part of the application.
> I agree. These terms correspond to existing terms like websites,
> webpages, and web services.
> Just for clarification, it looks like we're thinking:
> "hidden services": old term, migrating away from this name
> "onion services": new term, applies to servers bound to any TCP port
> 	"single onion service": a non-anonymous onion service
> "onionsite": a website hosted in the .onion space
> --
> Jesse V
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> tor-project at lists.torproject.org
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