[tor-relays] A few questions about my setting up my first Tor relay.

AJ B aj at ajvb.me
Fri Apr 18 07:30:53 UTC 2014

>you need to update your debian once in a while. the update process is
>fairly easy. you can even automate it if you wish.

Just a quick elaboration on this, you can easily set up a cronjob to
do this weekly.

If you type in: crontab -e

You can then select nano, which should be the second option as a text
editor. Then add: 0 5 * * 1 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

This will run an upgrade once a week at 5 am.

On Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 12:20 AM, Nima Fatemi <nima at riseup.net> wrote:

> Hi Robert,
> Replying in-line...
> Robert Smith:
> > Judging by the level of your
> > computer skills implied by the emails, those involved in
> > Tor have better things to do than help a guy like me.  I think it is
> > important to the entire world that the internet links us together, and
> > Tor may be the most crucial part of that.
> First of all, thanks for your interest in running a relay.
> Of course you are always welcome to ask your questions on here, on #tor
> irc channel or via sending an email to help at rt.torproject.org in case
> it's a private question that you don't want the whole world know about.
> > I have 3 machines as possible candidates for a Tor relay:
> >
> > A)  A decent PC (around 6 years old) with Vista installed.  It's been
> > unused for 2 years.  I am willing to do a clean re-install of Vista or
> > even Linux (with help) to run it as a Tor relay, night and day.
> >
> > B)  A MacBook Pro (4gb ram, Intel, Snow Leopard).  Again, I am willing to
> > wipe it, and do a clean install of the OS and use it for a Tor relay,
> > night and day.
> >
> > C)  My personal laptop an Asus G74S (12gb ram, i7 quad core 2.2ghz, Win7
> Home Premium 64bit), which I "sleep" most nights.
> >
> >
> > Modem:  DSL from "Telus" (in Victoria, BC, Canada) with 4 ports (I use 1
> cable port to my personal computer, 1 wireless port for my iPad or Android
> cell phone).
> >
> Well, it's more about how many "public IP"s you have than the number of
> PCs.
> First you need to make sure your ISP is okay with receiving incoming
> traffic.
> Then, I'd suggest installing a fresh Debian on your PC.
> You can google around to figure out how to install debian. It's fairly
> easy. Here's a short, simple guide with screen-shots:
> http://debian-handbook.info/browse/stable/sect.installation-steps.html
> Then all you need to do is following these steps to install latest
> version of Tor on your system:
> https://www.torproject.org/docs/debian.html.en#ubuntu
> Then open terminal and type:
> sudo nano /etc/tor/torrc
> and add the following lines to your torrc file, note you can change
> ORPort number to whatever port you want (just make sure that port is
> open in your firewall/router), pick a cool nickname for your relay and
> add your contact info:
> RunAsDaemon 1
> ORPort 9001
> Nickname name-of-your-relay-goes-here
> ContactInfo your-contact-info-goes-here
> ExitPolicy reject *:*
> Press crtl+o then crtl+x to save the file and exit the editor.
> Then you need to restart Tor using this command:
> sudo service tor restart
> Now your relay should be up and running.
> > Questions:
> > 1)  If I run a Tor relay with that modem, are there any security risks
> to the other devices?  I am no technical guru.
> Not if you become a non-exit relay. The "ExitPolicy reject *:*" line is
> for that purpose.
> > 2)  If I run a Tor relay on either (or both the Vista PC and MacBook) of
> > the computers mentioned above, will it be mostly a "set it and forget
> > it" maintenance?  I cannot devote much time (and definitely don't have
> > much expertise).
> you need to update your debian once in a while. the update process is
> fairly easy. you can even automate it if you wish.
> you can either use the interface or open terminal and type:
> sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y
> do this at least once a week please.
> > 3)  Will I compromise the anonimity of Tor users due to my lack of
> technical skills while running a Tor relay?  I don't want to do more damage
> than good.
> Nope. only encrypted traffic goes in and out your (non-exit) relay.
> > 4)  Can I throttle down the bandwidth on my Tor relay(s) when I need it
> for my own personal machine?  I don't want to disrupt the Tor net.
> yes, you can. read your torrc file located at /etc/tor/torrc to figure
> out how. but please have it in mind that the minimum bandwidth for a
> relay is 100KB/s (800kb/s). If you don't have that much bandwidth, you
> may consider running a bridge instead of a relay. bridges consume much
> less bandwidth and help censored users access Tor network.
> https://www.torproject.org/projects/obfsproxy-debian-instructions.html.en#instructions
> > 5)  Can you suggest the best way to use my machine(s) to make a reliable,
> > maintenance free and secure Tor relay, requiring the least amount of
> > time?  I am guessing it's the MacBook cabled to the DSL, running only
> > Tor relay software, and running only a normal relay.
> >
> >
> > 6)  At this point is it worth my while, to attempt a Tor bridge or exit
> > relay or am I even capable of doing it properly?  I have little
> > experience or expertise in networking and not much time.
> > Thanks for spending your valuable time reading my questions.  I hope to
> make it pay off, in a long term Tor relay.
> >
> I hope I've covered all your questions.
> Bests,
> --
> Nima
> 0XC009DB191C92A77B | @nimaaa | mrphs
> "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right
> to say it" --Evelyn Beatrice Hall
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AJ Bahnken
Co-Founder of Syndicate Pro <http://syndicatepro.com>
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