[tor-relays] the obfsproxy bundle, and decrease in number of users to my bridges

George Kadianakis desnacked at riseup.net
Thu Mar 27 22:38:19 UTC 2014

Viking God <vikinggod at gmx.com> writes:

> A repost, as I didn't get any answers when I posted in another thread:
> Where can I download an obfsproxy bridge bundle nowadays? It seams to
> have disappeared. I use both win and linux(but not debian/ubuntu).
> I have found dual information pages about setting up obfsproxy+tor in
> Debian/Ubuntu Here:
> https://www.torproject.org/projects/obfsproxy-instructions.html.en
> And here:
> https://www.torproject.org/projects/obfsproxy-debian-instructions.html.en
> Why dual instructions for Debian/Ubuntu?
> But no instructions for other OS:es, and no direct download links with
> compiled packages/programs here:
> https://www.torproject.org/dist/
> How do you suppose that people will be able to help setting up obfsproxy
> bridges, when there isn't any way to get instructions or packages/programs?

Greetings Viking God,

I'm afraid that you are correct, and we indeed don't have any
up-to-date obfsproxy bridge bundles.

The main reason for this is that we lack manpower and making proper
bundles takes a while. It took lots of time and effort to build
PT-supporting TBBs (check out tbb-3.6!). Making bridge bundles is no
easier and probably requires extra UI work so that users can configure
their PTs.

Also, because we have many tech-savy people running bridges in
powerful Unix systems, it's easy for us to claim that spending all
that time just to support a few Windows boxes under home Internet
connections might not be worth the time and effort.

Also also, we are moving away from Vidalia (see the latest TBB
releases), and I'm not sure how future bridge bundles are going to
work. That is, whether they will use Vidalia or tor-launcher will do
that too.

That said, you are absolutely right that this is not optimal and by
doing so we are ruling out many potential bridge operators. We should
get back on track with this project.

BTW, if you want to help with this, you might want to join the PT
meeting we are doing tomorrow at 17:00 UTC in #tor-dev. And there is
also a TBB meeting at 18:00 UTC, so it's a very good opportunity to
get up to speed with what needs to be done.
> Previously I ran an obfsproxy bridge and saw the amount of traffic get
> lower and lower, at the end it was only about 2-10 MB of traffic per
> week and with very few users. Some weeks I go no users so I stopped
> wasting my electricity and stopped running the obfs-bridge. But now I
> would like to try again after a couple of months pause. I'm interested
> to see if the Internet-blocking in Turkey might have caused some more
> traffic.
> I also used to run a normal bridge up until a couple of weeks ago but
> saw the traffic get as low as around 50MB per week, while normally I
> used to get around 1-2GB per week so I shut it down too. I asked myself:
> "What's the point of wasting energy and at the same time making it
> easier to hack into my network, when I'm not even helping the world?".
> So I shut it down too.
> Perhaps some changes in the tor network after the release of Tor 0.2.4
> has reduced the number of bridge and obfsproxy users globally? Due to
> the constant flow of bugs in the different tor-related software and
> bundles, my first guess is that the problem is with changes in Tor plus
> related software. A look at the bug tracker makes me wonder if there are
> more things in the Tor related software that do work or don't work???
> But perhaps more bridges are blocked nowadays by the filters that
> various countries apply to the Internet?
> Or perhaps less countries block their Internet users so less people need
> to use bridges?
> Or perhaps a lot of new bridge operators have arisen, making every
> bridge receive less traffic?
> My ISP isn't known for blocking anything and I've never heard of any
> government blocking of Tor in the EU, so the problem is probably not
> with my ISP nor the EU.
> I have always been running the latest stable release of the bundles, so
> It doesn't have anything to do with old versions.
> So my questions:
> Where can I find a obfsproxy bridge bundle for rpm-linux and for windows?
> Is there any good explanation to why the traffic to my normal bridge and
> my obfsproxy bridge got lower and lower after the release of tor 0.2.4
> as stable?

I don't have a definite explanation on why your traffic diminished
like that.

As a possible scenario, BridgeDB has been experiencing some technical
difficulties lately (for example, the CAPTCHA is stupidly hard to
solve), so the number of people getting bridges of BridgeDB might not
be that great. Most clients are probably concentrated on the bridges
that are included in the bundles, and the bridges that are passed
through the support team.

I still don't know how much traffic BridgeDB bridges yet, and whether
you are going to get more clients if you run a bridge now. Hopefully
you will. If not, you might want to send your bridge credentials to
the support team, so that they can personally pass your bridge to

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