[tor-relays] How to Run High Capacity Tor Relays

Ben Serebin ben at reefsolutions.com
Mon Aug 3 12:19:18 UTC 2015

Windows has a very significant percentage of the server market share, and more attention should be focused on this part of the Tor Server development. Right now, it’s a very complicated install/config on a Windows OS which is disappointing and prevents greater adoption (the end goal of Tor is greater adoption to increase privacy). Windows sysadmin aren’t used to tweaking config files and the posted documentation isn’t good (repeated requested for me to update have gone unanswered). If donating to the project to promote Tor on Windows existed, I would. I have been donating to EFF for many years, but decided more “action” was needed. I still donate to them.

Also, I’m a member of EFF, so maybe you didn’t understand my email since I don’t know what you meant by “throw a shade”. EFF is not related to Tor, so I think you’re a bit confused on that. EFF is focused on electronic freedoms (e.g. free speech, fair use, privacy, etc) and they’ve been promoting people (what I’ve seen in the USA) to adopt and add Tor relays (hence I added Tor relays (middle + exit). EFF and Tor are not connected. EFF is merely promoting Tor relay adoption.



From: Magnus Hedemark [mailto:magnus.hedemark at protonmail.ch]
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 8:33 AM
To: Ben Serebin; tor-relays at lists.torproject.org
Subject: Re: [tor-relays] How to Run High Capacity Tor Relays

I think it's unfair to characterize the Tor community as a Linux club, or religious about operating systems. There is a whole big world of operating systems out there, and most (not all) have a very POSIX flavor to them that makes it pretty easy to generalize advice on running the service. The work that I'm doing right now is around packaging Tor for OmniOS (and writing doc around using them together), which is pretty obscure and has no relationship to Linux. There's definitely software out there that assumes you're building it on Linux, running it on Linux, but Tor is definitely not one of them.

Windows is the only really prominent OS that I can think of off the top of my head that has no significant POSIX flavor to it. Its heritage is more from DOS and VMS than anything. It's an odd bird for people who otherwise work in POSIX platforms all of the time. Be thankful Tor runs there at all. Supporting Windows on a cross-platform app is no small feat.

Maybe instead of throwing shade at the EFF, take a stab at fixing the problem yourself? The EFF is not some multi-billion dollar software company, isn't staffed with an army of engineers and tech writers looking for something to do. And, if they were, I've got doubts that the cost/benefit analysis on supporting Windows as a relay platform would turn out in your favor.

If you're really dedicated to running a big Tor relay, and can't be bothered to help improve the documentation for Windows relay operators, time to learn a new tool and maybe not be so religious about running Windows for all the things? I think I've got 5 different OS's that I'm managing right now. No big deal. That's the beauty of the other side of the Windows fence. Once you learn one, it's easy to learn the rest.


Sent from ProtonMail<https://protonmail.ch>, encrypted email based in Switzerland.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [tor-relays] How to Run High Capacity Tor Relays
Time (GMT): Jul 22 2015 12:14:56
From: ben at reefsolutions.com<mailto:ben at reefsolutions.com>
To: tor-relays at lists.torproject.org<mailto:tor-relays at lists.torproject.org>

Robert: you're right. The group in general isn't very knowledge about Windows. I'm a Windows sysadmin and spent a long time deciphering the Tor documentation on windows and it's poor. Best info was another operator who posted on the mailing list months ago. I've reached out to the website maintainers and gotten radio silence on updating the Wiki for Windows. I've added other things to the wiki though (on exits). I'm a bit perplexed on the OS religiousness since we need more inclusive for Tor relays. We need a status of liberty, and the EFF's push isn't enough.


-----Original Message-----
From: tor-relays [mailto:tor-relays-bounces at lists.torproject.org] On Behalf Of I
Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:29 PM
To: tor-relays at lists.torproject.org<mailto:tor-relays at lists.torproject.org>
Subject: Re: [tor-relays] How to Run High Capacity Tor Relays

Moritz and all,

I mean no offence to anyone since we're all in this for the greater good, but really approaching joining the Tor community is pretty hard if you are not a Linux wiz and know about servers or a number of other things.

I have tried to look around the multitude of interconnecting links but a lot are out of sync slightly or are not clear because of presumed knowledge and understanding or are irrelevant because of evolution

Wouldn't it be better to be clear and neat in the way Torservers guides are?
Would someone presume the Torproject installation guide was not complete and know where to look?


> On 07/22/2015 01:34 AM, I wrote:
>> https://www.torservers.net/wiki/setup/server has excellent guidance
>> for setting-up relays seriously.
>> Would those at Torproject think about linking to it from their
>> installation guides?
>> Robert
> https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/TorExitGuidelines
> links to it, as well as to
> https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/TorRelaySecurity .
> Both these pages could use some overhaul, but they're not too bad.
> --
> Moritz Bartl

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