[tor-relays] Calling for more Exit Relays

Tom van der Woerdt info at tvdw.eu
Fri Aug 21 23:24:52 UTC 2015


There's not too much special about running an exit relay. Basically you 
want to make sure your security is good (strong password or pubkey auth, 
no unnecessary services, proper firewall) and that your relay is 
properly utilizing its resources (may require some sysctl tweaks if 
you're not maxing out the network link).

Other than that, make sure nobody has access to your keys and that the 
exit node has reasonably good uptime.

There's no real maintenance needed for relays, other than keeping the 
software up to date. For exits you may also need to handle the abuse 
cases, if any.

Oh, and make sure you don't keep any logs :-)


butary at gmx.de schreef op 22/08/15 om 00:09:
> Hello,
> first of all, sorry for my bad english.
> I'm using Tor for some times and I thought it's time to add my part to
> the Tor community. So I watched the mailing lists and read a lot of
> articles.
> Last week I started two 100Mbit/s unmetered exit relays. Another one
> 200Mbit/s (20TB volume) is planned.
> Total costs approx. 50€ per month. It is a lot of money for me but I
> decided to smoke less cigarettes and drive more bicycle.
> It is not the first time I installed and run servers, but to operate Tor
> exit relays leaves bad taste. So much traffic and connections ....
> The firewall and ssh log is full of warnings, more then I ever had and
> is still raising. But I gave my best to secure the servers - as I know.
> Can someone describes what are the most important maintenance tasks for
> an exit relay, that differ from other "standard" servers?
> Currently I check the sparse logs daily.
> Thanks for all comments.
> ButAry
> *Gesendet:* Freitag, 21. August 2015 um 20:06 Uhr
> *Von:* "Tom van der Woerdt" <info at tvdw.eu>
> *An:* tor-relays at lists.torproject.org
> *Betreff:* Re: [tor-relays] Calling for more Exit Relays
> spiros_spiros at freemail.gr schreef op 21/08/15 om 19:32:
>  >
>  > Στις 21 του Αυγούστου 2015, 13:21, Sharif Olorin <sio at tesser.org> έγραψε:
>  >
>  >> Could you estimate the number of abuse complaints you receive, or the
>  >> amount of time you need to spend responding to them - and how many
>  >> exits for how long, for context?
>  >
>  > I am the operator of exit relays in Iceland, England and Czech
> republic (as well as some non-exit relays where the providers are less
> friendly to Tor/don’t understand Tor). The nodes have been built in the
> last six months (financial circumstance only permitted me to start
> contributing recently), and I hope to run them for many years to come.
> As such they are all Debian Linux based with administration via Chef, so
> I probably spend an hour per month on the admin for all of them in total.
>  >
>  > Abuse complaints generally come in the form of automated email from
> Webiron and similar services, via the hosting providers. In one case,
> the hosting provider is happy to change the PTR record and abuse email
> in the WHOIS to an address that I control, so that they don’t bother
> forwarding the mail. I get about 5 of these per month for all of the
> exits, and no action is necessary. In rare cases, the hosting company
> based in the Czech republic asks me what steps I have taken in response
> to the abuse report. In this case I respond quickly with a polite
> message with the actions I’ve taken (blocking the host in the firewall,
> temporarily restricting the port in question or agreeing with the
> complainant that they will block the host). I spend about an hour per
> month on this task as well. The most frustrating part of this is when
> one of the exit nodes attacks a honeypot or connects to a sinkholed DNS
> domain, and I have to query the NIDS to make sure it is legit Tor
> traffic and my boxe
>  > s aren’t compromised.
>  >
>  > The other category of abuse is far more rare but takes a lot of time,
> and that is legal threat from a company or state entity. I’ve been very
> lucky and so far only had two such cases, both of which required
> multiple emails to be sent and staff to be educated in the purpose and
> functionality of Tor to make the issue go away. These cases took a few
> hours of work and worrying each.
>  >
>  > All of my exits have a web page on port 80 explaining that they are a
> Tor exit and what that means.
>  >
>  > Hope this is helpful.
>  >
>  > Spiros
> I used to run a lot of exit relays. Roughly 3Gbit/s.
> Then the bwauth problems popped up, and some of my exit relays would
> suddenly lose all their traffic for a few weeks.
> Then at some point the German government decided to spam my main ISP
> with legal requests. They didn't like that so they told me to switch
> them to normal relays. I tried to convince them, but to be fair, the
> amount of time they had to invest dealing with the government was not
> worth the money I sent them. So those nodes are no more.
> Right now I am left with ~350Mbit/s of exit bandwidth, and the bwauth
> problems are not really solved. Image to illustrate:
> http://i.imgur.com/xRrr12W.png
> The bwauth problem has been dragging along for several months now and
> despite my attempts to help out, nothing has changed.
> I am talking with some providers to maybe get some decent contracts
> again. However, I will not commit to anything before my trust in the
> bandwidth authorities (and, by extension, the directory authorities) has
> been restored. Committing to annual contracts that cost hundreds of
> euros per month is not fun when you can't do a thing to actually get
> them utilized properly.
> Please don't get me wrong, I strongly believe in the importance of Tor
> and would be happy to contribute. Sadly I feel that the Tor Project is
> not paying any attention to relay operators or users that have been
> affected by issues that have been dragging along for months. It seems
> that their main focus is on the research and implementation of cool
> projects. Research is nice, but if your network is having trouble, you
> may want to shift priorities a bit.
> I'm looking forward to a future where the Tor Project operates as a
> non-profit company with a focus on keeping its relay operators and users
> happy, instead of the research.
> As soon as my trust in this operational part of the Tor Project has been
> restored, I will probably commit to running more exits again. Until then
> it just seems like a waste of time and money.
> Tom
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