[tor-relays] Just wanted to publish a Tor Bridge,

Matthew Finkel matthew.finkel at gmail.com
Sun Oct 11 04:51:23 UTC 2015

On Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 11:27:23PM -0400, Yet Another Tor User wrote:
> I have setup a Tor Bridge for everyone and I am unsure how it gets published
> so I will post the info here so it can get put into the consensus. The
> bridge is I hope this bridge will help more users access
> the network.

Hi Yet Another Tor User,

Thanks for running a bridge! Unfortunately this isn't the best way to publish
the bridge's details. Ideally, the bridge's IP address and port number are
not publicly available, making it difficult for network administrators to
block the bridge.

By default the bridge publishes its details to a special directory authority
(the Bridge Authority), this is a different server than the default directory
authorities who vote on and publish the network consensus based on the public
relays. Periodically, the bridge authority sends the details of the bridges
it knows about to BridgeDB [0] (the Bridge Database), and users retrieve bridge
from BridgeDB.

As the bridge operator, after you configure it you should not need to do
anything. Publishing and distributing the details should happen automatically.

If you decide you don't want BridgeDB distributing your bridge details
because you want some control over who uses your bridge, then you can add
  PublishServerDescriptor 0
in the torrc. This tells your bridge that it should not publish its details
to the Bridge Authority (therefore BridgeDB never learns about it).

On a slightly different topic, you only mentioned the IP address and port of
your bridge. Over the last few years pluggable transports [1] have become
extremely important and useful. Have you considered running one (or more) of
them? It will be great if you can configure obfs4 [2].

Pluggable transports are the best way tor can overcome censorship and network
interference, so running a bridge with a pluggable transport is both important
and very appreciated.

Thanks for running a bridge and let us know if you have any questions!

- Matt

[0] https://bridges.torproject.org/
[1] https://www.torproject.org/docs/pluggable-transports.html.en
[2] https://github.com/Yawning/obfs4#installation

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