[tor-relays] Hidden Service on several relays + same .onion

Donncha O'Cearbhaill donncha at donncha.is
Sat Feb 27 13:39:22 UTC 2016

Pierre L.:
> Hey all,
> Thinking about having fun with hidden-service webhosting on few relays.
> If I'm not wrong :
> Host DNS name .onion of a server is stored in the file
> /var/lib/tor/hidden_service/hostname,
> there's another file private_key...
> So my idea is to host the same website on 2 relays with different WAN
> IP, fingerprint, etc.......
> But if I copy those 2 files "hostname" + "private_key" on 2 or 3.......
> relays, will it be ok ?
> With this set up, if 1 relay is down, the 2nd can be reachable with the
> same .onion DNS name ?
> Will this failover method work, or will be it a mess with 2-3 relays
> with the same .onion name ?

When you say "webhosting a few relays" I think you mean "webhosting on a
few servers". You do not need to run a Tor relay in order to host a
hidden service.

You won't be able to access all the hidded services at the same time if
you copy the same hidden service key to multiple hosts. However your
overall approach is what the OnionBalance tool implements

With OnionBalance you can host a hidden service on multiple servers, and
clients will be directed to one of the online servers. It is basically
'round-robin DNS' implemented on the Tor hidden service protocol.

Let me know if you have any questions!


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