[tor-relays] A general question for relay operators

Keifer Bly keifer.bly at gmail.com
Thu Jun 28 03:25:21 UTC 2018

I am not saying that relays that are currently not running should be treated like they are currently running. I am just saying the network conseoucsus could be improved a little in the sense that relays, even very high bandwidth ones, might go offline from time to time due to things like power and internet outages which are things that happen from time to time, whereas with how things are now, relays that are offline for a few hours due to a possible power or internet outage in the area (or similar situation) are immediately (within the hour) treated like they never existed at all by the consensus.

I just think that it would be friendly to relay operators if their was an option to have relays labeled as “this relay is down momentarily, but should be back up again in the near future” unless it is down for two days or so (etc. a long time with no update from the operator).

From: teor
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 7:39 PM
To: tor-relays at lists.torproject.org
Subject: Re: [tor-relays] A general question for relay operators

> On 28 Jun 2018, at 11:45, Keifer Bly <keifer.bly at gmail.com> wrote:
> It is also a pain at times keeping the OS, especially on macOS, the newer versions of which my not support older machines, up to date while trying to keep the relay stable, as relay status is changed so quickly (removing relays from the conseoucsus list within 40 mins) which can be troublesome for areas that sometimes experience power outages, which happens during winter where my relay is run.

But a 60 minute turnaround for relay reachability is *good* for clients.

I think that is a part of the relay guide that we can improve:
Relays exist so that clients can use the network.
Consensus flags exist so that clients can use the network efficiently.
Bandwidth weights are assigned so that clients can use the network efficiently.

> What seems strange to me is that I see there is a “running” flag. This flag seems pointless to me if the relay is just completely removed from the conseoucsus if it’s detected as not currently running to begin with;

You're right, the Running flag is historical, and kept for backwards compatibility.
(We used to list relays that were not Running, but removed them from the
consensus to save client bandwidth.)

> why not just give an “X” flag if the relay is unreachable for three days or so?

Remember: consensus flags exist so that clients can use the network efficiently.
How would clients use a NotRunningForThreeDays flag?

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