[tor-relays] Operator straw poll: Reasons why you use Tor LTS versions?

Mike Perry mikeperry at torproject.org
Thu Sep 5 02:11:00 UTC 2019

Hello relay operators,

Thanks for running relays, and thanks to those of you who are moving off
of our old EOL Tor versions. Thanks especially to those of you who moved
directly to Tor 0.4.1!

We would like to transition the LTS Tor to be for use in
edge/client/non-relay infrastructure only. We would like to minimize
even that use.

We need to update our network protocols to improve performance,
security, and to add defenses against DoS attacks. Doing this while
supporting LTS for relays is expensive, especially when large backports
must be done to keep the network safe. It also slows down the uniform
deployment of performance improvements, which contributes to the
frustrating user experience of abysmal-but-rare performance edge cases.

Unfortunately, we still have something like 2500 relays on either Tor
0.2.9-LTS or Tor 0.3.5-LTS.

What are the reasons for this? My guess is the top 5 most common
responses are:

1. "I didn't know that Debian's backports repo has latest-stable Tor!"
2. "I didn't see the Tor Project repos mentioned in Tor's Relay docs!"
3. "I'm running a distribution that Tor Project doesn't have repos for."
4. "I rolled my own custom Tor from git and forgot about it."
5. "My relay machine was not getting any updates at all. Oops."

Does anyone have a reason that they think many other relay operators
also share?

How can we fix that for you, or at least, how can we make it easier to
run the very latest stable series Tor on your relay?

Mike Perry

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