[tor-relays] DirectoryAuthority & FallbackDir Only at Startup?

Gary C. New garycnew at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 18 06:50:25 UTC 2021

Are the DirectoryAuthority & FallbackDir directives only evaluated at startup of a Tor instance? I recently ran into an issue where my Tor Relay Farm went down, due to the manually configured DirectoryAuthority going down and the FallbackDir didn't seem to back it up.

I know that the DirectoryAuthority & FallbackDir directives were intended to be used in a private Tor network, but as I'm running a Tor Relay Farm where all Tor Relay Nodes use a cloned .tordb–I need all the Tor Relay Nodes to talk to the same DirectoryAuthority & FallbackDir.
Other than the DirectoryAuthority going down and a Medium-Term key update, loadbalancing to a Tor Relay Farm has been working very well for a month or so. Although, the fundamental Tor Relay client-based push reporting vs DirectoryAuthority server-based pull reporting doesn't lend itself well to accurately reporting Tor Metrics for a Tor Relay Farm. The DirectoryAuthority observers the Tor Farm based on the individual Tor Relay Node that last reported, so Tor Metrics are only shown for a single Tor Relay Node; while, in reality the Tor Relay Farm is doing x4 - x5 the reported load. Knowing this, you might reconsider the way metrics are reported in the future to accurately report loadbalanced Tor Relays.
As always, thank you for all the work you do.

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