[tor-talk] The Tor network doesn't support Named relays anymore

Sebastian Hahn mail at sebastianhahn.net
Wed Aug 13 14:51:53 UTC 2014

Dear Tor users,

the system for naming relays has been an issue for a long time.
Referring to a relay by the operator-chosen nickname in your Tor
configuration file was never a great idea if you wanted to rely on Tor
using that specific relay. As a band-aid, the Tor directory authorities
implemented a naming system, where one of the flags they gave to relays
which picked a unique nickname, stuck with it for a while, and didn't go
offline for more than half a year, was the "Named" flag. This meant
relying on the dirauths for one more thing, and added complexity for the
dirauth operators.

To rectify the situation, proposal 235[0] was written to evaluate the
possibility of stopping the naming system. The tor-dev thread that
followed lead to a code review to ensure currently running versions of
Tor won't be adversely affected by consensuses without any Named flags.
The result of the analysis is that no such issue could be found, and
we're proceeding with disabling Naming. Please note that this does not
mean you cannot use the "Nickname" field anymore when setting up a

If you - in your Tor configuration file - refer to any relay by name and
not by identity hash, please change that immediately. Future versions of
Tor will not support using names in the configuration at all.

Please report any issues that you might find, so we can react

Thanks & Cheers

[0]: https://gitweb.torproject.org/torspec.git/blob_plain/master:/proposals/235-kill-named-flag.txt
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