[Tor-BSD] Hi new list/Recommended operating platforms

George Rosamond george at ceetonetechnology.com
Tue Feb 19 14:58:55 EST 2013

On 02/19/13 14:52, Brian Callahan wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Feb 2013, George Rosamond wrote:
>> On 02/19/13 09:24, Brian Callahan wrote:
>>> Hi everyone --
>> And 'hi' to you too Brian.  I was going to wait until it was announced
>> to broader audiences, but no need to delay.  The archives are online.
>>> As mentioned on the NYCBUG Announcement list, the only BSD recommended
>>> by the Tor Project is FreeBSD 5.x or higher, despite there being ports
>>> for the other BSDs. Does anyone know where I can find the Tor project's
>>> rationale behind that?
>> First thing I'd note is that one of the weaknesses of Tor's network is
>> that it's overwhelmingly Linux, and thus a monoculture.  There are OSX,
>> FreeBSD, Windows and OpenBSD relays out there, but I think enabling the
>> BSDs to be a better performing platform would help diversify the base.
>> A very useful list:
>> http://torstatus.blutmagie.de/
> OK, so looking over this list, it looks like all the major BSDs are
> represented to varying degrees (even the Bitrig guys have a cluster
> running on Bitrig).
> According to that site, it looks closer to a biculture of Linux and
> Windows, but I admit that this could be deceiving, and it's really a
> monoculture of Linux.

Yes, but I should have been a bit clearer:

in terms of numbers, yes, a bi-culture.  But in terms of high-bandwidth
relays, it's a Linux monoculture.  Lots of those Windows boxes are
low-bandwidth clients who enable relaying, I'd guess.

>> So it's in the FAQ:
>> https://www.torproject.org/docs/faq.html.en#RelayMemory
>> But AFAIK, all the BSDs have lower performance than the Linuxes with
>> Tor, and I only started recently to dive into the related sysctl knobs.
>> Then again, benchmarking is another big path to dive into...
> This should be relatively easy to diagnose, and quite possible that some
> of the information on that FAQ is outdated (i.e. is Tor on
> OpenBSD/NetBSD/Solaris still forking processes instead of using threads?
> Again, should be relatively easy to at least diagnose).

Oh, very much.  But then it needs to be corrected with hard data.

> I don't have the spare hardware to test this myself atm (nor do I have
> an ISP nice enough to let me run a Tor relay) but if someone out there
> is running Tor on OpenBSD, I'd be interested in your outlook on this.

So we had a full OpenBSD relay in the NYC*BUG cabinet a long while back,
but it prompted an inquiry from a certain 3 letter government agency due
to some of the exit traffic.

Now we have two Tor boxes: one a relay with no exit traffic (NYCBUG0).
The other a bridge.  Both run FreeBSD.  I'll post some stats on those
boxes at some point, but the bridge has been up a long time.

If we can't find you hardware, then we could probably just convert the
bridge into an OpenBSD relay for your purposes.  However, the bridge is
i386 FWIW.


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