Commit 09136b1d authored by Nick Mathewson's avatar Nick Mathewson
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r12257@catbus: nickm | 2007-03-20 23:17:52 -0400

 Add specification to proposal 104; settle on "extra info" approach rather than "long descriptor" approach.

parent c36a6210
......@@ -9,9 +9,7 @@ Status: Open
This document proposes moving unused-by-clients information from regular
router descriptors into a special "long form" router descriptor.
It presents options; it is not yet a complete proposal.
router descriptors into a new "extra info" router descriptor.
......@@ -20,23 +18,21 @@ Proposal:
"write-history" fields are used only by the authorities for monitoring the
status of the network. If we took them out, the size of a compressed list
of all the routers would fall by about 60%. (No other disposable field
would save more than 2%.)
One possible solution here is that routers should generate and upload a
short-form and long-form descriptor. Only the short-form descriptor should
ever be used by anybody for routing. The long-form descriptor should be
used only for analytics and other tools. (If we allowed people to route
with long descriptors, we'd have to ensure that they stayed in sync with
the short ones somehow. So let's not do that.) We can ensure that the
short descriptors are used by only recommending those in the network
Another possible solution would be to drop these fields from descriptors,
and have them uploaded as a part of a separate "bandwidth report" to the
authorities. This could help prevent the mistake of using long descriptors
in the place of short ones. It could also be generalized later to be an
overall status report, to include sanitized GeoIP information and whatever
else comes up.
would save much more than 2%.)
We propose to remove these fields from descriptors, and and have them
uploaded as a part of a separate signed "extra info" to the authorities.
This document will be signed. A hash of this document will be included in
the regular descriptors.
(We considered another design, where routers would generate and upload a
short-form and a long-form descriptor. Only the short-form descriptor would
ever be used by anybody for routing. The long-form descriptor would be
used only for analytics and other tools. We decided against this because
well-behaved tools would need to download short-form descriptors too (as
these would be the only ones indexed), and hence get redundant info. Badly
behaved tools would download only long-form descriptors, and expose
themselves to partitioning attacks and that like.)
Other disposable fields:
......@@ -55,63 +51,109 @@ Other disposable fields:
have much disk, or have really slow disk (e.g. USB). And we don't
store caches compressed right now. -RD]
Indexing long descriptor or bandwidth reports presents an issue: right now
the way to make sure you have the same copy of a descriptor as everyone
else is to request the descriptor by its digest, and to make sure that
the digest you request is the one that the authorities like.
Authorities should presumably list the digests of short descriptors, since
that's what most everybody will be using. Including a second digest for
long descriptors/bandwidth reports in the networkstatus would only bloat it
with information nobody wants.
Possible solutions are:
1) Drop the property that you can be sure of having the same long
descriptor as others. This seems unoptimal, but if nobody caches
long descriptors so you have to go to the authority to get them,
maybe it's not so bad.
2) Have a separate extra-information-status that also gets generated by the
authorities; use it to tell which long descriptors others have. Also a
3) Have short descriptors include a hash of the corresponding long
descriptor/extra-info. This would keep the same order of magnitude
performance increase (~59.2% savings as opposed to 61% savings.)
This would require longdesc/extra-info downloaders to fetch
router data before they could know which longdescs/extra info to fetch.
4) Have each authority make a signed concatenated "extra info" document,
and hope we never need to reconcile them.
5) ????
1. Extra Info Format.
A "extra info" descriptor contains the following fields:
"extra-info" Nickname IP FINGERPRINT
Identifies what router this is an extra info descriptor for.
FINGERPRINT is encoded in hex, with no spaces.
As currently documented in dir-spec.txt
As currently documented in dir-spec.txt
"router-signature" NL Signature NL
A signature of the PKCS1-padded hash of the entire extra info
document, taken from the beginning of the "extra-info" line, through
the newline after the "router-signature" line. An extra info
document is not valid unless the signature is performed with the
identity key whose digest matches FINGERPRINT.
The "extra-info" field is required and MUST appear first. The
router-signature field is required and MUST appear last. All others are
optional. As for other documents, unrecognized fields must be ignored.
2. Existing formats
Implementations that use "read-history" and "write-history" SHOULD
accept router descriptors that contain them. (Prior to 0.2.0.x, this
information was encoded in ordinary router descriptors.)
Add these field to router descriptors:
"extra-info-digest" DIGEST
DIGEST is a hex-encoded digest of the router's extra-info document,
as signed in the router's extra-info. (If this field is absent,
no extra-info-digest exists.)
Present if this router is a directory cache that provides
extra-info documents.
3. New communications rules
Clients SHOULD generate and upload an extra-info document after each
descriptor they generate and upload; no more, no less. Clients MUST
upload the new descriptor before they upload the new extra-info.
Authorities receiving an extra-info documents SHOULD verify all of the
* They have a router descriptor for some server with a matching
nickname, IP, and identity fingerprint.
* That server's identity key has been used to sign the extra-info
* The extra-info-digest field in the router descriptor matches
the digest of the extra-info document.
Authorities SHOULD try to fetch extra-info documents from one another if
they do not have one matching the digest declared in a router
Caches that are running locally with a tool that needs to use extra-info
documents MAY download and store extra-info documents. They should do
so when they notice that the recommended descriptor has an
extra-info-digest not matching any extra-info document they currently
have. (Caches not running on a host that needs to use extra-info
documents SHOULD NOT download or cache them.)
4. New URLs
(As for /tor/server/ URLs: supports fetching extra-info documents
by their digest, by the fingerprint of their servers, or all at
once. Only directory authorities are guaranteed to support these
(The extra-info document for this router.)
Extra-info documents are uploaded to the same URLs as regular
router descriptors.
For long/short descriptor approach:
For extra info approach:
* First:
* Authorities should accept both, now, and silently drop short
* Routers should upload both once authorities accept them.
* There should be a "long descriptor" url named
/tor/server/fp-detailed/ and the current "normal" URL.
Authorities should serve long descriptors from both URLs.
There's no such thing as asking for a long descriptor by
its digest.
* Once tools that want long descriptors support fetching them from the
"long descriptor" URL:
* Have authorities remember short descriptors, and serve them from the
'normal' URL.
These tools include:
lefkada's script.
tor26's noreply script and general directory cache. for its graphs
and check with or-talk for the rest, once it's time.
For bandwidth info approach:
* First:
* Rename it; it won't be just bandwidth forever.
* Authorities should accept bandwidth info
* Authorities should accept extra info, and support downloading it.
* Routers should upload bandwidth info once authorities accept it.
* There should be a way to download bandwidth info
* Caches should support an option to download and cache it, once
authorities serve it.
* Tools should be updated to use locally cached information.
These tools include:
lefkada's script.
tor26's noreply script and general directory cache. for its graphs
and check with or-talk for the rest, once it's time.
* Once tools that want bandwidth info support fetching it:
* Have routers stop including bandwidth info in their router
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