Free Software Efforts (2018W27)

· debian foss tor relaysearch onionperf dns onionoo latency hacking weekly
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Last week was my first week working full time in the Metrics team at Tor Project.

On Tuesday, my Internet connection was interrupted for the entire workday which did make it a little more difficult to work. I was able to use my 4G connection but, unfortunately, access to the Tor bug tracker and all of the Metrics websites were blocked requiring me to verify I was over the age of 18 to access. Tor Browser was quite happy to go around the censorship so it was not impossible to work.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Tor Project

Working full time for Tor Project means that I’ve mostly done Tor Project things.

Relay Search Integration

In the roadmap for the Metrics team we had said that we wanted to fully integrate Relay Search into Tor Metrics. This week we have completed this integration, although there will still be some documentation to update next week (e.g. contributing documentation on the wiki). As part of the integration, we have now changed the license for Relay Search to 3-clause BSD from the previous MIT license to allow for alignment with the rest of the Tor Metrics codebases.

Later in the week I have triaged some relay search tickets and written patches for some of the easier to fix issues.

Onionoo’s Reverse DNS Resolver

For my first substantial contribution to the Onionoo codebase I accepted ticket #18342. My patch for this is nearing completion and I will make a seperate post about this once it has been merged. I’ve even learnt new things about DNS that I did not know before, and even surprised me, so this has been a great first ticket to work on.

Working on this ticket means I now also have a development environment set up to work on Onionoo, and I’m starting to get to grips with the codebase. In the past I’ve only used data provided by Onionoo via its HTTP API (e.g. for Relay Search or metrics-bot).

Measuring Latency

At the Tor meeting in Rome a few people asked about the latency for connections over Tor. At the time, Tor Metrics only had details about throughput but it looked like OnionPerf could collect the information we needed. To look into this, I filed #25774 and this week I have been reviewing karsten’s work on this ticket. No extensions to OnionPerf were required and so this went quickly and the graphs are already live.

While working on this ticket, I noticed that one of Tor Metrics' OnionPerf instances (op-us) was failing on 100% of connections, so I asked our services admin to restart it. It looks to now be running again and we will look into better monitoring in the future.


I also attended the Metrics team meeting on Thursday and the Pluggable Transports meeting on Friday. I had attended the Pluggable Transports meeting purely by chance, but it was quite interesting so I followed along.


I reviewed and sponsored packaging for lektor (ITP #892901). This is currently in the NEW queue.

Community and Events

I have tidied up the configuration for the 57North Hacklab Planet. If you’ve noticed that your blog is no longer present, it’s because the feed was 404. Some http:// URLs have been updated to https:// URLs where I saw that redirections existed.

I attended the following events last week:

If you would like to contact me with comments, please send me an email.
If you would like to support my free software work, you can support me on Patreon or donate via PayPal.

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