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387 words by gman999 written on 2017–03–30, last edit: 2017–09–03, tags: arm, bbb, openbsd, relay, tor ⋔ Previous post: Tor Relay on a BeagleBone Black Running OpenBSD -current ⋔ Next post: What Motivates You to Run a Tor Relay?
The BeagleBone Black Tor relay is fully operational and according to both one of the Tor Status sites and Tor Atlas, is already pushing about 1 MBps.
It’s not up on the Buildbot yet, but should be once some technical glitches are resolved on our end.
There is a number of advantages to this and similar relays.
OpenBSD is unique among relay operating system platforms for a number of reasons, including its usage of LibreSSL as opposed to ubiquitous OpenSSL. At the moment, only some 1.42% of relays are running OpenBSD.
the BeagleBone is an armv7 platform, which stands outside the normal x86 monoculture. All hardware has its own share of advantages and disadvantages from the security-level. But the x86 monoculture is a scary one and often over-looked when assessing operating system diversity. The BeagleBone is open source hardware, and is not saturated with ugly binary blobs so common on x86.
finally, the BeagleBone is an Altoids-sized, fanless and silent computer easily accomodated in any data center cabinet, and draws insignificant electricity. And considering the amount of under-utilized bandwidth on so many residential connections in places like the US, the BeagleBone is ideal hardware for Tor bridges for any home. Pop some into your friends’ and family’s homes, and assist those with censored internet connections around the world.
A final configuration tweak now that the relay seems to be hitting its stride.
OpenBSD is pleasantly stingy in allowing the number of files to be opened per daemon. This restriction works both for security purposes and for a consideration for systems with lesser resources. The tor daemon, to be able to hit its peak bandwidth, likely needs a bump in those values.
There’s two quick changes, on that note.
Increase the number of files that can be opened, assuming there is no previously configured /etc/sysctl.conf file:
$ echo "kern.maxfiles=20000" >/etc/sysctl.conf
To enble that change without a reboot:
$ sysctl kern.maxfiles=20000
Next allow the tor daemon to increase its own openfiles limit, edit the /etc/login.conf file and add the following:
tor:\ :openfiles-max=8192:\ :tc=daemon:
While testing node configuration changes on a (mostly) randomized anonymity network is hard to measure, removing those limits can remove some local hindrances.
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