My Beaglebone Black (BBB) has been humming along nicely as a Tor relay for the last two and half weeks. I upgraded to 0.2.4.17-rc by building from source on the BBB with no issues. I probably should have tried cross compiling, but it was a small enough package that it didn’t take too long.
While it’s not the fastest of relays, I’d like to think it’s a good way to run a stable, low power Tor server on a consumer Internet connection. Most of my other computers are either laptops or are not always on, which isn’t the best for server reliability.
While its stats aren’t earth-shattering, I think they are impressive given the hardware. Lately, it’s been averaging about 2.0 Mb/sec and is consuming about 70% of the CPU. The log format changed a bit in 0.2.4.17-rc, and here is a snippet:
Sep 13 23:16:40.000 [notice] Circuit handshake stats since last time: 16571/16581 TAP, 15/15 NTor. Sep 14 00:16:40.000 [notice] Circuit handshake stats since last time: 9883/9884 TAP, 7/7 NTor. Sep 14 01:16:40.000 [notice] Circuit handshake stats since last time: 710/710 TAP, 1/1 NTor. Sep 14 02:16:40.000 [notice] Circuit handshake stats since last time: 4542/4542 TAP, 2/2 NTor. Sep 14 03:16:40.000 [notice] Circuit handshake stats since last time: 11813/11813 TAP, 12/12 NTor. Sep 14 03:16:45.000 [notice] Heartbeat: Tor's uptime is 6 days 0:00 hours, with 652 circuits open. I've sent 115.04 GB and received 117.08 GB. Sep 14 03:16:45.000 [notice] Average packaged cell fullness: 87.821% Sep 14 03:16:45.000 [notice] TLS write overhead: 8%
I was getting an entry to the effect, “Your computer is too slow… set MaxAdvertisedBandwidth.” This is what I currently have in my torrc:
MaxAdvertisedBandwidth 200 KB # 200 KB/s RelayBandwidthRate 520 KB # Throttle traffic to 520 KB/s RelayBandwidthBurst 640 KB # But allow burts up to 640 KB/s
The relay is now in the “Ramping up as a guard relay” phase as described in Roger Dingledine’s latest post on the life cycle of a relay. I’ll keep watching to make sure it’s not overloaded, but I’m not noticing any degradation in my Internet connection with the relay running.
I emailed the tor-dev mailing list, asking for some advice about where to take this thing, but never received a reply. I thought maybe it could be useful in the Torouter project, but the BBB only has one NIC. That and the Torouter project apparently isn’t being developed anymore and I haven’t yet read the mailing list history to find out why.
Anyway, I’m happy to contribute to the network!