Server descriptor format

Server descriptors consist of the following items.

In lines that take multiple arguments, extra arguments SHOULD be accepted and ignored. Many of the nonterminals below are defined in section 2.1.3.

Note that many versions of Tor will generate an extra newline at the end of their descriptors. Implementations MUST tolerate one or more blank lines at the end of a single descriptor or a list of concatenated descriptors. New implementations SHOULD NOT generate such blank lines.

"router" nickname address ORPort SOCKSPort DirPort NL

[At start, exactly once.]

Indicates the beginning of a server descriptor. "nickname" must be a valid router nickname as specified in section 2.1.3. "address" must be an IPv4 address in dotted-quad format. The last three numbers indicate the TCP ports at which this OR exposes functionality. ORPort is a port at which this OR accepts TLS connections for the main OR protocol; SOCKSPort is deprecated and should always be 0; and DirPort is the port at which this OR accepts directory-related HTTP connections. If any port is not supported, the value 0 is given instead of a port number. (At least one of DirPort and ORPort SHOULD be set; authorities MAY reject any descriptor with both DirPort and ORPort of 0.)

    "identity-ed25519" NL "-----BEGIN ED25519 CERT-----" NL certificate
           "-----END ED25519 CERT-----" NL

[Exactly once, in second position in document.] [No extra arguments]

The certificate is a base64-encoded Ed25519 certificate (see cert-spec.txt) with terminating =s removed. When this element is present, it MUST appear as the first or second element in the router descriptor.

The certificate has CERT_TYPE of [04]. It must include a signed-with-ed25519-key extension (see cert-spec.txt, section 2.2.1), so that we can extract the master identity key.

[Before Tor, this field was optional.]

"master-key-ed25519" SP MasterKey NL

[Exactly once]

Contains the base-64 encoded ed25519 master key as a single argument. If it is present, it MUST match the identity key in the identity-ed25519 entry.

[Before Tor, this field was optional.]

"bandwidth" bandwidth-avg bandwidth-burst bandwidth-observed NL

[Exactly once]

Estimated bandwidth for this router, in bytes per second. The "average" bandwidth is the volume per second that the OR is willing to sustain over long periods; the "burst" bandwidth is the volume that the OR is willing to sustain in very short intervals. The "observed" value is an estimate of the capacity this relay can handle. The relay remembers the max bandwidth sustained output over any ten second period in the past 5 days, and another sustained input. The "observed" value is the lesser of these two numbers.

Tor versions released before 2018 only kept bandwidth-observed for one day. These versions are no longer supported or recommended.

"platform" string NL

[At most once]

A human-readable string describing the system on which this OR is running. This MAY include the operating system, and SHOULD include the name and version of the software implementing the Tor protocol.

"published" YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS NL

[Exactly once]

The time, in UTC, when this descriptor (and its corresponding extra-info document if any) was generated.

"fingerprint" fingerprint NL

[At most once]

A fingerprint (a HASH_LEN-byte of asn1 encoded public key, encoded in hex, with a single space after every 4 characters) for this router's identity key. A descriptor is considered invalid (and MUST be rejected) if the fingerprint line does not match the public key.

       [We didn't start parsing this line until Tor; it should
        be marked with "opt" until earlier versions of Tor are obsolete.]

    "hibernating" bool NL

       [At most once]

If the value is 1, then the Tor relay was hibernating when the descriptor was published, and shouldn't be used to build circuits.

       [We didn't start parsing this line until Tor; it should be
        marked with "opt" until earlier versions of Tor are obsolete.]

    "uptime" number NL

       [At most once]

       The number of seconds that this OR process has been running.

    "onion-key" NL a public key in PEM format

[Exactly once] [No extra arguments]

This key is used to encrypt CREATE cells for this OR. The key MUST be accepted for at least 1 week after any new key is published in a subsequent descriptor. It MUST be 1024 bits.

The key encoding is the encoding of the key as a PKCS#1 RSAPublicKey structure, encoded in base64, and wrapped in "-----BEGIN RSA PUBLIC KEY-----" and "-----END RSA PUBLIC KEY-----".

"onion-key-crosscert" NL a RSA signature in PEM format.

[Exactly once] [No extra arguments]

This element contains an RSA signature, generated using the onion-key, of the following:

          A SHA1 hash of the RSA identity key,
            i.e. RSA key from "signing-key" (see below) [20 bytes]
          The Ed25519 identity key,
            i.e. Ed25519 key from "master-key-ed25519" [32 bytes]

If there is no Ed25519 identity key, or if in some future version there is no RSA identity key, the corresponding field must be zero-filled.

Parties verifying this signature MUST allow additional data beyond the 52 bytes listed above.

This signature proves that the party creating the descriptor had control over the secret key corresponding to the onion-key.

[Before Tor, this field was optional whenever identity-ed25519 was absent.]

"ntor-onion-key" base-64-encoded-key

[Exactly once]

A curve25519 public key used for the ntor circuit extended handshake. It's the standard encoding of the OR's curve25519 public key, encoded in base 64. The trailing '=' sign MAY be omitted from the base64 encoding. The key MUST be accepted for at least 1 week after any new key is published in a subsequent descriptor.

[Before Tor, this field was optional.]

    "ntor-onion-key-crosscert" SP Bit NL
           "-----BEGIN ED25519 CERT-----" NL certificate
           "-----END ED25519 CERT-----" NL

[Exactly once] [No extra arguments]

A signature created with the ntor-onion-key, using the certificate format documented in cert-spec.txt, with type [0a]. The signed key here is the master identity key.

Bit must be "0" or "1". It indicates the sign of the ed25519 public key corresponding to the ntor onion key. If Bit is "0", then implementations MUST guarantee that the x-coordinate of the resulting ed25519 public key is positive. Otherwise, if Bit is "1", then the sign of the x-coordinate MUST be negative.

To compute the ed25519 public key corresponding to a curve25519 key, and for further explanation on key formats, see appendix C.

This signature proves that the party creating the descriptor had control over the secret key corresponding to the ntor-onion-key.

[Before Tor, this field was optional whenever identity-ed25519 was absent.]

"signing-key" NL a public key in PEM format

[Exactly once] [No extra arguments]

The OR's long-term RSA identity key. It MUST be 1024 bits.

The encoding is as for "onion-key" above.

"accept" exitpattern NL "reject" exitpattern NL

[Any number]

These lines describe an "exit policy": the rules that an OR follows when deciding whether to allow a new stream to a given address. The 'exitpattern' syntax is described below. There MUST be at least one such entry. The rules are considered in order; if no rule matches, the address will be accepted. For clarity, the last such entry SHOULD be accept : or reject :.

"ipv6-policy" SP ("accept" / "reject") SP PortList NL

[At most once.]

An exit-policy summary as specified in sections 3.4.1 and 3.8.2, summarizing the router's rules for connecting to IPv6 addresses. A missing "ipv6-policy" line is equivalent to "ipv6-policy reject 1-65535".

"overload-general" SP version SP YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS NL

[At most once.]

Indicates that a relay has reached an "overloaded state" which can be one or many of the following load metrics:

         - Any OOM invocation due to memory pressure
         - Any ntor onionskins are dropped
         - TCP port exhaustion

The timestamp is when at least one metrics was detected. It should always be at the hour and thus, as an example, "2020-01-10 13:00:00" is an expected timestamp. Because this is a binary state, if the line is present, we consider that it was hit at the very least once somewhere between the provided timestamp and the "published" timestamp of the document which is when the document was generated.

The overload-general line should remain in place for 72 hours since last triggered. If the limits are reached again in this period, the timestamp is updated, and this 72 hour period restarts.

The 'version' field is set to '1' for now.

      (Introduced in tor-, but moved from extra-info to general
       descriptor in tor-

    "router-sig-ed25519" SP Signature NL

       [Exactly once.]

It MUST be the next-to-last element in the descriptor, appearing immediately before the RSA signature. It MUST contain an Ed25519 signature of a SHA256 digest of the entire document. This digest is taken from the first character up to and including the first space after the "router-sig-ed25519" string. Before computing the digest, the string "Tor router descriptor signature v1" is prefixed to the document.

The signature is encoded in Base64, with terminating =s removed.

The signing key in the identity-ed25519 certificate MUST be the one used to sign the document.

[Before Tor, this field was optional whenever identity-ed25519 was absent.]

"router-signature" NL Signature NL

[At end, exactly once] [No extra arguments]

The "SIGNATURE" object contains a signature of the PKCS1-padded hash of the entire server descriptor, taken from the beginning of the "router" line, through the newline after the "router-signature" line. The server descriptor is invalid unless the signature is performed with the router's identity key.

"contact" info NL

[At most once]

Describes a way to contact the relay's administrator, preferably including an email address and a PGP key fingerprint.

"bridge-distribution-request" SP Method NL

[At most once, bridges only.]

The "Method" describes how a Bridge address is distributed by BridgeDB. Recognized methods are: "none", "any", "https", "email", "moat". If set to "none", BridgeDB will avoid distributing your bridge address. If set to "any", BridgeDB will choose how to distribute your bridge address. Choosing any of the other methods will tell BridgeDB to distribute your bridge via a specific method:

          - "https" specifies distribution via the web interface at
          - "email" specifies distribution via the email autoresponder at
          - "moat" specifies distribution via an interactive menu inside Tor
            Browser; and

        Potential future "Method" specifiers must be as follows:
            Method = (KeywordChar | "_") +

All bridges SHOULD include this line. Non-bridges MUST NOT include it.

BridgeDB SHOULD treat unrecognized Method values as if they were "none".

(Default: "any")

[This line was introduced in, with a minimal backport to,,,,, and later.]

"family" names NL

[At most once]

'Names' is a space-separated list of relay nicknames or hexdigests. If two ORs list one another in their "family" entries, then OPs should treat them as a single OR for the purpose of path selection.

For example, if node A's descriptor contains "family B", and node B's descriptor contains "family A", then node A and node B should never be used on the same circuit.

    "read-history" YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS (NSEC s) NUM,NUM,NUM,NUM,NUM... NL
        [At most once]
    "write-history" YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS (NSEC s) NUM,NUM,NUM,NUM,NUM... NL
        [At most once]

(These fields once appeared in router descriptors, but have appeared in extra-info descriptors since 0.2.0.x.)

"eventdns" bool NL

[At most once]

Declare whether this version of Tor is using the newer enhanced dns logic. Versions of Tor with this field set to false SHOULD NOT be used for reverse hostname lookups.

        [This option is obsolete.  All Tor current relays should be presumed
         to have the evdns backend.]

   "caches-extra-info" NL

[At most once.] [No extra arguments]

Present only if this router is a directory cache that provides extra-info documents.

[Versions before don't recognize this]

"extra-info-digest" SP sha1-digest [SP sha256-digest] NL

[At most once]

"sha1-digest" is a hex-encoded SHA1 digest (using upper-case characters) of the router's extra-info document, as signed in the router's extra-info (that is, not including the signature). (If this field is absent, the router is not uploading a corresponding extra-info document.)

"sha256-digest" is a base64-encoded SHA256 digest of the extra-info document. Unlike the "sha1-digest", this digest is calculated over the entire document, including the signature. This difference is due to a long-lived bug in the tor implementation that it would be difficult to roll out an incremental fix for, not a design choice. Future digest algorithms specified should not include the signature in the data used to compute the digest.

[Versions before did not include a SHA256 digest.] [Versions before don't recognize this field at all.]

"hidden-service-dir" NL

[At most once.]

Present only if this router stores and serves hidden service descriptors. This router supports the descriptor versions declared in the HSDir "proto" entry. If there is no "proto" entry, this router supports version 2 descriptors.

   "protocols" SP "Link" SP LINK-VERSION-LIST SP "Circuit" SP

       [At most once.]

An obsolete list of protocol versions, superseded by the "proto" entry. This list was never parsed, and has not been emitted since Tor New code should neither generate nor parse this line.

"allow-single-hop-exits" NL

[At most once.] [No extra arguments]

Present only if the router allows single-hop circuits to make exit connections. Most Tor relays do not support this: this is included for specialized controllers designed to support perspective access and such. This is obsolete in tor version >=

"or-address" SP ADDRESS ":" PORT NL

[Any number]

ADDRESS = IP6ADDR | IP4ADDR IPV6ADDR = an ipv6 address, surrounded by square brackets. IPV4ADDR = an ipv4 address, represented as a dotted quad. PORT = a number between 1 and 65535 inclusive.

An alternative for the address and ORPort of the "router" line, but with two added capabilities:

         * or-address can be either an IPv4 or IPv6 address
         * or-address allows for multiple ORPorts and addresses

A descriptor SHOULD NOT include an or-address line that does nothing but duplicate the address:port pair from its "router" line.

The ordering of or-address lines and their PORT entries matter because Tor MAY accept a limited number of address/port pairs. As of Tor 0.2.3.x only the first address/port pair is advertised and used.

"tunnelled-dir-server" NL

[At most once.] [No extra arguments]

       Present if the router accepts "tunneled" directory requests using a
       BEGIN_DIR cell over the router's OR port.
          (Added in Before this, Tor relays accepted
          tunneled directory requests only if they had a DirPort open,
          or if they were bridges.)

   "proto" SP Entries NL

       [Exactly once.]

Entries = Entries = Entry Entries = Entry SP Entries

Entry = Keyword "=" Values

Values = Values = Value Values = Value "," Values

Value = Int Value = Int "-" Int


Each 'Entry' in the "proto" line indicates that the Tor relay supports one or more versions of the protocol in question. Entries should be sorted by keyword. Values should be numerically ascending within each entry. (This implies that there should be no overlapping ranges.) Ranges should be represented as compactly as possible. Ints must be no larger than 63.

This field was first added in Tor 0.2.9.x.

[Before Tor, this field was optional.]