Opened 8 months ago

Closed 5 months ago

Last modified 5 months ago

#33527 closed project (implemented)

Write walking onions specification

Reported by: gaba Owned by: nickm
Priority: Medium Milestone: Tor: 0.4.4.x-final
Component: Core Tor/Tor Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: walking-onions network-team-roadmap-2020Q2
Cc: Actual Points: 20
Parent ID: Points: 16
Reviewer: Sponsor: Sponsor69


Walking onions is a set of protocols improving scalability for the Tor network by enabling constant-size scaling of the information each client must download. Walking Onions will allow us to remove nearly all directory overhead from the Tor protocol, enabling Tor to scale to many more clients and relays, with no reduction in security.

The proposal is at

This ticket is a complete, byte-level specification of the Walking Onions design, in sufficient detail to permit independent implementations of Walking Onions to interoperate. This will include a description of all new directory formats, all new wire protocols, all new client and relay behaviors, and all backward compatibility mechanisms.


  • Write an initial draft of specification, identifying unknowns and options in the design.
  • Distribute draft to tor-dev mailing list and to researchers for comment.
  • Take decisions on all unknowns and options; if uncertainty remains.
  • Write or locate reference-implementations for any primitive operations not already used by Tor.Write reference implementations for all novel encodings/decodings.

Child Tickets

Change History (4)

comment:1 Changed 8 months ago by nickm

Milestone: Tor: 0.4.4.x-final
Status: assignedaccepted

I'm sending weekly updates about the progress here to tor-dev; I sent the first one at

I'm using a temporary repository at to keep track of my work here.

comment:2 Changed 7 months ago by gaba

Keywords: network-team-roadmap-2020Q2 added; network-team-roadmap-2020Q1 removed

comment:3 Changed 5 months ago by nickm

Resolution: implemented
Status: acceptedclosed

This is done as proposal 313.

comment:4 Changed 5 months ago by nickm

Actual Points: 20
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