I’ve tried to configure my file to avoid connecting to nodes in certain countries, but Tor still connects to those countries.

What am I missing? Below my list of bridges are these entries:

ControlPort unix:"/Users/xxx/Library/Application Support/TorBrowser-Data/Tor/control.socket"
DataDirectory /Users/xxx/Library/Application Support/TorBrowser-Data/Tor
ExcludeNodes {AG} {US} {UM} {CA} {RU} {SE},{??}
ExcludeExitNodes {AG} {US} {UM} {CA} {RU} {SE},{??}
GeoIPFile /Applications/TorBrowser.app/Contents/Resources/TorBrowser/Tor/geoip
GeoIPv6File /Applications/TorBrowser.app/Contents/Resources/TorBrowser/Tor/geoip6
HiddenServiceStatistics 0
SocksPort unix:"/Users/xxx/Library/Application Support/TorBrowser- Data/Tor/socks.socket" IPv6Traffic PreferIPv6 KeepAliveIsolateSOCKSAuth
StrictNodes 1
UseBridges 1
UseEntryGuards 0

I’ll remove some of the countries, but still need to figure out why Tor doesn't honor my settings.

  • ExcludeNodes and ExcludeExitNodes are comma delimited lists, not space delimited.
    – cacahuatl
    Jan 8, 2017 at 3:44
  • That was a simple solution to a simple mistake - wish all my computer issues were that easy to fix. THANKS! Jan 10, 2017 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


First of all, Exclude's are comma-separated, second - they restrict entry and exit nodes respectively. There's no way to restrict a middle nodes, so - one way or another - you accidentally will use nodes from these countries as a middle ones. Actually - this can not be restricted for good: it would break Tor network apart if implemented(I've tried it experimenting with my patches).

The breakout screinario is when you can have a middle node allowed by you, but it's settings does not allow it to connect to your Exit or Rendezvouz point. So you end up with quite a few nodes for your chains and you're busted =)

  • That’s good to know too - I hadn’t thought about excluded countries appearing in a central position in the list. I’d have been thinking something was still wrong with my config file. Jan 10, 2017 at 8:17
  • it's technically possible to implement such a patch - it took about a day for me, but after that the split mechanism was discovered. The most disturbing thing here that split occures like an avalanche - there's no preliminary and safe conditions that can predict it. It's just - "boom! it happened!" - and the network is degraded. So it's a dangerous thing to play with. Another patch that can mitigate your concern is asctually done - add me on facebook, I'll notify you when it will be released
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Jan 10, 2017 at 15:57
  • It's possible to restrict to MiddleNodes per Tor docs: 2019.www.torproject.org/docs/tor-manual.html.en MiddleNodes node,node,… A list of identity fingerprints and country codes of nodes to use for "middle" hops in your normal circuits.... Aug 15, 2019 at 4:53

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