I found there are 10 hardcoded entries in the Tor source code. I think these maybe the servers from which tor clients retrieve the list of relays but I need confirmation.

Google doesn't turn up enough results for Tor.

  • @aste123, would be nice to give a link to the part of the Tor source code you mention.
    – gacar
    Feb 12, 2014 at 23:06
  • @gacar search for const char *authorities[] in ./src/or/config.c and link to source code: torproject.org/dist/tor-
    – aste123
    Feb 13, 2014 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


The 10 entries in the Tor source code stored in the authorities[] array are Trusted Directory Authorities.

In the old versions of Tor, those were used by the Tor client to download lists routing information and the up/down status of each router. The lists were signed and the signatures were checked against hardcoded entries. This means that when you first run your Tor client, you're sure that the routing information you're getting are actually directly coming from Tor-trusted servers.

In the newer versions, they're still used for the same purpose but with slightly more complex procedure.

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