I'm just learning how to use tor, I'm solving my doubts by searching for information on the internet. I love looking for information, but I can't find much about it. The only two ways I've managed to change the guard node is by uninstalling the service from my Debian machine and reinstalling it (replacing my Keys and Hostname to keep the domain) or without being so drastic I discovered that by stopping the service, deleting the "state" file and the ones that put "cached" in the same directory /var/lib/tor, when starting the service again it selects a different guard node. Then I said to myself... fuck! it's the "state" file where some "stories" of connections and values appear that I have no idea what they mean but at the end of the file a list appears with a lot of values that I don't understand but... a value appears that puts "nickname" and corresponds with nickname that appears in the "relay search" page of Tor once my connection with a netstat has been bought to see the IP of the node that was assigned to me... mmm interesting. Once I examined more deeply I understood all the values that were reflected, which are those that identify each node within the list created. I deleted the file 3 or 4 times until I got one that I thought was more secure, with an updated version and that was seen for the first time at least 1 year ago, I also preferred that it was a node without family this is my intuition but I do not know if it is really better or worse. I feel more confident with a solitary node (am I wrong?).

My question is directly like this: Can I edit the "state" file to put in the nodes I want?And how do I select which of the nodes in the list for the connection as the guard. And what should I do with the part that says "CircuitBuildTimeBin" and the numerical values that follow? My intuition tells me that nothing that is self-generated by TOR

And regarding the UseEntryGuards key, looking for information there are those who say that putting it in 1 is safer and there are those who say that putting it in 0 is safer. What is better?

The truth is that you can hardly find information about a node change on a hidden service. It's as if it doesn't matter and it's only important to configure the nodes in the browser. But if you are assigned a node with a very old version or a node that takes 15 days since it was first seen, it is not to be trusted very much. I checked with a netstat that the node was assigned to me several times on a trial basis, checking the ip of the saved node on Tor's "relay search" page, and several times the node assigned to me came up with a warning flag that it was untrustworthy. In Tails I can change the service's guard node by editing the torrc file in /etc/tor , so I've noticed it works differently since it also changes the browser node. But in Debian this doesn't work. If I put the EntryNode key in /etc/tor torrc file in Debian the service does not run, it gives an error. EntryNode only applies to the browser configuration as far as I have observed.

And another question I have, in the hidden service I can select the intermediate node to be used for client connections to my hidden service. Or that is predetermined by the client?


Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

1 Answer 1


As far as I could see in the list of nodes inside the "state" file the comment "confirmed_idx=0" would be the guard, the confirmed_idx=1 would be the substitute if the previous one fails, and so up to 3 or 4 nodes appear with that comment. I'm doing some testing, since other values such as "confirmed_on" come out with a date, and if you look for the node on the Tor page it doesn't match either the update date or the first time it was seen. If you don't put "confirmed_on" Tor puts it for you, the funny thing is the date it puts 1970-01-01T00:00:0 (I'm still a few years away from being born XD).

Well, I answer myself in case someone reads it and might be interested.

I have also been monitoring the connections to the UseEntryGuards 0 value, since the information I found about this is not much. Connections are made to various nodes and they change, well some of these nodes are very old versions and some have only been in use for days. This seems more risky than having the same Guard node all the time. Being able to choose the Guard node, a node that has been running for years and with the latest version of Tor running, I think it is safer. We can change it ourselves for another one of the same characteristics that offers us more confidence and establish the change when we want. I see it as more reliable than a random connection with several nodes simultaneously, so as long as one is a dangerous node, they are all dangerous.

Thanks to all of you, and especially to myself for answering to myself.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .