I want to replay some real traffic and send it through Tor to collect Tor encrypted traffic. From what I have read so far, the shadow simulator or a private Tor testbed seem to be the best and safest options for this. I additionally plan to host a private hidden service and collect traffic at the hidden service end as well. But I haven't used any Tor experimentation tools before, and I would like some information on the feasibility of using the above 2 methods for my scenario. Any other suggestions are also welcome.

Thank you.


1 Answer 1


Do you plan on capturing traffic with something like tcpdump? If so you'll probably want to use Chutney to start up a test network, and then tcpdump on the loopback interface. When you run a Shadow experiment, you cannot use external tools like these to inspect traffic, although you might be able to modify Shadow to dump all of the simulated traffic to a file. Note that Shadow currently strips some of Tor's encryption to improve experiment performance, so you won't necessarily get realistic data unless you remove the code that does this.

  • Thank you. This is a helpful answer. Yes, I plan to use t-shark or tcpdump to capture the traffic. Also my main objective is to get the "Tor encrypted" traffic. From your answer it seems a private Tor network is the better option here. I am thinking of using Raspberry Pis to host Tor nodes and a hidden service. Can Chutney be used for this?
    – Ish Kav
    Sep 24, 2020 at 10:48
  • @IshKav Chutney is only able to start nodes on a single computer (localhost). If you want to start a test network across multiple computers, you could have chutney generate the torrc files and then manually modify IP addresses/ports in those torrc files, copy them to the correct servers, and then start tor on each server.
    – Steve
    Sep 24, 2020 at 13:32

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