I am currently trying to run a hidden service on my kali laptop. Everything is working fine, except the address, which I have been poking around for 2 days trying to get a custom one. I only have these files in my hidden service directory when i do the ls command:

authorized_clients  hs_ed25519_public_key
hostname            hs_ed25519_secret_key

I am following the Null-byte tutorial to set up my hidden service. however, they seem to have only two files when they go to the hidden_service directory: hostname and private_key, which I don't have. It seems to be from there that they add the RSA key that matches a custom onion address, which is very short (v3?) but I simply don't have that file. Plus, my hostname file contains the address but the address is very long. So i think this means I have to switch to v3 but I have no idea how. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


The private_key file is an old format for v2 onion services, and the hs_ed25519_secret_key is the modern format for v3 onion services. Tor version 0.4 and above defaults to v3 onion services, but you can specify this manually in your torrc settings using the line HiddenServiceVersion 3 after your HiddenServiceDir line.

The only important file to copy is the hs_ed25519_secret_key file. Once you start the onion service, tor will automatically generate the other files (hostname, hs_ed25519_public_key, and the authorized_clients directory) for you.

If you're still having difficulty, then please update your post with your tor log, as well as the directory structure and permissions for your onion service directory. For example, run ls -l /var/lib/tor and ls -l /var/lib/tor/my_onion_service.

  • then how am I supposed to add my address like this: darkcovqpqvwrcaw.onion? is this a v3 address or v2? when I add the line you specified in your answer. is it going to make a private_key file automatically?
    – wnetMC
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 22:05
  • Are you trying to generate a v2 address or a v3 address? The hs_ed25519_secret_key file is for a v3 address. Did you generate this file, or did tor? The darkcovqpqvwrcaw.onion name is a v2 address, v3 addresses are much longer. Maybe you should update your post to explain what you're trying to do, and what you've done so far.
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 22:16
  • Ive done it! I wanted a short address, so I used v2. Thanks anyways bro !!!
    – wnetMC
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 22:22
  • Glad you got it working! Just so you know, v2 services are deprecated and will be removed from the network in October 2021, but should work fine in the meantime.
    – Steve
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 22:24

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