Improve page about overloaded relay or bridge

In case a relay is overloaded, the page “My relay or bridge is overloaded what does this mean?” appears as a notice on top of the Tor metrics page.

While this page provides some information, it probably assumes quite a bit of technical knowledge and the solutions proposed should be clearer in terms of guiding step-by-step relay operators to solve the issue.

I have been running a relay for 7+ years, but I was at a loss anyway when trying to interpret the advice given there.

For example, from my understanding:

  • Tuning sysctl as described now is not permanent and will be lost upon restart. You need to add the configuration to /etc/sysctl.conf or to a file in /etc/sysctl.d/ to make it permanent.
  • The DNS timeout is applicable to exit nodes middle or guard relays do not really need to worry about DNS.
  • The MetricsPort was the most difficult to understand. It took me quite a bit to find an example on how to add the configuration to the /etc/tor/torrc file, but after that, it is not clear at all to me how to get the debug information I need. Ultimately, I found a grafana dashboard that could make use of that info and I installed it (which meant figuring out how to install prometheus and grafana) but the information I am getting from there are not really helpful or at least I don’t understand the statistics I am seeing.

So, overall, even if in the end my relay is not overloaded anymore, I feel I don’t really know what was going on and if it was really fixed. I am not really sure

Thanks for your help.

Hello, thanks for your feedback.

We have this ticket to create a new step by step: [Relay Operators] What's MetricsPort and how to enable it (#265) · Issues · The Tor Project / Web / support · GitLab.

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Cristian Consonni via Tor Project Forum:

In case a relay is overloaded, the page “My relay or bridge is overloaded what does this mean?” appears as a notice on top of the Tor metrics page.

While this page provides some information, it probably assumes quite a bit of technical knowledge and the solutions proposed should be clearer in terms of guiding step-by-step relay operators to solve the issue.

I have been running a relay for 7+ years, but I was at a loss anyway when trying to interpret the advice given there.

For example, from my understanding:

  • Tuning sysctl as described now is not permanent and will be lost upon restart. You need to add the configuration to /etc/sysctl.conf or to a file in /etc/sysctl.d/ to make it permanent.
  • The DNS timeout is applicable to exit nodes middle or guard relays do not really need to worry about DNS.

Thanks. I opened
Improve relay overload documentation (#289) · Issues · The Tor Project / Web / support · GitLab for those two
suggestions and created a MR to get that fixed. Feel free to do the same
next time. :slight_smile: We are a project that gladly accepts contributions.

Thanks!

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