Bridges aren't distributed correctly

Hello bridge operators :wave:

Im having some trouble with 3 of my bridges. This is a problem I’ve never seen before and it appeared due to IPv4 address and geolocation changes of the servers.

When I configured my servers with old keys and certificates that I had for a year, they connected to the Tor network correctly. I did this to keep a history over several months and not to generate different fingerprints.

Anyway, that’s not the problem but rather the distribution of the servers which is done but not correctly.
I configured my 3 servers on the Moat distribution, they retrieved it well and on the metrics site, they displayed the correct method.

After several days, I looked every night to see the status and noticed that none of them had clients connecting (or maybe a few clients like 3 or 4 every 6 hours).

Those 3 bridges are located in Poland, Azerbaijan and Kazahkstan. I don’t think this is a problem. And I did check, they are all configured correctly and I can even access them manually with the full bridge lines.

When I put a distribution in automatic mode last night, they changed to Settings and HTTPS. There are a few people logging on but I was hoping for a lot more than 5 or 6… Before the changes on the IPv4 address and geolocation, there were an average of 120 clients connecting every 6 hours to each of them.

One example : Relay Search

Any ideas why my bridges don’t distribute correctly to Tor users ?

Thanks for your help :slightly_smiling_face:

Different distribution method - different user-base.

Moat is very popular but not working everywhere.


I did my research and indeed, there is a very significant difference between each distribution. That’s why I chose the Moat distribution. And I want to help Turkmenistan by adding new bridges with this method and new IPv4 addresses.

What I found really strange was that I had a bridge in Poland, and it was working very well before I decided to delete it and recreate one. At the same place but a different IPv4 address.
→ Moat distribution should works fine in Poland, why is this not the case for me with this new bridge ?

I have a few questions about distributions methods :

Moat is very popular but not working everywhere.

  1. In some countries, why do some distributions not work ? Is it a technical limit in the Tor process or network limitation in the country ?

  2. How to know which distribution does not work in a country ?

  3. It looks like if you go to the distribution “Settings”, Turkmenistan doesn’t have obfs4 bridges configured but rather Snowflake. Do people still use obfs4 bridges there ?

"tm": {
        "settings": [
            {"bridges": {
	        "type": "snowflake", "source": "bridgedb",
	        "bridge_strings": #################
  1. If the database gives me a distribution, why doesn’t it distribute my bridge address to clients ? Is there a connection problem to my bridge that prevents my address from being assigned in the Tor Browser ?

  2. I don’t understand what the distribution “Settings” does, it says that they configure the client settings to counter censorship based on location. So my bridge is only used for a few seconds to give instructions (how to connect to Snowflake for example) to the clients ?

Thank you for your answers, it will help me to understand how it works and to configure my servers correctly :heart: :onion: