Improve technical documentation


I’m thinking of writing a document that describes step by step how to install a Debian/Ubuntu server for Tor. In particular add all the details about security, good practices, explain how Tor works (with all main settings), how to configure the package depending on what you choose and more.

The goal is to make the installation of a server easier for someone who is a beginner or someone who would need to know more about a setting or security recommendations.

What I find missing from the project is a document that brings all this information together and not having to search through ten different pages. It took me a long time to find the information I was looking for. Having pages all over the place doesn’t make it easy.

I am aiming for a document that is very technical with maximum detail. I will be able to write a lot of things from my knowledge and my experience. Unfortunately I won’t be able to detail for other OS like FreeBSD or Windows. It would be nice if the community could contribute to make it more relevant and accurate.

What do you think about it ? I am posting here to get your opinion and experience to see if this document could be useful or not.

Thanks !


Hello, @Superpaul209.
This is indeed a very good idea and we have plans of doing something similar with the Developer Portal in the future.

That said, some notes about your proposal:

  1. Where do you think we should host this piece of documentation?
  2. Adding to 1., it’s very important to keep the following in consideration:
  • It should fit in with the existing web dev workflow (i.e. create a MR to submit changes/add new content, tracked with version control, work with the existing tools, etc.)
  • Localization.

Also, I’d like to have this discussion with the wider community and recommend to move this topic to a part of the Forum which has a larger audience.



Hi @championquizzer :wave:

Thanks for your feedback. The documentation would be a page that could be on since its made by the community. The category needs to be defined. It needs to be accessible as a first option or quickly.
I forgot to mention but this document will explain the technical part, each time there will be the source link where the information is. This will allow to go to the initial information, it will look like a tree.
Of course, all changes will be tracked in gitlab.

In which category should we move this topic ?


Moved to Websites Feedback. Thanks!


Hi @Superpaul209, writing documentation is great, but keeping up to date is the main challenge. This is why we don’t include step-by-step instructions, such as securing SSHD or other pieces of your server, on the Tor Relay section. It’s already a lot of effort to keep up to date the relay docs. During a Tor Relay Operator meetup (or was it on #tor-relays IRC?), we discussed about that and folks agreed on ‘enriching’ the documentation by adding links to other relevant guides like Digital Ocean docs. I believe linking to external and trusted resources could be a good addition to the documentation.

Yeah, I see what you mean, but keep in mind that these pieces of docs are consumed by different users and in different ways. For example, deb instructions are used by onion services operators, relay operators, litte-t-tor users, and other developers. And it’s used by all deb based distros, which sometimes have small differences that you would need to write specific notes, for example, how distro ‘A’ implements apparmor… Copying and pasting these instructions in the relay guide means that for every new change, someone would need to update the same document in different places, and that will lead to outdated docs.

So, before you jump in this herculean work, maybe we should work on writing down the current relay operator UX issues and then we discuss potential solutions? What do you think?


Hey @gus,

I understand the situation well, the work that will be done remains huge to simply bring answers to a maximum of people. What I see is that no matter what method we use to give information, it may be outdated or even incorrect. Using an external link can save us some extra work but as soon as the information marked on this site is no longer correct, we have to modify it again to look for another one.

Adding the instructions in plain text on a document will certainly be more time consuming but what do you think is the best solution in this case?

About the differences between the distributions, that’s something to take into account too. For me there shouldn’t be too many problems because older distributions have their own installation or configuration methods. If we know them, since these versions are no longer updated, this will not change.

For distributions other than Ubuntu or Debian, the difference will be minor but we need to take it into account. Will the work for the document be too long to do?
All these points should be discussed to find the most efficient and least time consuming method.
Everyone should participate in this discussion :+1:


I think this type of tutorial would be very useful to all users. Great idea. :+1:

1 Like

Perhaps a small media wiki project with write restriction. So you can create a post für many operating systems … just a thought


Automation of the watch, yes but… Automation saves time. It facilitates the work of the watchman, by filtering articles, by offering analysis tools, by classifying information… But it cannot replace human expertise, which artificial intelligence is far from approaching.
cc : @Superpaul209
just an idea : Thank you @s3an :+1:

1 Like