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Performance and other issues

This is an unsupported configuration created by the community

You're constantly using new DNS Servers that are located all over the world, so it might happen that sometimes hostname resolving is slow or might not work at all for certain domains. In this cases you have to wait some minutes until you switch to another Tor circuit or configure Tor to accept control connections and send a command that tells Tor to switch circuits immediately.

You could set ExitNodes in your torrc to a specific set of Exit nodes that are reliable for you or use only Exit nodes in a specific country (on Debian derivatives you need to have the tor-geoipdb package installed for that to work) and thus avoid problems with DNS lookups to some extend.

Keep in mind that this approach increases the correlation attack vulnerability if you only have a small amount of ExitNodes set or your selected country/s has/have few Exit nodes. If your goal is only to slightly increase security and maintain performance and reliability, this approach might be for you. It is not recommended.

Ok, but please just tell me how to avoid timeouts

So you've read about Performance, Reliability and Timeouts and just want a quick solution.

This is not recommended, but here are some things you can do:

Solution 1 - Only use Exit Nodes from specific countries
  • Install the necessary geoip db for Tor to use, on Debian derivatives (raspbian, Ubuntu) that means
    sudo apt install tor-geoipdb
    
  • Pick the Country Codes you want to use as ExitNodes from the "List of country codes for Tor" list on this page. Edit /etc/tor/torrc as root and, add the following lines to the end and replace CountryCodeN (keep the { and }) with the country code you've chosen (you can also use only one country code, in this case it would be just on {CountryCode1} without a comma).
    ExitNodes {CountryCode1},{CountryCode2},{CountryCode3}
    StrictNodes 1
    
  • Save the changes, restart Tor
sudo service tor restart

Note: Using this approach you put strain on Tor Relays in the selected countries only and increase your security vulnerability. It's not nice and not recommended. Also be aware that this change also affects which Exit Nodes are used if you Route Your Browser Traffic over the Pi-hole host Tor SocksPort.

Solution 2 - Only use specific Exit Nodes
  1. Navigate to atlas.torproject.org Top Relays.
  2. Click on two Relays out of the list.
  3. Make sure the relay allows Port 53 in his IPv4 Exit Policy Summary (and/or IPv6 Exit Policy Summary if you want to resolve IPv6 AAAA queries).
  4. As root copy the Fingerprint (Top Right under Relay Details) of those two Relays to the end of your /etc/tor/torrc file on the Pi-hole host in the following format:
ExitNodes Fingerprint1,Fingerprint2
StrictNodes 1
  • Save the changes, restart Tor
sudo service tor restart

If DNS requests stop resolving at all, you might need to repeat this procedure because the Relays you chosen might've went down.

Note: Using this approach you put strain on single Tor Relays and increase your security vulnerability. It's not nice and not recommended. Also be aware that this change also affects which Exit Nodes are used if you Route Your Browser Traffic over the Pi-hole host Tor SocksPort.

Hint: You can combine both Solutions and have country codes and fingerprints as ExitNodes.

IPv6

DNS over Tor only partially supports IPv6 as of now. This is only a problem if your Router or your ISP don't support IPv4 or you want only IPv6 traffic for another reason - if you have both IPv4 and IPv6 available and you don't plan to visit a IPv6 only service, this is no problem at all.

In general, if you made sure that you configured your Pi-hole to support IPv6, resolving IPv6 addresses will sometimes work and sometimes not. The reason for this is that Tor Exit nodes only resolve IPv6 queries if they have IPv6Exit 1 set in their configuration. Tor is working on a fix for that - but until that is done and the Tor exit nodes switched to the fixed version, you will run into situations where IPv6 addresses aren't resolvable despite being available in the responsible nameserver. To check whether your current Exit node resolves IPv6 correctly you can run dig example.com aaaa (Linux) or nslookup -q=aaaa example.com (Windows) on your client.

If you're dependent on IPv6 and can't use IPv4 at all, your only chance is to configure ExitNodes in your torrc to only point to Exit nodes that resolve IPv6 correctly. But keep in mind that this approach increases the correlation attack vulnerability if you only have a small amount of ExitNodes set.

Also you can't (afaik) change the internal IPv4 Tor DNS address on the Pi-hole host to an IPv6 one since DNSPort doesn't support that - so you need at least internal IPv4 on your Pi-hole host, which is the default on most host systems.

Exit node fingerprints

To get the fingerprint of your current Exit node, you can configure SocksPort 0.0.0.0:9050 in your torrc, restart tor, point your Browser to use your Pi-holes IP and port 9050 as Socks5 proxy, visit e.g. check.torproject.org to get your Exit Node IP, search for that IP on atlas.torproject.org, click on one of the results and it will show the Fingerprint top right under details.

These fingerprints can be set as comma separated value for ExitNodes. Don't forget to remove the SocksPort option and restart tor if you don't need it anymore. Also it should be noted that the Exit node you get over SocksPort is not necessarily the same as the one you get when issuing DNS requests over the DNSPort, since Tor internally keeps multiple circuits open. Again, setting ExitNodes manually is not recommended.