Tor circuit issues

Hello, I’m a long time Whonix user, love the platform and the layout/execution. Just wanted to thank Patrick and the rest of the Whonix team for all the hard work you do!

I have noticed an issue that cropped up the past couple days regarding Tor. Everytime I start Tor on the Gateway, I get a log message stating that “guard is failing at an extremely large amount of circuits…” When viewed via Nix or Onion Circuits, you can see the circuits being built and failing almost immediately in real time. This persists for the duration of the Tor session. More than a dozen circuits will form and then immediately say “failed” or destroyed in Nyx and Onion Circuits. I have noticed a small amount of memory being used because of this.

Interestingly, there are no discernible issues while using the Tor Browser in the workstation as far as crashes or anything like that. You only know about the issue because of the logs from the Gateway.

To be fair, I tried a couple different bridges and guards and they all behaved similarly with the circuits failing. Also, on the Debian Buster host, the Tor Browser gave me the same log messages. my connection is fine and there is no issue on Firefox esr either.

I do not believe this to be a Whonix issue just because it happened outside of Whonix also. Has anyone else noticed this?

Yes I’m noticing it on some of my devices. Even with nodes run by trusted volunteers. It’s simply the network being overloaded for some reason. Try asking the Tor people what’s going - if the network is being attacked or something.


There was a bunch of DDoS attacks a while ago on popular onion sites like Dread. There might be more happening that’s taking up a lot of bandwidth.


@HulaHoop and @madaidan

thank you for the replies; I have indeed let the Tor people know, just waiting for a reply

my initial thoughts were either an overburdened network or perhaps a DDoS. I am reassured that other people have noticed it so at least it is not something just for me! I too tried different devices and they each showed the same behavior.

As far as the DDoS issueI have kept up with Tor’s blog and mailing list so I know they are working on it; hopefully soon there will be a solution

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