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Re: Some questions about the hostlist

From: Christian Grothoff
Subject: Re: Some questions about the hostlist
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2021 10:12:23 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.11.0

On 06.07.21 00:04, Guilherme Macedo via Mailinglist for GNUnet
developers wrote:
> Hey!
> I've a few questions about how the hostlist works, after reading the handbook 
> and looking into the source code.
> Why the hostlist is tied to a specific versioned subdomain - 
> ?

Because protocol changes may require using a different hostlist for
different versions of GNUnet.

> Could it be made generic like ?Every time that 
> it's updated, it also requires the handbook to be updated too.
> Why it's served through plain http?

For no particular reason, other than the server not yet being setup with
HTTPS support.

> The file doesn't seem to be signed, so how can the network protect itself 
> from malicious or rogue nodes?

The hostlist is one way of bootstrapping, the network has other ways to
bootstrap. This is NOT a directory server like in Tor listing all nodes.

> Is the validation being done in some code besides 
> ?

No. As I said, this is not a list of all the nodes in the network, and
the hostlist server is no special authority. Anyone can run one, and
offer any subset of the peers.

> What is the purpose of in 
>  ?

That was simply a peer which used to run GNUnet. It has no particular
meaning, the file is simply a valid hello IIRC.

> Who curates the hostlist?

Nobody, really. It is dynamically generated based on the peers known to
the specific peer serving a hostlist.

> I'm asking because there is a difference between the hosts available in 
> and .

Which is again by design perfectly acceptable. You can use either or
both hostlists, or offer a third one yourself that is again different.

> Appreciate if someone could point to me specific section in the handbook or 
> in the source code that I might have missed, please.

Maybe ?

Happy hacking!


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