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RFC 0002 - Simple Anonymous Messaging (SAM)

Status: RFC


The goal of this RFC is to describe the SAM protocol, a protocol by which applications may connect to arbitrary packet based networks using a standardized interface. SAM is an event based protocol, so is not as dependant on underlying protocols such as TCP/IP blocking sockets.


Specified below is a simple client protocol for interacting with I2P based on discussions between human and jrandom.

Simple Anonymous Messaging (SAM)[Bearbeiten]

Client application talks to SAM bridge, which deals with all of the I2P functionality (using the ministreaming lib for virtual streams, or I2CP directly for async messages). All client<-->SAM bridge communication is unencrypted and unauthenticated over a single TCP socket. Access to the SAM bridge should be protected through firewalls or other means (perhaps the bridge may have ACLs on what IPs it accepts connections from). All of these SAM messages are sent on a single line in plain ASCII, terminated by the newline character (\n). The formatting shown below is merely for readability, and while the first two words in each message must stay in their specific order, the ordering of the key=value pairs can change (e.g. "ONE TWO A=B C=D" or "ONE TWO C=D A=B" are both perfectly valid constructions). In addition, the protocol is case-sensitive. Communication can take three distinct forms: * Virtual streams * Repliable datagrams (messages with a FROM field) * Anonymous datagrams (raw anonymous messages)

SAM connection handshake[Bearbeiten]

No SAM communication can occur until after the client and bridge have agreed on a protocol version, which is done by the client sending a HELLO and the bridge sending a HELLO REPLY: HELLO VERSION MIN=$min MAX=$max and HELLO REPLY RESULT=$result VERSION=1.0 The current version for both must be "1.0". The RESULT value may be one of: OK NOVERSION

SAM sessions[Bearbeiten]

A SAM session is created by a client opening a socket to the SAM bridge, operating a handshake, and sending a SESSION CREATE message, and the session terminates when the socket is disconnected. Each I2P Destination can only be used for one SAM session at a time, and can only use one of those forms (messages received through other forms are dropped). The SESSION CREATE message sent by the client to the bridge is as follows: SESSION CREATE STYLE={STREAM,DATAGRAM,RAW} DESTINATION={$name,TRANSIENT} [DIRECTION={BOTH,RECEIVE,CREATE}] [option=value]* DESTINATION specifies what destination should be used for sending and receiving messages/streams. If a $name is given, the SAM bridge looks through its own local storage for an associated destination (and private key). If no association exists matching that name, it creates a new one. If the destination is specified as TRANSIENT, it always creates a new one. The DIRECTION can be specified for STREAM sessions, instructing the bridge that the client will either be creating or receiving streams, or both. If this is not specified, BOTH will be assumed. Attempting to create an outbound stream when DIRECTION=RECEIVE should result in an error, and incoming streams when DIRECTION=CREATE should be ignored. Additional options given should be fed into the I2P session configuration if not interpreted by the SAM bridge (e.g. "tunnels.depthInbound=0"). The SAM bridge itself should already be configured with what router it should communicate over I2P through (though if need be there may be a way to provide an override, e.g. i2cp.tcp.host=localhost and i2cp.tcp.port=7654). After receiving the session create message, the SAM bridge will reply with a session status message, as follows: SESSION STATUS RESULT=$result DESTINATION={$name,TRANSIENT} [MESSAGE=...] The RESULT value may be one of: OK DUPLICATED_DEST I2P_ERROR INVALID_KEY If it's not OK, the MESSAGE should contain human-readable information as to why the session could not be created.

SAM virtual streams[Bearbeiten]

Virtual streams are guaranteed to be sent reliably and in order, with failure and success notification as soon as it is available. After establishing the session with STYLE=STREAM, both the client and the SAM bridge may asynchronously send various messages back and forth to manage the streams, as listed below: STREAM CONNECT ID=$id DESTINATION=$base64key This establishes a new virtual connection from the local destination to the specified peer, marking it with the session-scoped unique ID. The unique ID is an ASCII base 10 integer from 1 through (2^31-1). The SAM bridge must reply to this with a stream status message: STREAM STATUS RESULT=$result ID=$id [MESSAGE=...] The RESULT value may be one of: OK CANT_REACH_PEER I2P_ERROR INVALID_KEY TIMEOUT If the RESULT is OK, the destination specified is up and authorized the connection; if the connection was not possible (timeout, etc), RESULT will contain the appropriate error value (accompanied by an optional human-readable MESSAGE). On the receiving end, the SAM bridge simply notifies the client as follows: STREAM CONNECTED DESTINATION=$base64key ID=$id This tells the client that the given destination has created a virtual connection with them. The following data stream will be marked with the given unique ID, that is an ASCII base 10 integer from -1 through -(2^31-1). When the client wants to send data on the virtual connection, they do so as follows: STREAM SEND ID=$id SIZE=$numBytes\n[$numBytes of data] This adds the specified data to the buffer being sent to the peer over the virtual connection. The send size $numBytes is how many 8bit bytes are included after the newline, which may be 1 through 32768 (32KB). The SAM bridge will then do its best to deliver the message as quickly and efficiently as possible, perhaps buffering multiple SEND messages together. If there is an error delivering the data, or if the remote side closes the connection, the SAM bridge will tell the client: STREAM CLOSED RESULT=$result ID=$id [MESSAGE=...] The RESULT value may be one of: OK CANT_REACH_PEER I2P_ERROR PEER_NOT_FOUND TIMEOUT If the connection has been cleanly closed by the other peer, $result is set to OK. If $result is not OK, MESSAGE may convey a descriptive message, such as "peer unreachable", etc. Whenever a client would like to close the connection, they send the SAM bridge the close message: STREAM CLOSE ID=$id The bridge then cleans up what it needs to and discards that ID - no further messages can be sent or received on it. For the other side of the communication, whenever the peer has sent some data and it is available for the client, the SAM bridge will promptly deliver it: STREAM RECEIVED ID=$id SIZE=$numBytes\n[$numBytes of data] All streams are implicitly closed by the connection between the SAM bridge and the client being dropped.

SAM repliable datagrams[Bearbeiten]

While I2P doesn't inherently contain a FROM address, for ease of use an additional layer is provided as repliable datagrams - unordered and unreliable messages of up to 31KB in size that include a FROM address (leaving up to 1KB for header material). This FROM address is authenticated internally by SAM (making use of the destination's signing key to verify the source) and includes replay prevention. After establishing a SAM session with STYLE=DATAGRAM, the client can send the SAM bridge: DATAGRAM SEND DESTINATION=$base64key SIZE=$numBytes\n[$numBytes of data] When a datagram arrives, the bridge delivers it to the client via: DATAGRAM RECEIVED DESTINATION=$base64key SIZE=$numBytes\n[$numBytes of data] The SAM bridge never exposes to the client the authentication headers or other fields, merely the data that the sender provided. This continues until the session is closed (by the client dropping the connection).

SAM anonymous datagrams[Bearbeiten]

Squeezing the most out of I2P's bandwidth, SAM allows clients to send and receive anonymous datagrams, leaving authentication and reply information up to the client themselves. These datagrams are unreliable and unordered, and may be up to 32KB in size. After establishing a SAM session with STYLE=RAW, the client can send the SAM bridge: RAW SEND DESTINATION=$base64key SIZE=$numBytes\n[$numBytes of data] When a raw datagram arrives, the bridge delivers it to the client via: RAW RECEIVED SIZE=$numBytes\n[$numBytes of data]

SAM utility functionality[Bearbeiten]

The following message can be used by the client to query the SAM bridge for name resolution: NAMING LOOKUP NAME=$name which is answered by NAMING REPLY RESULT=$result NAME=$name [VALUE=$base64key] [MESSAGE=$message] The RESULT value may be one of: OK INVALID_KEY KEY_NOT_FOUND If NAME=ME, then the reply will contain the base64key used by the current session (useful if you're using a TRANSIENT one). If $result is not OK, MESSAGE may convey a descriptive message, such as "bad format", etc. Public and private base64 keys can be generated using the following message: DEST GENERATE which is answered by DEST REPLY PUB=$pubkey PRIV=$privkey

RESULT values[Bearbeiten]

These are the values that can be carried by the RESULT field, with their meaning: OK Operation completed succesfully CANT_REACH_PEER The peer exists, but cannot be reached DUPLICATED_DEST The specified Destination is already in use I2P_ERROR A generic I2P error (e.g. I2CP disconnection, etc.) INVALID_KEY The specified key is not valid (bad format, etc.) KEY_NOT_FOUND The naming system can't resolve the given name PEER_NOT_FOUND The peer cannot be found on the network TIMEOUT Timeout while waiting for an event (e.g. peer answer)

Client library implementations:[Bearbeiten]

C/C++: libSAM: http://www.innographx.com/mpc/libsam/ or i2p/sam/c/ Python: Python/I2P: http://dev.i2p.net/contrib/apps/sam/python/index Others: See apps/sam/ in I2P CVS.



Author Contacts[Bearbeiten]

  • Eepsite: [[1]]
  • E-mail: jrandom@i2p.net