Nostr NIPS 11


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Relay Information Document

draft optional author:scsibug author:doc-hex author:cameri

Relays may provide server metadata to clients to inform them of capabilities, administrative contacts, and various server attributes. This is made available as a JSON document over HTTP, on the same URI as the relay’s websocket.

When a relay receives an HTTP(s) request with an Accept header of application/nostr+json to a URI supporting WebSocket upgrades, they SHOULD return a document with the following structure.

  "name": <string identifying relay>,
  "description": <string with detailed information>,
  "pubkey": <administrative contact pubkey>,
  "contact": <administrative alternate contact>,
  "supported_nips": <a list of NIP numbers supported by the relay>,
  "software": <string identifying relay software URL>,
  "version": <string version identifier>

Any field may be omitted, and clients MUST ignore any additional fields they do not understand. Relays MUST accept CORS requests by sending Access-Control-Allow-Origin, Access-Control-Allow-Headers, and Access-Control-Allow-Methods headers.

Field Descriptions


A relay may select a name for use in client software. This is a string, and SHOULD be less than 30 characters to avoid client truncation.


Detailed plain-text information about the relay may be contained in the description string. It is recommended that this contain no markup, formatting or line breaks for word wrapping, and simply use double newline characters to separate paragraphs. There are no limitations on length.


An administrative contact may be listed with a pubkey, in the same format as Nostr events (32-byte hex for a secp256k1 public key). If a contact is listed, this provides clients with a recommended address to send encrypted direct messages (See NIP-04) to a system administrator. Expected uses of this address are to report abuse or illegal content, file bug reports, or request other technical assistance.

Relay operators have no obligation to respond to direct messages.


An alternative contact may be listed under the contact field as well, with the same purpose as pubkey. Use of a Nostr public key and direct message SHOULD be preferred over this. Contents of this field SHOULD be a URI, using schemes such as mailto or https to provide users with a means of contact.

Supported NIPs

As the Nostr protocol evolves, some functionality may only be available by relays that implement a specific NIP. This field is an array of the integer identifiers of NIPs that are implemented in the relay. Examples would include 1, for "NIP-01" and 9, for "NIP-09". Client-side NIPs SHOULD NOT be advertised, and can be ignored by clients.


The relay server implementation MAY be provided in the software attribute. If present, this MUST be a URL to the project’s homepage.


The relay MAY choose to publish its software version as a string attribute. The string format is defined by the relay implementation. It is recommended this be a version number or commit identifier.

Extra Fields

Server Limitations

These are limitations imposed by the relay on clients. Your client should expect that requests which exceed these practical limitations are rejected or fail immediately.

  limitation: {
        max_message_length: 16384,
        max_subscriptions: 20,
        max_filters: 100,
        max_limit: 5000,
        max_subid_length: 100,
        min_prefix: 4,
        max_event_tags: 100,
        max_content_length: 8196,
        min_pow_difficulty: 30,
        auth_required: true,
        payment_required: true,
  • max_message_length: this is the maximum number of bytes for incoming JSON that the relay will attempt to decode and act upon. When you send large subscriptions, you will be limited by this value. It also effectively limits the maximum size of any event. Value is calculated from [ to ] and is after UTF-8 serialization (so some unicode characters will cost 2-3 bytes). It is equal to the maximum size of the WebSocket message frame.

  • max_subscriptions: total number of subscriptions that may be active on a single websocket connection to this relay. It’s possible that authenticated clients with a (paid) relationship to the relay may have higher limits.

  • max_filters: maximum number of filter values in each subscription. Must be one or higher.

  • max_subid_length: maximum length of subscription id as a string.

  • min_prefix: for authors and ids filters which are to match against a hex prefix, you must provide at least this many hex digits in the prefix.

  • max_limit: the relay server will clamp each filter’s limit value to this number. This means the client won’t be able to get more than this number of events from a single subscription filter. This clamping is typically done silently by the relay, but with this number, you can know that there are additional results if you narrowed your filter’s time range or other parameters.

  • max_event_tags: in any event, this is the maximum number of elements in the tags list.

  • max_content_length: maximum number of characters in the content field of any event. This is a count of unicode characters. After serializing into JSON it may be larger (in bytes), and is still subject to the max_message_length, if defined.

  • min_pow_difficulty: new events will require at least this difficulty of PoW, based on NIP-13 , or they will be rejected by this server.

  • auth_required: this relay requires NIP-42 authentication to happen before a new connection may perform any other action. Even if set to False, authentication may be required for specific actions.

  • payment_required: this relay requires payment before a new connection may perform any action.

Event Retention

There may be a cost associated with storing data forever, so relays may wish to state retention times. The values stated here are defaults for unauthenticated users and visitors. Paid users would likely have other policies.

Retention times are given in seconds, with null indicating infinity. If zero is provided, this means the event will not be stored at all, and preferably an error will be provided when those are received.

  retention: [
    { kinds: [0, 1, [5, 7], [40, 49]], time: 3600 },
    { kinds: [[40000, 49999], time: 100 },
    { kinds: [[30000, 39999], count: 1000 },
    { time: 3600, count: 10000 }

retention is a list of specifications: each will apply to either all kinds, or a subset of kinds. Ranges may be specified for the kind field as a tuple of inclusive start and end values. Events of indicated kind (or all) are then limited to a count and or time period.

It is possible to effectively blacklist Nostr-based protocols that rely on a specific kind number, by giving a retention time of zero for those kind values. While that is unfortunate, it does allow clients to discover servers that will support their protocol quickly via a single HTTP fetch.

There is no need to specify retention times for ephemeral events as defined in NIP-16 since they are not retained.

Content Limitations

Some relays may be governed by the arbitrary laws of a nation state. This may limit what content can be stored in cleartext on those relays. All clients are encouraged to use encryption to work around this limitation.

It is not possible to describe the limitations of each country’s laws and policies which themselves are typically vague and constantly shifting.

Therefore, this field allows the relay operator to indicate which country’s' laws might end up being enforced on them, and then indirectly on their users’s content.

Users should be able to avoid relays in countries they don’t like, and/or select relays in more favourable zones. Exposing this flexibility is up to the client software.

  relay_countries: [ 'CA', 'US' ],
  • relay_countries: a list of two-level ISO country codes (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2) whose laws and policies may affect this relay. EU may be used for European Union countries.

Remember that a relay may be hosted in a country which is not the country of the legal entities who own the relay, so it’s very likely a number of countries are involved.

Community Preferences

For public text notes at least, a relay may try to foster a local community. This would encourage users to follow the global feed on that relay, in addition to their usual individual follows. To support this goal, relays MAY specify some of the following values.

  language_tags: [ 'en', 'en-419' ],
  tags: [ 'sfw-only', 'bitcoin-only', 'anime' ],
  posting_policy: '',
  • language_tags is an ordered list of IETF language tags indicating the major languages spoken on the relay.

  • tags is a list of limitations on the topics to be discussed. For example sfw-only indicates hat only “Safe For Work” content is encouraged on this relay. This relies on assumptions of what the “work” “community” feels “safe” talking about. In time, a common set of tags may emerge that allow users to find relays that suit their needs, and client software will be able to parse these tags easily. The bitcoin-only tag indicates that any altcoin, “crypto” or blockchain comments will be ridiculed without mercy.

  • posting_policy is a link to a human-readable page which specifies the community policies for the relay. In cases where sfw-only is True, it’s important to link to a page which gets into the specifics of your posting policy.

The description field should be used to describe your community goals and values, in brief. The posting_policy is for additional detail and legal terms. Use the tags field to signify limitations on content, or topics to be discussed, which could be machine processed by appropriate client software.


Relays that require payments may want to expose their fee schedules.

  payments_url: "https://my-relay/payments",
  fees: {
    "admission": [{ amount: 1000000, unit: 'msats' }],
    "subscription": [{ amount: 5000000, unit: 'msats', period: 2592000 }],
    "publication": [{ kinds: [4], amount: 100, unit: 'msats' }],

<small>[Source: nostr-protocol/nips/]( version: 2394e5c 2023-03-18T18:57:02-04:00</small>