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The primary binary operating on every host of a Taubyte-based Cloud Computing Platform is tau. In essence, tau functions as the kernel. As you delve deeper into this documentation, you’ll notice that instances of tau adhere to what we term as shapes. The nomenclature originates from Star Trek DS-9’s character, tau - an alien renowned for his shape-shifting abilities.

The Single Binary Rule

At Taubyte, we are committed to simplicity, particularly when it comes to deployment. This is why tau is maintained as a single binary, devoid of any dependencies beyond a minimal operating system.

Despite this simplicity, tau can be extended via a plugin system, which we will discuss later. This system, referred to as orbit, allows for enhanced functionality and customization.


The various components that compose a Taubyte node are implemented in different repositories, all of which are assembled together in tau. It’s tau’s responsibility to instantiate all these components based on the user-provided configuration.

The diagram provides a simplified depiction of tau. Given a configuration file, tau sets about allocating and configuring the peer-to-peer layer. It initiates an HTTP server and starts DNS servers on both TCP and DNS. tau initializes orbit and launches all the declared plugins. Then it brings into operation the enabled protocols, links them to the p2p layer, and, for those protocols with HTTP endpoints, attaches these endpoints. If the seer is enabled, tau will also attach it to the DNS servers.