Factory Reset

Continuity on the Ames network occasionally needs to be broken in order to correct a networking error. These infrequent events are known as factory resets, which causes an individual ship to forget its network message history and restores it to the state in which you booted it for the first time.

Factory resets are always initiated by the user, frequently in response to a connectivity error. The easiest way to do this is with Bridge. The option to perform a factory reset is given when changing the networking keys, and when transferring the Urbit ID to a new ownership address.

In practical terms, the life (or key revision number) and rift (or continuity number) are both incremented. (The rift may be revised without a corresponding change in keys, however, so these numbers may differ.)

Historically, there were also "network resets" or "network breaches", which happened when a major Arvo revision that could not be implemented via an OTA update occured. Network resets were effectively factory resetting every ship on the network at once. The most recent network reset occurred in December 2020, and we expect it to be the final one. Each period between network breaches was called an "era", so we are living in the final era.

Factory resets used to be called "breaches", and you may still see this language used in some places. The notion is identical, only the name differs.

Further Reading