# RIPE Atlas Software Probes
"Software probes" are software packages that work as RIPE Atlas probes without the need for any dedicated RIPE Atlas hardware. They are meant to be installed on infrastructure maintained by RIPE Atlas probe hosts themselves - e.g. on virtual machines, home routers, existing servers, etc. Various platforms and operating systems have different levels of support and ease-of-use. You can find which systems (hardware or OS) are supported, and how, below.
# Good to know
As a (future) host of a RIPE Atlas software probe you are expected to:
- Understand what it means to operate a probe for the RIPE Atlas network, including what benefits they themselves gain from this and what services they provide to the RIPE network and its users. You can read more on the RIPE Atlas about page (opens new window)
- Install the software package applicable for your intended target hardware and OS. This software package can come from a variety of sources such as an official repository on GitHub. At the moment, the RIPE NCC maintains a binary RPM package
- Register your probe following the software probe application (opens new window) procedure
- Keep the version of your software up-to-date by upgrading to newer versions as they become available
- Should the access credentials for your probe change (for example after having to reinstall a server that runs the software probe), you need to re-register the new access credentials
Details of the conditions and responsibilities are available in the RIPE Atlas Terms and Conditions (opens new window).
Please note that all software probes are marked as "public probes".
# RIPE Atlas software probe source code
The RIPE Atlas probe code can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/ripe-atlas-software-probe (opens new window)
Note that this repository includes bits needed for firmware release and communication. The measurement code is located in a submodule: https://github.com/RIPE-NCC/ripe-atlas-probe-measurements (opens new window)
# Configuration options
Regardless of how you install the software (see below), there are some configuration parameters that are different for software probes than for hardware probes. For example, the software probes by default do not report bandwidth usage - this needs to be explicitly enabled by the host.
The configuration options are documented in the README of the code repository on GitHub (opens new window).
# Platform-specific installation instructions
Below you can find help with installing the RIPE Atlas software probes.
We are maintaining a GitHub repo (opens new window) for manuals in different languages. Please let us know if you'd like to contribute by opening an issue or even a pull request!