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RIPE Atlas Software Probes

Introduction

"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.

The (future) host of a RIPE Atlas software probe is 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 thereby provide to the RIPE network and its users. You can read more on the RIPE Atlas about page.
  • Install the software package that is applicable for their 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 their probe following the software probe application procedure.
  • Keep the version of their software up-to-date by upgrading to newer versions as they become available.
  • Should the access credentials for their probe change (for example after having to reinstall a server that runs the software probe), they need to re-register the new access credentials.

Details of the conditions and responsibilities are available in the RIPE Atlas Terms and Conditions.

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

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-busybox

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.

Platform-specific Installation Instructions

Below you can find help with installing the RIPE Atlas software probes for the following platforms:

CentOS 7: Binary RPM-specific Installation Instructions

In case you want to set up a new Virtual Machine using CentOS 7 in order to host your probe:

  • Set up a new installation of CentOS 7 (for example using VirtualBox or Parallels), please refer to the CentOS installation guide.

  • When installing CentOS in a virtual machine, please configure the virtual network adapter in 'bridge mode' to allow IPv6 to work. Often the default is called 'shared' which only provides IPv4 NAT.

The RIPE NCC maintains binary RPM packages and is currently available for CentOS 7 (x86_64). To add the repository to your system and install the package, follow these steps:

  1. Download the RPM that sets up the repository for the software probe RPM:

    curl -O 'https://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/atlas/software-probe/centos7/noarch/ripe-atlas-repo-1-2.el7.noarch.rpm'

  2. Check the hash of the RPM:

    sha256sum ripe-atlas-repo-1-2.el7.noarch.rpm

    The hash should be:

    c02b6fb7004e86765257c93912403636f67ba59250f8f0904288f60eaad816c3

  3. Install the RPM:

    yum install ripe-atlas-repo-1-2.el7.noarch.rpm

    Answer 'y' to the question of whether that is ok.

  4. Now you can install the package for the software probe itself:

    yum install atlasswprobe

  5. Answer 'y' to import the GPG key with fingerprint afbe 52eb 213a 90ef c72a 39dd 1b48 2af7 830d 38d5

  6. Answer 'y' that is ok to install the RPM. You may may also need to accept a CentOS signing key.

  7. Installing the probe software generates a new SSH key pair to be used to connect the probe to the RIPE Atlas infrastructure. You need to register the public key part to in order to register the probe. This can be found in /var/atlas-probe/etc/probe_key.pub.

CentOS 8: Binary RPM-specific Installation Instructions

In case you want to set up a new Virtual Machine using CentOS in order to host your probe:

  • Set up a new installation of CentOS 8 (for example using VirtualBox or Parallels), please refer to the CentOS installation guide.

  • When installing CentOS in a virtual machine, please configure the virtual network adapter in 'bridge mode' to allow IPv6 to work. Often the default is called 'shared' which only provides IPv4 NAT.

The RIPE NCC maintains binary RPM packages and is currently available for CentOS 8 (x86_64). To add the repository to your system and install the package, follow these steps:

  1. Download the RPM that sets up the repository for the software probe RPM:

    curl -O 'https://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/atlas/software-probe/centos8/noarch/ripe-atlas-repo-1-2.el8.noarch.rpm'

  2. Check the hash of the RPM:

    sha256sum ripe-atlas-repo-1-2.el8.noarch.rpm

    The hash should be:

    cfb433f54395f5d2ac0d29e806f19f1b854d33f02c256087586e50e49003929c

  3. Install the RPM:

    yum install ripe-atlas-repo-1-2.el8.noarch.rpm

    Answer 'y' to the question of whether that is ok.

  4. Now you can install the package for the software probe itself:

    yum install atlasswprobe

  5. Answer 'y' to import the GPG key with fingerprint AFBE 52EB 213A 90EF C72A 39DD 1B48 2AF7 830D 38D5

  6. Answer 'y' that is ok to install the RPM. You may may also need to accept a CentOS signing key.

  7. Installing the probe software generates a new SSH key pair to be used to connect the probe to the RIPE Atlas infrastructure. You need to register the public key part to in order to register the probe. This can be found in /var/atlas-probe/etc/probe_key.pub.

CentOS 7 and 8 - Source Installation

The CentOS version supports x86_64 (amd64). Note that the installation and startup scripts assume the use of systemd.

  1. In order to create and install the software package, please follow the CentOS specific instructions laid out in the INSTALL.rst file.

  2. Installing the probe software generates a new SSH key pair to be used to connect the probe to the RIPE Atlas infrastructure. You need to register the public key part to in order to register the probe. This can be found in /var/atlas-probe/etc/probe_key.pub.

Debian (9 and 10) and Raspbian - Source Installation

The Debian Build system includes support for x86_64 (amd64), arm64 and armhf. Note that the installation and startup scripts assume the use of systemd.

  1. In order to create and install the software package, please follow the Debian specific instructions laid out in the INSTALL.rst file.

  2. Installing the probe software generates a new SSH key pair to be used to connect the probe to the RIPE Atlas infrastructure. You need to register the public key part to in order to register the probe. This can be found in /var/atlas-probe/etc/probe_key.pub.

Docker - Preliminary Source Installation

We are aware of the following open source repositories to deploy the Docker version of the code:

Turris Routers - Official Software Package from CZ.NIC

CZ.NIC makes official builds of the package to be used on Turris routers.

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