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Arduino-based network monitor, by William Budington, original by Steve Ocepek

Cerealbox visualizes network connections on an Arduino 8x8 LED matrix - one per coordinate. Each coordinate has an RGB value, so we're able to color-code connections based on the remote endpoint location. Here's the mapping:

  • Blue = Europe
  • Orange = Asia
  • Purple = Oceania
  • Yellow = Africa
  • White = South America
  • Teal = North America
  • Pink = Antarctica / Local
  • Green = United States
  • Red = Highlighted IPs


This code should run on any Arduino board with 2k SRAM equipped with Colors Shield, or the all-in-one Colorduino board. Both Colorduino and Colors Shield are available from iTead Studio. Colorduino does not include a USB port, so novices (like me) should use the Colors Shield + Arduino Uno.

Test/Dev system is: Ardunio Uno, Colors Shield, 8x8 round LED matrix (iTead)

The Colorduino library by Lincomatic is required and can be found here.


  • Arduino >= 1
  • Colorduino Lib >= 1.2.4

The python code is separated into a server and client. The server is run by the machine connected to the arduino, and the client is the machine you want to monitor. The server <-> communication is over SSL. Server/Client Requirements:

Client & Server

  • python = 2.7.x

Client Python Packages

  • pycapy >= 0.10.8
  • impacket >= 0.9.6
  • pygeoip >= 0.2.5
  • incf.countryutils >= 1.0

Server Python Packages

  • pyserial >= 2.6


You can choose to highlight traffic with certain IP addresses in the Arduino Config.h file. By default, highlighted traffic is indicated by a red LED. To change the IPs to highlight, edit arduino/Config.h:

vim arduino/Config.h

You can highlight as many IPs as you wish. Next, open cerealbox.ino with the Arduino IDE and upload:

arduino arduino/cerealbox.ino

On the server side, run:

make server-cert

Then, copy the server cert and start the server:

cat server/ssl/server.crt

On the client side, create the cert file and paste your certificate:

mkdir client/ssl
vi client/ssl/cert.crt


On the server, cd into server/ and run:

  • PORT is the port to listen for incoming client connection
  • SERIAL_DEVICE is the USB serial device that the Arduino is using, ex:
    • /dev/ttyUSB0 on Linux or whichever was assigned to Arduino, use dmesg to find out
    • /dev/tty.usbmodem262312 on Mac OS X. Use ls /dev/tty.usbmodem* to find this
  • PASSWORD is the password, which the client will need to specify to authenticate with the server

On the client, cd into client/ and run:

  • HOST is the ip address of the server to connect to
  • PORT is the port which the server is listening on
  • NET_DEVICE is the network device to listen on, ex. eth0
  • IPADDR is the IP address of the host to be monitored
  • PASSWORD is the shared password with the server, used for authentication
  • DNS specifies that DNS sessions should be tracked and displayed (tends to fill up board pretty quickly)

If all went well, you're now visualizing network traffic on the Arduino board!


cerealbox - Arduino-based network monitor

By William Budington Copyright (C) 2013

Based on the original by Steve Opecek Copyright (C) 2011 Trustwave Holdings, Inc.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see


Arduino-based network monitor




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