Mininet: Rapid Prototyping for Software Defined Networks
The best way to emulate almost any network on your laptop!
What is Mininet?
Mininet emulates a complete network of hosts, links, and switches on a single machine. To create a sample two-host, one-switch network, just run:
Mininet is useful for interactive development, testing, and demos, especially those using OpenFlow and SDN. OpenFlow-based network controllers prototyped in Mininet can usually be transferred to hardware with minimal changes for full line-rate execution.
How does it work?
Mininet creates virtual networks using process-based virtualization
and network namespaces - features that are available in recent Linux
kernels. In Mininet, hosts are emulated as
bash processes running in
a network namespace, so any code that would normally run on a Linux
server (like a web server or client program) should run just fine
within a Mininet "Host". The Mininet "Host" will have its own private
network interface and can only see its own processes. Switches in
Mininet are software-based switches like Open vSwitch or the OpenFlow
reference switch. Links are virtual ethernet pairs, which live in the
Linux kernel and connect our emulated switches to emulated hosts
A command-line launcher (
mn) to instantiate networks.
A handy Python API for creating networks of varying sizes and topologies.
Examples (in the
examples/directory) to help you get started.
Full API documentation via Python
help()docstrings, as well as the ability to generate PDF/HTML documentation with
Parametrized topologies (
Toposubclasses) using the Mininet object. For example, a tree network may be created with the command:
mn --topo tree,depth=2,fanout=3
A command-line interface (
CLIclass) which provides useful diagnostic commands (like
ping), as well as the ability to run a command to a node. For example,
mininet> h11 ifconfig -a
tells host h11 to run the command
A "cleanup" command to get rid of junk (interfaces, processes, files in /tmp, etc.) which might be left around by Mininet or Linux. Try this if things stop working!
Python 3 Support
Mininet 2.3.1b1 supports Python 3 and Python 2!
You can install both the Python 3 and Python 2 versions of Mininet side by side, but the most recent installation will determine which Python version is used by default by
You can run
mndirectly with Python 2 or Python 3, as long as the appropriate version of Mininet is installed, e.g.
$ sudo python2 `which mn`
More information regarding Python 3 and Python 2 support may be found in the release notes on http://docs.mininet.org.
Other Enhancements and Information
Support for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (and 18.04)
More reliable testing and CI via github actions
Minor bug fixes (2.3.1)
Additional information about this release and previous releases may be found in the release notes on http://docs.mininet.org.
INSTALL for installation instructions and details.
In addition to the API documentation (
make doc), much useful
information, including a Mininet walkthrough and an introduction
to the Python API, is available on the
Mininet Web Site.
There is also a wiki which you are encouraged to read and to
contribute to, particularly the Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) at http://faq.mininet.org.
Mininet is community-supported. We encourage you to join the
Mininet mailing list,
Thanks again to all of the Mininet contributors and users!
Mininet is an open source project and is currently hosted at https://github.com/mininet. You are encouraged to download, examine, and modify the code, and to submit bug reports, bug fixes, feature requests, new features, and other issues and pull requests. Thanks to everyone who has contributed code to the Mininet project (see CONTRIBUTORS for more info!) It is because of everyone's hard work that Mininet continues to grow and improve.
Have fun! We look forward to seeing what you will do with Mininet to change the networking world.
Bob Lantz, on behalf of the Mininet Contributors