Skip to content
Alternative network configuration and management for Nerves devices
Elixir C Makefile Other
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
.circleci Remove Markdown Lint since failing on CI Oct 22, 2019
.github Add contributing doc Jun 2, 2019
config Remove mix_test_watch from deps Oct 7, 2019
docs Move docs to technologies; cookbook updates Dec 9, 2019
lib Remove VintageNet.Technology.Mobile Dec 9, 2019
src Move WiFi to vintage_net_wifi Dec 9, 2019
test
.dialyzer_ignore.exs Enable Dialyzer underspec warnings Jun 25, 2019
.formatter.exs Convert more to VintageNet Apr 2, 2019
.gitignore Move test fixture temporaries to not include in hex May 9, 2019
CHANGELOG.md v0.7.0 release Dec 10, 2019
LICENSE Apache-2.0 May 8, 2019
Makefile Move WiFi to vintage_net_wifi Dec 9, 2019
README.md Fix spelling errors Dec 10, 2019
mix.exs v0.7.0 release Dec 10, 2019
mix.lock Move gadget code to vintage_net_gadget Dec 9, 2019

README.md

🍇 VintageNet

Hex version API docs CircleCI Coverage Status

NOTE: If you've been using vintage_net v0.6.x or earlier, we split out network technology support out to separate libraries in v0.7.0. You'll need to add those libraries to your mix dependency list and rename some atoms. Configurations stored on deployed devices will be automatically updated. See the v0.7.0 release notes for details.

VintageNet is network configuration library built specifically for Nerves Project devices. It has the following features:

  • Ethernet and WiFi support included. Extendible to other technologies
  • Default configurations specified in your Application config
  • Runtime updates to configurations are persisted and applied on next boot (configurations are obfuscated by default to hide WiFi passphrases)
  • Simple subscription to network status change events
  • Connect to multiple networks at a time and prioritize which interfaces are used (Ethernet over WiFi over cellular)
  • Internet connection monitoring and failure detection

TL;DR: Don't care about any of this and just want the string to copy/paste to set up networking? See the VintageNet Cookbook.

The following network configurations are supported:

  • Wired Ethernet, IPv4 DHCP
  • Wired Ethernet, IPv4 static IP
  • WiFi password-less and WEP
  • WPA2 PSK and EAP
  • USB gadget mode Ethernet, IPv4 DHCP server to supply host IP address
  • Cellular networks
  • WiFi AP mode
  • IPv6

vintage_net takes a different approach to networking from nerves_network. Its focus is on building and applying network configurations. Where nerves_network provided configurable state machines, vintage_net turns human-readable configurations into everything from configuration files and calls to ip to starting up networking GenServers and routing table updates. This makes it easier to add support for new network technologies and features. While Elixir and Erlang were great to implement network protocols in, it was frequently more practical to reuse embedded Linux implementations. Importantly, though, vintage_net monitors Linux daemons under its OTP supervision tree so failures on both the "C" and Elixir sides propagate in the expected ways.

Another important difference is that VintageNet doesn't attempt to make incremental modifications to configurations. It completely tears down an interface's connection and then brings up new configurations in a fresh state. Network reconfiguration is assumed to be an infrequent event so while this can cause a hiccup in the network connectivity, it removes state machine code that made nerves_network hard to maintain.

Installation

The vintage_net and nerves_init_gadget packages are not compatible. If you are using nerves_init_gadget, you will need to remove it from your dependency list and add back in things it supplies like nerves_runtime and nerves_firmware_ssh.

The package can be installed by adding vintage_net to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:

def deps do
  [
    {:vintage_net, "~> 0.3", targets: @all_targets},
    {:busybox, "~> 0.1", targets: @all_targets}
  ]
end

If you have your own custom Nerves system, it's possible to modify that system's Busybox configuration to enable all of the networking tools used by vintage_net. See the end of this document for the needed settings. If you do that, delete the :busybox dependency above.

See vintage_net_example for a minimal example project.

Configuration

VintageNet has many application configuration keys. Most defaults are fine. At a minimum, you'll want to specify a default configuration and default regulatory domain if using WiFi. In your main config.exs, add the following:

config :vintage_net,
  regulatory_domain: "US",
  config: [
    {"eth0", %{type: VintageNetEthernet, ipv4: %{method: :dhcp}}},
    {"wlan0", %{type: VintageNetWiFi}}
  ]

This sets the regulatory domain to the US (set to your ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code. This code is passed on to the drivers for WiFi and other wireless networking technologies so that they comply with local regulations. If you need a global default, set to "00" or don't set at all. Unfortunately, this may mean that an access point isn't visible if it is running on a frequency that's allowed in your country, but not globally.

The config section is a list of network configurations. The one shown above configures DHCP on wired Ethernet and minimally starts up a WiFi LAN so that it's possible to scan for networks. The typical setup is to provide generic defaults here. Static IP addresses, WiFi SSIDs and credentials are more appropriately configured at run-time. VintageNet persists configurations too. Details on network configuration are described later.

The following table describes the other application config keys.

Key Description
config A list of default network configurations
tmpdir Path to a temporary directory for VintageNet
to_elixir_socket Name to use for the Unix domain socket for C to Elixir communication
bin_ifup Path to ifup
bin_ifdown Path to ifdown
bin_chat Path to chat
bin_pppd Path to pppd
bin_mknod Path to mknod
bin_killall Path to killall
bin_wpa_supplicant Path to wpa_supplicant
bin_ip Path to ip
udhcpc_handler Module for handling notifications from udhcpc
resolvconf Path to /etc/resolv.conf
persistence Module for persisting network configurations
persistence_dir Path to a directory for storing persisted configurations
persistence_secret A 16-byte secret or an MFA for getting a secret
internet_host IP address for host to ping to check for Internet connectivity. Must be a tuple of integers ({1, 1, 1, 1}) or binary representation ("1.1.1.1")
regulatory_domain ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country (00 for global, US, etc.)

Network interface configuration

VintageNet supports several network technologies out of the box and third-party libraries can provide more via the VintageNet.Technology behaviour.

Configurations are Elixir maps. These are specified in three places:

  1. The vintage_net application config (e.g., your config.exs)
  2. Locally saved configuration (see the VintageNet.Persistence behaviour for replacing the default)
  3. Calling VintageNet.configure/2 to change the configuration at run-time

When vintage_net starts, it applies saved configurations first and if any thing is wrong with those configs, it reverts to the application config. A good practice is to have safe defaults for all network interfaces in the application config.

The only required key in the configuration maps is :type. All other keys follow from the type. :type should be set to a module that implements the VintageNet.Technology behaviour. The following are common technologies:

  • VintageNetEthernet - Standard wired Ethernet
  • VintageNetWiFi - Client configurations for 802.11 WiFi
  • VintageNetDirect - Direct connections like those used for USB gadget connections
  • VintageNet.Technology.Null - An empty configuration useful for turning off a configuration

See the links above for specific documentation.

Persistence

By default, VintageNet stores network configuration to disk. If you are migrating from nerves_network you may already have a persistence implementation. To disable the default persistence, configure vintage_net as follows:

config :vintage_net,
  persistence: VintageNet.Persistence.Null

Debugging

Debugging networking issues is not fun. When you're starting out with vintage_net, it is highly recommended to connect to your target using a method that doesn't require networking to work. This could be a UART connection to an IEx console on a Nerves device or maybe just hooking up a keyboard and monitor.

If having trouble, first check VintageNet.info() to verify the configuration and connection status:

iex> VintageNet.info
VintageNet 0.3.0

All interfaces:       ["eth0", "lo", "tap0", "wlan0"]
Available interfaces: ["eth0", "wlan0"]

Interface eth0
  Type: VintageNetEthernet
  Present: true
  State: :configured
  Connection: :internet
  Configuration:
    %{ipv4: %{method: :dhcp}, type: VintageNetEthernet}

Interface wlan0
  Type: VintageNetWiFi
  Present: true
  State: :configured
  Connection: :internet
  Configuration:
    %{
      ipv4: %{method: :dhcp},
      type: VintageNetWiFi,
      wifi: %{
        key_mgmt: :wpa_psk,
        mode: :infrastructure,
        psk: "******",
        ssid: "MyLAN"
      }
    }

If you're using Toolshed, try running the following:

iex> ifconfig
lo: flags=[:up, :loopback, :running]
    inet 127.0.0.1  netmask 255.0.0.0
    inet ::1  netmask ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff
    hwaddr 00:00:00:00:00:00

eth0: flags=[:up, :broadcast, :running, :multicast]
    inet 192.168.9.131  netmask 255.255.255.0  broadcast 192.168.9.255
    inet fe80::6264:5ff:fee1:4045  netmask ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff::
    hwaddr 60:64:05:e1:40:45

wlan0: flags=[:up, :broadcast, :running, :multicast]
    inet 192.168.9.175  netmask 255.255.255.0  broadcast 192.168.9.255
    inet fe80::20c:e7ff:fe11:3d46  netmask ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff::
    hwaddr 00:0c:e7:11:3d:46

Or ping:

iex> ping "nerves-project.com"
Press enter to stop
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=48.87ms
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=42.856ms
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=43.097ms

You can also specify an interface to use with ping:

iex> ping "nerves-project.com", ifname: "wlan0"
Press enter to stop
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=57.817ms
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=46.796ms

iex> ping "nerves-project.com", ifname: "eth0"
Press enter to stop
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=47.923ms
Response from nerves-project.com (96.126.123.244): time=48.688ms

If it looks like nothing is working, check the logs. On Nerves devices, this is frequently done by calling RingLogger.next or RingLogger.attach.

At a last resort, please open a GitHub issue. We would be glad to help. We only have one ask and that is that you get us started with an improvement to our documentation or code so that the next person to run into the issue will have an easier time. Thanks!

Properties

VintageNet maintains a key/value store for retrieving information on networking information:

iex> VintageNet.get(["interface", "eth0", "connection"])
:internet

iex> VintageNet.get_by_prefix([])
[
  {["interface", "eth0", "connection"], :internet},
  {["interface", "eth0", "state"], :configured},
  {["interface", "eth0", "type"], VintageNetEthernet},
  {["interface", "wlan0", "connection"], :internet},
  {["interface", "wlan0", "state"], :configured},
  {["interface", "wlan0", "type"], VintageNetWiFi}
]

You can also subscribe to keys and receive a message every time it or one its child keys changes:

iex> VintageNet.subscribe(["interface", "eth0"])
:ok

iex> flush
{VintageNet, ["interface", "eth0", "state"], :configuring, :configured, %{}}

The message format is {VintageNet, name, old_value, new_value, metadata}

Global properties

Property Values Description
available_interfaces [eth0, ...] Currently available network interfaces in priority order. E.g., the first one is used by default
connection :disconnected, :lan, :internet The overall network connection status. This is the best status of all interfaces.

Common network interface properties

All network interface properties can be found under ["interface", ifname] in the PropertyTable. The following table lists out properties common to all interfaces:

Property Values Description
type VintageNetEthernet, etc. The type of the interface
state :configured, :configuring, etc. The state of the interface from VintageNet's point of view.
connection :disconnected, :lan, :internet This provides a determination of the Internet connection status
lower_up true or false This indicates whether the physical layer is "up". E.g., a cable is connected or WiFi associated
mac_address "11:22:33:44:55:66" The interface's MAC address as a string
addresses [address_info] This is a list of all of the addresses assigned to this interface

Specific types of interfaces provide more parameters.

System Requirements

All official Nerves systems support vintage_net. If you have customized a Nerves system, you may need to check it's configuration.

Kernel Requirements

IMPORTANT: CONFIG_IP_MULTIPLE_TABLES=y is critical. VintageNet is completely depended on source IP-based routing to work.

  • CONFIG_IP_ADVANCED_ROUTER=y
  • CONFIG_IP_MULTIPLE_TABLES=y
  • CONFIG_IP_ROUTE_VERBOSE=y - (optional)

Busybox Requirements

To avoid enabling these, add {:busybox, "~> 0.1"} to your mix dependencies.

  • CONFIG_UDHCPC=y - udhcpc DHCP Client
  • CONFIG_UDHCPD=y - udhcpd DHCP Server (optional)
You can’t perform that action at this time.