Renode - virtual development tool for multinode embedded networks
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What is Renode?

Renode was created by Antmicro as a virtual development tool for multinode embedded networks (both wired and wireless) and is intended to enable a scalable workflow for creating effective, tested and secure IoT systems.

With Renode, developing, testing, debugging and simulating unmodified software for IoT devices is fast, cost-effective and reliable.

Supported architectures include:

  • ARM Cortex-A and Cortex-M
  • x86
  • RISC-V
  • PowerPC

Why use Renode?

Renode was created based on many years of experience with the development of software for embedded systems - both for gateways, on-board computers as well as sensor nodes and microcontrollers.

Testing and developing physical embedded systems is difficult due to poor reproducibility and lack of insight into the current state of a system, especially in multinode scenarios.

Renode addresses this issue by letting you run unmodified binaries, identical to the ones that you would normally flash onto their target hardware, on a virtual board or system of boards.

One important aspect of the tool is that it simulates not only CPUs but entire SoCs (including e.g. heterogeneous multicore SoCs and various peripherals) as well as the wired or wireless connections between them, which allows users to address complex scenarios and test real production software.


Installing dependencies


Renode requires Mono >= 5.0 (Linux, macOS) or .NET >= 4.7 (Windows).

Linux: Install the mono-complete package as per the installation instructions for various Linux distributions which can be found on the Mono project website.

macOS: On macOS, the Mono package can be downloaded directly from the Mono project website.

Windows: On Windows 7, download and install .NET Framework 4.7. Windows 10 ships with .NET by default, so no action is required there.

Other dependencies (Linux only)

On Ubuntu 16.04, you can install the remaining dependencies with the following command:

sudo apt-get install policykit-1 libgtk2.0-0 screen uml-utilities gtk-sharp2 libc6-dev

If you are running a different distribution, you will need to install an analogous list of packages using your package manager; note that the package names may differ slightly.

Installing from packages

Go to the releases section of this repository and download the appropriate package for your system.

Linux: Install Renode as normal with your preferred package manager using the provided *.deb, *.rpm or *.pkg.tar.xz packages.

macOS: Use the provided *.dmg as normal. Additionally, to be able to run Renode from the command line on macOS, create an appropriate alias. If you're using Bash, you can do it by adding alias renode="mono /Applications/" to your .bashrc file.

Windows: Install Renode from the provided *.msi file. The installer will allow you to add icons to your Desktop and/or Start Menu and an entry to your PATH.

Additional prerequisites (for Robot framework testing)

To write and run test cases, Renode integrates with the Robot testing framework. This requires you to install Python 2.7 (on Windows, you will also need Cygwin - see the advanced installation instructions) with pip (note that the relevant package may be called python-pip on Linux).

Once you have Python 2.7 and pip, install some additional modules:

python -m pip install robotframework netifaces requests psutil

Building from source (advanced)

For information on building Renode from source see the documentation.

Running Renode

If you followed the instructions on installing from a package above, you should have a system-wide renode command that you can use to run the tool:

renode [flags] [file]

If you built it from source, navigate to the relevant directory and use:

./renode [flags] [file]

The optional [file] argument allows you to provide the path to a script to be run on startup.

The script allows several optional flags, most useful of which are presented below:

-d            debug mode (requires prior build in debug configuration) - only available when built from source
-e COMMAND    execute command on startup (does not allow the [file] argument)
-p            remove steering codes (e.g., colours) from output
-P PORT       listen on a port for monitor commands instead of opening a window
-h            help & usage

On Windows systems Renode can be run by starting Renode.exe with a similar set of optional flags.


Documentation is available on Read the Docs.

License & contributions

Renode is released under the permissive MIT license. For details, see the LICENSE file.

We’re happy to accept bug reports, feature requests and contributions via GitHub pull requests / issues. For details, see the CONTRIBUTING.rst file.

Commercial support

Commercial support for Renode is provided by Antmicro, a company specializing in helping its clients to adopt new embedded technologies and modern development methodologies.

Antmicro created and maintains the Renode framework and related tooling, and is happy to provide services such as adding new platforms, integrations, plugins and tools.

To inquire about our services, contact us at