Paper presenting nodewatcher, a modular open networks growing platform.
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nodewatcher: A substrate for growing your own community network

nodewatcher is one of the projects of wlan slovenija open wireless network. Its main goal is the development of an open source network planning, deployment, monitoring and maintanance platform with emphasis on community.

This repository contains a paper presenting the project. The paper was published in journal Computer Networks, in the special issue on community networks, DOI 10.1016/j.comnet.2015.09.021.

Available at:


Community networks differ from regular networks by their organic growth patterns — there is no central planning body that would decide how the network is built. Instead, the network grows in a bottom-up fashion as more people express interest in participating in the community and connect with their neighbors. People who participate in community networks are usually volunteers with limited free time. Due to these factors, making the management of community networks simpler and easier for all participants is the key component in boosting their growth. Specifics of individual networks often force communities to develop their own sets of tools and best practices which are hard to share and do not interoperate well with others. We propose a new general community network management platform nodewatcher that is built around the core principle of modularity and extensibility, making it suitable for reuse by different community networks. Devices are configured using a platform-independent configuration which nodewatcher can transform into deployable firmware images, eliminating any manual device configuration, reducing errors, and enabling participation of novice maintainers. An embedded monitoring system enables live overview and validation of the whole community network. We show how the system successfully operates in an actual community wireless network, wlan slovenija.

You can cite it as:

  title = "nodewatcher: A substrate for growing your own community network",
  journal = "Computer Networks",
  volume = "93, Part 2",
  pages = "279--296",
  year = "2015",
  issn = "1389-1286",
  doi = "",
  author = "Jernej Kos and Mitar Milutinović and Luka Čehovin",
  keywords = "Community networks",
  keywords = "Management",
  keywords = "Provisioning",
  keywords = "Monitoring",
  keywords = "Wireless",
  keywords = "Mesh"