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Mesh Testbed Generator

Buildsystem to generate custom Lede-Firmware files for different nodes in a testbed.


Having set up a mesh of 5 TP Link TL-WR842nd v2 in our hackerspace for testing and research, there's a need for configuration management. Configuration should be:

  • Consistent / DRY
  • Revertible - especially using first_boot
  • Under version control

To archive these goals, a OpenWRT-configuration is generated based on Ruby .erb templates. A dedicated firmware file is generated for each node.


  • `nodes.yml - inventory of all nodes. A firmware-file is generated per node
  • files - Directory of .ERB-templates. After processing all ERB-templates, it is integrated into the firmware files
  • bin - Output folder for firmware files
  • Rakefile - Central build file


  1. Adapt nodes.yml
  2. Adapt templates in files
  3. Run rake

OpenWRT Release (Chaos Calmer) and Platform (TL-WR842nd v2) is hardcoded in Rakefile. You have to change it to support other platforms.

Current Configuration

Current configuration includes

  • Packages like ip, babeld, batman-adv for testing diffrent routing scenarios
  • A collectd configuration ping'ing all nodes for measurements
  • A wireless configuration putting the wifi into mesh mode while setting TX-power to a minimum
  • IPv4 and IPv6 assignments for testing
  • SSH-Key and root-password for accessing the nodes
  • Firewall-Rules to allow connections via SSH from WAN


Firmware-Generator for an OpenWRT Testbed



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