On this page:
The Emulab Manual
2020-07-03 (71fe26c)

The Emulab Manual

Eric Eide,
Robert Ricci,
Jacobus (Kobus) Van der Merwe,
Leigh Stoller,
Kirk Webb,
Jon Duerig,
Gary Wong,
Keith Downie,
Mike Hibler,
and David Johnson

Emulab is a network testbed, giving researchers a wide range of environments in which to develop, debug, and evaluate their systems. The name Emulab refers both to a facility and to a software system. The primary Emulab installation is run by the Flux Research Group, part of the School of Computing at the University of Utah. There are also installations of the Emulab software at more than two dozen sites around the world, ranging from testbeds with a handful of nodes up to testbeds with hundreds of nodes. Emulab is widely used by computer science researchers in the fields of networking and distributed systems. It is also designed to support education, and has been used to teach classes in those fields.

Emulab is a public facility, available without charge to most researchers worldwide. If you are unsure if you qualify for use, please see our policies document, or ask us. If you think you qualify, you can apply to start a new project.

    1 Getting Started

      1.1 Next Steps

    2 Emulab Users

      2.1 Register for an Account

        2.1.1 Join an existing project

        2.1.2 Create a new project

        2.1.3 Setting up SSH access

        2.1.4 Setting up X11

    3 Emulab and Repeatable Research

    4 Creating Profiles

      4.1 Creating a profile from an existing one

        4.1.1 Preparation and precautions

        4.1.2 Cloning a Profile

        4.1.3 Copying a Profile

        4.1.4 Creating the Profile

        4.1.5 Updating a profile

      4.2 Creating a profile with a GUI

      4.3 Repository-Based Profiles

        4.3.1 Updating Repository-Based Profiles

        4.3.2 Branches and Tags in Repository-Based Profiles

      4.4 Creating a profile from scratch

      4.5 Sharing Profiles

      4.6 Versioned Profiles

    5 Basic Concepts

      5.1 Profiles

        5.1.1 On-demand Profiles

        5.1.2 Persistent Profiles

      5.2 Experiments

        5.2.1 Extending Experiments

      5.3 Projects

      5.4 Physical Machines

      5.5 Virtual Machines and Containers

    6 Transitioning from the “Classic” Interface to the “Portal”

      6.1 New and Improved Features of the Portal Interface

        6.1.1 Profiles

        6.1.2 Web-based Interaction with Nodes

        6.1.3 Disk Images

        6.1.4 Versioning

        6.1.5 Experiment Extensions

        6.1.6 Resource Reservations

      6.2 Classic Features Not Currently Supported in the Portal

      6.3 Converting an Emulab experiment to a Profile

    7 Resource Reservations

      7.1 What Reservations Guarantee

      7.2 How Reservations May Affect You

      7.3 Making a Reservation

      7.4 Using a Reservation

    8 Describing a profile with python and geni-lib

      8.1 A single XEN VM node

      8.2 A single physical host

      8.3 Two XenVM nodes with a link between them

      8.4 Two ARM64 servers in a LAN

      8.5 A VM with a custom size

      8.6 Set a specific IP address on each node

      8.7 Specify an operating system and set install and execute scripts

      8.8 Profiles with user-specified parameters

      8.9 Add storage to a node

      8.10 Debugging geni-lib profile scripts

    9 Virtual Machines and Containers

      9.1 Xen VMs

        9.1.1 Controlling CPU and Memory

        9.1.2 Controlling Disk Space

        9.1.3 Setting HVM Mode

      9.2 Docker Containers

        9.2.1 Basic Examples

        9.2.2 Disk Images

        9.2.3 External Images

        9.2.4 Dockerfiles

        9.2.5 Augmented Disk Images

        9.2.6 Remote Access

        9.2.7 Console

        9.2.8 ENTRYPOINT and CMD

        9.2.9 Shared Containers

        9.2.10 Privileged Containers

        9.2.11 Remote Blockstores

        9.2.12 Temporary Block Storage

        9.2.13 DockerContainer Member Variables

    10 Storage Mechanisms

      10.1 Overview of Storage Mechanisms

      10.2 Node-Local Storage

        10.2.1 Specifying Storage in a Profile – Local Datasets

        10.2.2 Allocating Storage in a Running Experiment

        10.2.3 Persisting Local Data

      10.3 Image-backed Datasets

      10.4 Remote Datasets

      10.5 NFS Shared Filesystems

      10.6 Storage Type Summary (TL;DR)

      10.7 Example Storage Profiles

        10.7.1 Creating a Node-local Dataset

        10.7.2 Creating an Image-backed Dataset from a Node-local Dataset

        10.7.3 Using and Updating an Image-backed Dataset

        10.7.4 Creating a Remote Dataset

        10.7.5 Using a Remote Dataset on a Single Node

        10.7.6 Using a Remote Dataset on Multiple Nodes via a Shared Filesystem

        10.7.7 Using a Remote Dataset on Multiple Nodes via Clones

    11 Advanced Topics

      11.1 Disk Images

      11.2 RSpecs

      11.3 Public IP Access

        11.3.1 Dynamic Public IP Addresses

      11.4 Markdown

      11.5 Introspection

        11.5.1 Client ID

        11.5.2 Control MAC

        11.5.3 Manifest

        11.5.4 Private key

        11.5.5 Profile parameters

      11.6 User-controlled switches and layer-1 topologies

      11.7 Portal API

    12 Hardware

      12.1 Emulab Cluster

    13 Planned Features

      13.1 Improved Physical Resource Descriptions

    14 Emulab OpenStack Tutorial

      14.1 Objectives

      14.2 Prerequisites

      15.4 Logging In

      14.4 Building Your Own OpenStack Cloud

      14.5 Exploring Your Experiment

        14.5.1 Experiment Status

        14.5.2 Profile Instructions

        14.5.3 Topology View

        14.5.4 List View

        14.5.5 Manifest View

        14.5.6 Graphs View

        14.5.7 Actions

        14.5.8 Web-based Shell

        14.5.9 Serial Console

      14.6 Bringing up Instances in OpenStack

      14.7 Administering OpenStack

        14.7.1 Log Into The Control Nodes

        14.7.2 Reboot the Compute Node

      14.8 Terminating the Experiment

      14.9 Taking Next Steps

    15 Emulab Chef Tutorial

      15.1 Objectives

      15.2 Motivation

      15.3 Prerequisites

      15.4 Logging In

      15.5 Launching Chef Experiments

      15.6 Exploring Your Experiment

        15.6.1 Experiment Status

        15.6.2 Profile Instructions

        15.6.3 Topology View

        15.6.4 List View

        15.6.5 Manifest View

        15.6.6 Actions

      15.7 Brief Introduction to Chef

      15.8 Logging in to the Chef Web Console

        15.8.1 Web-based Shell

        15.8.2 Chef Web Console

      15.9 Configuring NFS

        15.9.1 Exploring The Structure

      15.10 Apache Web Server and ApacheBench Benchmarking tool

        15.10.1 Understanding the Internals

      15.11 Final Remarks about Chef on Emulab

      15.12 Terminating Your Experiment

      15.13 Future Steps

    16 Getting Help