Archives For VirtualBox

VirtualBox is an open-source virtual machine manager and hypervisor that may also be used as a network emulator. In addition to creating and managing individual virtual machines, VirtualBox can connect virtual machines together to emulate a network of computers and network appliances such as routers or servers. VirtualBox works on the major computing platforms: Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

In this post, I offer a step-by-step tutorial showing how to use the VirtualBox graphical user interface to set up a network of six devices: three routers and three PCs. This tutorial will utilize some of the advanced functions supported by VirtualBox and provide you with the skills to set up a network of virtual machines on your own personal computer.

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dCore Linux is a minimal Linux system based on the Tiny Core Linux system. Like Tiny Core Linux, dCore loads its file system entirely into RAM, which should provide good performance in large network emulation scenarios running on a single host computer.

dCore Linux allows users to install additional software from the Debian or Ubuntu repositories, instead of using the pre-built (and often out-of-date) TCE extensions provided for Tiny Core Linux. This should simplify the process of building network appliances for use in a network emulator, as you will not need to compile and build your own extensions, or use out-of-date pre-built extensions.

dCore Linux is designed to run as a “live” Linux system from removable media such as a CD or a USB drive but, for my use, I need to install it on a hard drive. Currently available instructions for installing dCore Linux onto a hard drive are incomplete and hard to follow. This post lists a detailed procedure to install dCore Linux on a virtual disk image connected to a virtual machine. I use VirtualBox in this example, but any other virtual machine manager would also be suitable.

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OpenDaylight (ODL) is a popular open-source SDN controller framework. To learn more about OpenDaylight, it is helpful to use it to manage an emulated network of virtual switches and virtual hosts. Most people use the Mininet network emulator to create a virtual SDN network for OpenDaylight to control.

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In this post, I will show how to set up OpenDaylight to control an emulated Mininet network using OpenFlow 1.3. Because I am using virtual machines, the procedure I use will work the same in all commonly used host systems: Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

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In this post, I will show how to set up data capture in the GNS3 network simulator when using network devices that are emulated by VirtualBox or QEMU virtual machines.

The GNS3 network simulator makes it easy for users to capture and view data passing across the interfaces of devices running in a GNS3 network simulation. The GNS3 documentation covers how to capture data from devices running on Dynamips in GNS3 but the procedures for capturing data from devices running in other hypervisors, such as VirtualBox or QEMU/KVM, are not well documented.

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While GNS3 users may start and stop data capture on Dynamips VM interfaces any time they wish, they must plan ahead when they intend to capture data on open-source routers and hosts running on VirtualBox or QEMU virtual machines.

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GNS3 1.3 will create and manage VirtualBox virtual machine linked clones from within the GNS3 user interface. This simplifies the process of setting up VirtualBox virtual machines in GNS3, which makes GNS3 easier to use for studying the operation of open-source routers, switches, and hosts in network simulation scenarios.

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In this post, I will show how to set up and use VirtualBox linked clones in your GNS3 simulation scenarios and work through a detailed tutorial.

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Open-source DevOps tools are used to deploy applications and services in datacenter server networks, but they may also enable researchers or students to simulate networks. In this post, we will survey popular open-source DevOps tools and provide links to information that shows how to use them to create network simulation scenarios.

Most open-source network simulators simplify the setup and configuration of virtual machines and the networking connections between virtual machines. DevOps tools such as OpenStack do the same things, although they expose more of the complexities of the virtualized infrastructure to the user.

If you are already using DevOps tools for other activities you may find it useful to also use them when you need to create a simulated network instead of learning to use a network simulator.

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Debian 8.2 Running

In this article, we will review the procedures required to install Debian Linux in a virtual machine managed by the VirtualBox application. A summary of the procedures is listed below:

  • Download the Debian install DVD.
  • Create a virtual machine using the VirtualBox application.
  • Boot the virtual machine from the DVD image we downloaded
  • Install the Debian Linux operating system on the virtual machine.

We will install Debian Linux because it is the version of Linux that is used by most of the researchers who have developed the network simulation tools we wish to investigate. Also, Debian is a conservative Linux distribution so we can be fairly confident that if we run into issues, we will not need to debug the operating system.

Here is the procedure we followed:

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