Computer Network Experiments with Netkit

While learning about Computer Networks, Sabu and I came across a tool called Netkit, which is a framework for experimenting with computer networks. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to experiment with actual computer networks- you need to get hold of a lot of hardware like hosts, routers, lan wires etc- which is difficult and expensive.

So we do the next best thing. We create a network of virtual machines and play with them. Netkit was developed at the Roma Tre University, based on User Mode Linux and comprises of virtual GNU/Linux virtual machines running in the user space. We can create as many virtual machines as we want, with any number of virtual network interfaces and connect them in any topology we like.

We tried out a few interesting things with Netkit, and we felt we should share it with the class, so we met our faculty, Dr.A.V.Babu, who readily gave us an hour to give a demonstration, which we did this Monday. It went reasonably well. A few of our friends got really interested in Netkit, and hopefully will try it out and get addicted to GNU/Linux!

P.S. The slides of the presentation can be downloaded here. It was a practical demonstration, but I made use of the slides in support, to get started.

5 thoughts on “Computer Network Experiments with Netkit

  1. Interesting tool. Thanks for introducing.
    Also, the link to slides is broken due to a typo. The file extension is .pd instead of .pdf

  2. Excellent !! Welcome to the world of networking 🙂 .. Also what s/w did you use to make those slides ? Looks very neat ..

    Love,
    Gopu.

  3. Good job. Such demonstrations are much better than the stories given in most of the under-grad texts!

    In the next steps, you could probably look into each layer (of the standard TCP/IP layers), by tracing the flow from application down through layers (at the sender), and then back to application at the other end. For example, `what happens when you enter a URL in a browser’. The process unfolds through the layers.

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