MiniNet as an SDN test platform

MiniNet is

a realistic virtual network, running real kernel, switch and application code, on a single machine in seconds, with a single command.

In other words MiniNet is an OpenFlow testing platform. MiniNet can be used with OpenDaylight project, Cisco XNC Controller and Floodlight (maybe more are available).

Installation and configuration

Download the latest MiniNet OVF Release from the MiniNet Download. Unpack the zip file, and import the OVF using, for example, VMware Player ot Workstation.

A X server should be used to export applications from MiniNet VM. Windows users should consider XMing. Be sure to Enable X11 Forwarding from PuTTY configuration. Login to the MiniNet VM using PuTTY, and launch xterm. If Xming and PuTTY are correctly configured, a xterm window will appear to the Windows desktop:

Using MiniNet

MiniNet VM default user is “mininet”, with password “mininet”. Login as mininet and start the MiniNet CLI:

sudo mn
*** Creating network
*** Adding controller
*** Adding hosts:
h1 h2
*** Adding switches:
*** Adding links:
(h1, s1) (h2, s1)
*** Configuring hosts
h1 h2
*** Starting controller
*** Starting 1 switches
*** Starting CLI:

If no parameters are specified, by default will be created two hosts (h1 and h2), connected by one switch (s1).

mininet> nodes
available nodes are:
c0 h1 h2 s1
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s1-eth1
h2 h2-eth0:s1-eth2
s1 lo:  s1-eth1:h1-eth0 s1-eth2:h2-eth0
mininet> dump
<Host h1: h1-eth0: pid=8683>
<Host h2: h2-eth0: pid=8684>
<OVSSwitch s1: lo:,s1-eth1:None,s1-eth2:None pid=8687>
<OVSController c0: pid=8675>

The above commands will give an overview of MiniNet current topology. Nodes console are avaible using xterm:

mininet> xterm h1 h2 s1

By default a network is used, host nodes are automatically configured:

mininet> pingall
*** Ping: testing ping reachability
h1 -> h2
h2 -> h1
*** Results: 0% dropped (2/2 received)

Ping is successful, but if h1-s1 link goes down, then ping fails:

mininet> link h1 s1 down
mininet> h1 ping -c 1 h2
connect: Network is unreachable

Default MiniNet topologies

MiniNet can easily creates more complex topologies. Few template are available by default: minimal, single, reversed, linear and tree.


It’s a simple topology with one switch and two host:


sudo mn --topo minimal
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s1-eth1
h2 h2-eth0:s1-eth2
s1 lo:  s1-eth1:h1-eth0 s1-eth2:h2-eth0


It’s a simple topology with one switch and N hosts: single

sudo mn --topo single,3
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s1-eth1
h2 h2-eth0:s1-eth2
h3 h3-eth0:s1-eth3
s1 lo:  s1-eth1:h1-eth0 s1-eth2:h2-eth0 s1-eth3:h3-eth0


Like Single, but connection order is reversed: reversed

sudo mn --topo reversed,3
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s1-eth3
h2 h2-eth0:s1-eth2
h3 h3-eth0:s1-eth1
s1 lo:  s1-eth1:h3-eth0 s1-eth2:h2-eth0 s1-eth3:h1-eth0


A serial connection with N switches and N hosts: linear

sudo mn --topo linear,3
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s1-eth1
h2 h2-eth0:s2-eth1
h3 h3-eth0:s3-eth1
s1 lo:  s1-eth1:h1-eth0 s1-eth2:s2-eth2
s2 lo:  s2-eth1:h2-eth0 s2-eth2:s1-eth2 s2-eth3:s3-eth2
s3 lo:  s3-eth1:h3-eth0 s3-eth2:s2-eth3


A multiple level topology with N levels and two hosts per switch:


sudo mn --topo tree,3
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s3-eth1
h2 h2-eth0:s3-eth2
h3 h3-eth0:s4-eth1
h4 h4-eth0:s4-eth2
h5 h5-eth0:s6-eth1
h6 h6-eth0:s6-eth2
h7 h7-eth0:s7-eth1
h8 h8-eth0:s7-eth2
s1 lo:  s1-eth1:s2-eth3 s1-eth2:s5-eth3
s2 lo:  s2-eth1:s3-eth3 s2-eth2:s4-eth3 s2-eth3:s1-eth1
s3 lo:  s3-eth1:h1-eth0 s3-eth2:h2-eth0 s3-eth3:s2-eth1
s4 lo:  s4-eth1:h3-eth0 s4-eth2:h4-eth0 s4-eth3:s2-eth2
s5 lo:  s5-eth1:s6-eth3 s5-eth2:s7-eth3 s5-eth3:s1-eth2
s6 lo:  s6-eth1:h5-eth0 s6-eth2:h6-eth0 s6-eth3:s5-eth1
s7 lo:  s7-eth1:h7-eth0 s7-eth2:h8-eth0 s7-eth3:s5-eth2

Custom MiniNet topology

Additional topologies can be created with extenral scripts. The following example will create a two network separated by a router:


The following Python file implement the above topology:

from mininet.topo import Topo

class Router_Topo(Topo):
    def __init__(self):
        "Create P2P topology."

        # Initialize topology

        # Add hosts and switches
        H1 = self.addHost('h1')
        H2 = self.addHost('h2')
        H3 = self.addHost('h3')
        S1 = self.addSwitch('s1')
        S2 = self.addSwitch('s2')

        # Add links
        self.addLink(H1, S1)
        self.addLink(H2, S1)
        self.addLink(H2, S2)
        self.addLink(H3, S2)

topos = {
        'router': (lambda: Router_Topo())
sudo mn --custom /home/mininet/ --topo router
mininet> net
h1 h1-eth0:s1-eth1
h2 h2-eth0:s1-eth2 h2-eth1:s2-eth1
h3 h3-eth0:s2-eth2
s1 lo: s1-eth1:h1-eth0 s1-eth2:h2-eth0
s2 lo: s2-eth1:h2-eth1 s2-eth2:h3-eth0

Let’s how to configure all nodes for routing:

mininet> h1 ifconfig h1-eth0 netmask
mininet> h2 ifconfig h2-eth0 netmask
mininet> h2 ifconfig h2-eth1 netmask
mininet> h3 ifconfig h3-eth0 netmask
mininet> h1 route add default gw
mininet> h3 route add default gw
mininet> h2 sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

And now ping should be routed correctly:

mininet> h1 ping -c 1

Connecting MiniNet to a SDN controller

A MiniNet topology can be created and connected to a SDN controller like OpenDaylight, XNC or FloodLight (default port is 6633):

sudo mn --controller=remote,ip= --topo=tree,3