OpenWifi status report before 1st evaluation

Hello everyone,
this is the status report of the OpenWifi project before the first evaluation. I like to point out in this blog post what has been done and how I like to proceed the next weeks. Looking at my initial schedule I did some things that are not on that list and missed some others. So I also like to revamp the schedule. I did a Google-document for that and I’m happy to receive comments about it 🙂

I think a lot of things that have been done are the foundation for everything else to come and a lot of things that have not been done are low hanging fruits.

I think overall my initial schedule contained too many elements and I need to focus more on what is important and what are optional changes. I think I want to focus on testing/docker/https and authentication/authorization until the next evaluation and do the communication plugin-API from then until the end. Everything GUI-related might happen after GSoC.

What has been done

Testing, Docker and CI

That is the biggest part I did but I think also the most important point to get the project to a more professional level and make usage easier for new people. There is a docker hub for openwifi docker images. This way you don’t have to build the image – you just need to pull it. The image is build by TravisCI on new commits – so it is up to date.

I also started to implement tests based on docker images. There is a test that boots up a LEDE docker image and an openwifi docker image and checks if the LEDE container discovers the openwifi image and registers to it. This test is also done by TravisCI.

Just last week I also updated the docker image in the way that it can now also optionally ship with nginx and therefore use TLS! Nginx is also doing the client side certificate validation and sets a header value according to the outcome. (I guess something similar is also possible for apache and other servers)

TravisCI testing has also been added for pyuci.

Discovery Script

The discovery script has been completely revamped and is now a lot more readable. It also serves now as small client that updates the registration every 3 minutes.


Pyuci has been refactored and extended. Diffs are now a separate class and can be applied and reverted from a config. Also the testing has been extended somewhat and is done by TravisCI.


A basic user management has been added. That is a database entry and password hash storage using passlib and an openwifi authentication scheme. The admin user can add and modify users via a rest API.

I also thought about how to implement rights management – more on that below.

New DB Model

The new database model has not been on my initial schedule so much. But actually there is a lot to do. What has been done is proper syncing via sqlalchemy events of the database representation and the rpcd-json representation.


OpenWifi now saves change to a config in a revisions database table.

What is going to happen next


Since there is now a proper infrastructure for docker based testing it should be used more like for testing https and configuration changes.

More tests are needed for the new database model and pyuci.

New DB Model

The new db model needs testing and methods for adding and removing of links and configurations. It should keep IDs consistent upon updating (to allow configuration sharing) -> so maybe make use of new pyuci diff features.

Also I should get rid of all old configuration access (like old templating and configuration changing). It might be nice to have a gui for the DB configuration but this has not the highest priority.


The authentication needs to authenticate API keys and client side certificates.


Give users/API-keys access based on node and pattern matching. Add option to restrict registration to client side authentication.

The pattern matching could be in the form the current master-config query or a path string (like network.lan.ipaddr or network.[interface].ipaddr or network.lan.*). It should be possible to set patters for read only, read write and restrict. (For example to have a eveything mathing pattern but restrict access to one specific pattern).

It should also be possible to restrict access luci2 (it doesn’t make sense to restrict the db querys if luci2 access is allowed ;)).

Discovery Script

The discovery script should be updated to setup capabilities and communication protocol (like rpcd, rpcd-TLS, NetJSON, etc.) on registration.

Nice to have features would be that it has an option to stop once a registration was successful and to accept a retry count.

I the future it would be nice to work together with OpenWISP and have and share the discovery mechanism.

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