GSoC 2018 – LibreNet6

Project Introduction

Community mesh networks often often lack IPv6 connectivity as their gateway connection can’t offer stable IPv6 addresses (which won’t change every night). A possible solution is to distribute bigger subnets via a tunnel connection between a server (or VM) and mesh gateway nodes. This approach already exists called LibreNet6. While the current implementation works, it’s hard to setup and only documented in Spanish language. Within this GSoC project the LibreNet6 stack should be simplified and better documented. Making it easier to install for server and gateway administrators and offer a more extensive documentation.

About me

My name is Paul Spooren and this is my second GSoC. Last year I worked with LibreMesh on an easy way to upgrade routers, even if opkg is missing. Beneath the GSoC I’ve worked on various parts of LibreMesh.

Project Requirements

  • IPv6 delegation: LibreMesh gateways use a specified IPv6 subnet of various size, depending on demand.
  • Server independece: If the IPv6 providing server goes down, nodes should keep connectivity also to the ones visible only trought LibreNet6.
  • Simple setup: The gateway operators should be able to install and receive IPv6 connectivity with as little manual configuration as possible.
  • Server interface: A simple administrative user interface should allow the management of assigned IPv6 subnets.

Current implementation

Currently the implementation uses the following software stack: * Tinc VPN: used to connect the gateway nodes with the IPv6 server. Also it’s used to allow inter mesh communication without using the servers. * Babel Routing Protocol: Used on top of the Tinc connection route between mesh gateways and server on the shortest path. * GitHub for authorized keys: All public keys of nodes authorized to connect to the mesh tunnel broker server.

Implementation ideas

  • The node setup should be installable as a package and provide the required information for connection via a simple web interface, favorable using the lime-app.
  • Using Babeld adds another routing protocol to the used stack, where most LibreMesh setups already use BMX6. It should be evaluated of BMX6 (or it’s successor BMX7) are a useable replacement.

Next steps

I’ll get access to a VM hosted by altermundi with an public IPv6 address. This will be a starting point to setup my own instance of Tinc and work on the interface. Apart from Tinc I’ll run some tests with Wireguard which might be a slim VPN replacement, even tho currently missing important features. Lastly I’ll check BMX{6,7} as a replacement for Babel (as it’s already used in most LibreMesh setups). Once these options are evaluated I’ll focus on creating an interface and packages to easily setup the whole stack!

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