LibreNet6 – final report

A tail of dependencies

Creating the LibreNet6 service is highly is highly dependent on LibreMesh as the former builds on the latter’s existing script. So issues within the LibreMesh framework broadened my working scope, to focus on other areas as well. In the process I discovered some general flaws in the framework which I’m now happily fix over the next several weeks, independent of the Google Summer of Code. A focus will be the network profile management, which is currently somewhat messy, to allow new users to setup their own networks without deeper understanding on the lower levels of LibreMesh configuration. The network profile issue is very related to LibreNet6, as of now user still need some SSH and shell skills to connect.

To understand the current problem, feel free to check the mailing list archive.

The output

On the surface this project result an English manual on how to setup the IPv6 gateway and server. Instead of just translating (and correcting) the existing manual, I read into Tinc 1.1 and its new features, which vastly simplify the setup process for clients. It’s meant as a step by step manual only requiring the user to know how basic SSH and shell functions.

For the backend, Altermundi provided a VM which will serve as IPv6 server, working as a connection between IPv6 gateways (the client devices) and a real IPv6 uplink connection. The server is setup as described in the previously mentioned manual.

IPv6 broker vs LibreNet6

As the network uses Tinc, all IPv6 gateways build up a mesh network. When routing traffic between networks, they can decide to use the IPv6 server to route the IPv6 traffic, however may also connect directly via IPv4 to other gateways. This behaviour is one of the initial motivations of LibreNet6, as this highly reduces ping latency’s in cases, where the IPv6 server is on another continent, but two different mesh clouds are close to one another. Both IPv6 gateways connect directly to one another, routing traffic over IPv4 without using the IPv6 server.

Interest of LibreRouter

People from the LibreRouter project wrote me about their interest in integrating this feature in the LibreRouter v2. In that case it would not only enable IPv6 connectivity but also work as a remote help system, where users may receive setup help from the LibreRouter team. This feature is planed for the near future and details not yet completed.

Migrating from existing LibreNet6 setups

Now that the server works, future work has to be done to migrate all existing setups to the new server. I’ll work on that over the next few month, independently of the GSoC.

Final thoughts

This was my second time to participate in the Google Summer of Code and for a LibreMesh project. I’m happy they were satisfied with my last years project as they chose me again this year. The last years project took quite some time until users started to use it, however I’m happy to see it now being used on a daily basis. In the future I’m trying to improve LibreNet6 just as active as the image server.

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