Emulation of Computer Networks
A lightweight environment to experiment computer networking via emulation.
Understanding computer networks without performing practical experiments is really difficult, not to say it is almost impossible. Unfortunately, setting up a networking lab can be very expensive.
Netkit has been conceived as an environment for setting up and performing networking experiments at low cost and with little effort. It allows to "create" several virtual network devices (full-fledged routers, switches, computers, etc.) that can be easily interconnected in order to form a network on a single PC. Networking equipments are virtual but feature many of the characteristics of the real ones, including the configuration interface.
Emulating a network with Netkit is a matter of writing a shell script. The script takes care of starting (emulated) network devices and of interconnecting them as required. Netkit exploits open source software (mostly licensed under GPL) and is heavily based on the User Mode Linux (UML) variant of the linux kernel. The purpose of this project is to solve many of the difficulties and technicalities that a user could have in using UML for networking. We offer the users an easy-to-use-and-install package, which at the same time implements effective network emulation. Further, we provide a corpus of teaching material that can be used for courses at different levels.
More information about Netkit, as well as download links for the emulator itself, can be found on the Netkit web site.