CORE Documentation


CORE (Common Open Research Emulator) is a tool for building virtual networks. As an emulator, CORE builds a representation of a real computer network that runs in real time, as opposed to simulation, where abstract models are used. The live-running emulation can be connected to physical networks and routers. It provides an environment for running real applications and protocols, taking advantage of tools provided by the Linux operating system.

CORE is typically used for network and protocol research, demonstrations, application and platform testing, evaluating networking scenarios, security studies, and increasing the size of physical test networks.

Key Features


Topic Description
Architecture Overview of the architecture
Installation How to install CORE and its requirements
GUI How to use the GUI
(BETA) Python GUI How to use the BETA python based GUI
Python API Covers how to control core directly using python
gRPC API Covers how control core using gRPC
Distributed Details for running CORE across multiple servers
Node Types Overview of node types supported within CORE
CTRLNET How to use control networks to communicate with nodes from host
Services Overview of provided services and creating custom ones
EMANE Overview of EMANE integration and integrating custom EMANE models
Performance Notes on performance when using CORE
Developers Guide Overview on how to contribute to CORE


The CORE project was derived from the open source IMUNES project from the University of Zagreb in 2004. In 2006, changes for CORE were released back to that project, some items of which were adopted. Marko Zec is the primary developer from the University of Zagreb responsible for the IMUNES (GUI) and VirtNet (kernel) projects. Ana Kukec and Miljenko Mikuc are known contributors.

Jeff Ahrenholz has been the primary Boeing developer of CORE, and has written this manual. Tom Goff designed the Python framework and has made significant contributions. Claudiu Danilov, Rod Santiago, Kevin Larson, Gary Pei, Phil Spagnolo, and Ian Chakeres have contributed code to CORE. Dan Mackley helped develop the CORE API, originally to interface with a simulator. Jae Kim and Tom Henderson have supervised the project and provided direction.

Copyright (c) 2005-2020, the Boeing Company.