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If Docker is installed, the default iptable rules will block CORE traffic


CORE currently supports and provides the following installation options, with the package option being preferred.


Any computer capable of running Linux should be able to run CORE. Since the physical machine will be hosting numerous containers, as a general rule you should select a machine having as much RAM and CPU resources as possible.

  • Linux Kernel v3.3+
  • iproute2 4.5+ is a requirement for bridge related commands
  • nftables compatible kernel and nft command line tool

Supported Linux Distributions

Plan is to support recent Ubuntu and CentOS LTS releases.


  • Ubuntu - 18.04, 20.04, 22.04
  • CentOS - 7.8


The following is a list of files that would be installed after installation.

  • executables
    • <prefix>/bin/{vcmd, vnode}
    • can be adjusted using script based install , package will be /usr
  • python files
    • virtual environment /opt/core/venv
    • local install will be local to the python version used
      • python3 -c "import core; print(core.__file__)"
    • scripts {core-daemon, core-cleanup, etc}
      • virtualenv /opt/core/venv/bin
      • local /usr/local/bin
  • configuration files
    • /etc/core/{core.conf, logging.conf}
  • ospf mdr repository files when using script based install
    • <repo>/../ospf-mdr

Installed Scripts

The following python scripts are provided.

Name Description
core-cleanup tool to help removed lingering core created containers, bridges, directories
core-cli tool to query, open xml files, and send commands using gRPC
core-daemon runs the backed core server providing a gRPC API
core-gui starts GUI
core-python provides a convenience for running the core python virtual environment
core-route-monitor tool to help monitor traffic across nodes and feed that to SDT
core-service-update tool to update automate modifying a legacy service to match current naming

Upgrading from Older Release

Please make sure to uninstall any previous installations of CORE cleanly before proceeding to install.

Clearing out a current install from 7.0.0+, making sure to provide options used for install (-l or -p).

inv uninstall <options>

Previous install was built from source for CORE release older than 7.0.0:

sudo make uninstall
make clean
./ clean

Installed from previously built packages:

# centos
sudo yum remove core
# ubuntu
sudo apt remove core

Installation Examples

The below links will take you to sections providing complete examples for installing CORE and related utilities on fresh installations. Otherwise, a breakdown for installing different components and the options available are detailed below.

Package Based Install

Starting with 9.0.0 there are pre-built rpm/deb packages. You can retrieve the rpm/deb package from releases page.

The built packages will require and install system level dependencies, as well as running a post install script to install the provided CORE python wheel. A similar uninstall script is ran when uninstalling and would require the same options as given, during the install.


PYTHON defaults to python3 for installs below, CORE requires python3.9+, pip, tk compatibility for python gui, and venv for virtual environments

Examples for install:

# recommended to upgrade to the latest version of pip before installation
# in python, can help avoid building from source issues
sudo <python> -m pip install --upgrade pip
# install vcmd/vnoded, system dependencies,
# and core python into a venv located at /opt/core/venv
sudo <yum/apt> install -y ./<package>
# disable the venv and install to python directly
sudo NO_VENV=1 <yum/apt> install -y ./<package>
# change python executable used to install for venv or direct installations
sudo PYTHON=python3.9 <yum/apt> install -y ./<package>
# disable venv and change python executable
sudo NO_VENV=1 PYTHON=python3.9 <yum/apt> install -y ./<package>
# skip installing the python portion entirely, as you plan to carry this out yourself
# core python wheel is located at /opt/core/core-<version>-py3-none-any.whl
sudo NO_PYTHON=1 <yum/apt> install -y ./<package>
# install python wheel into python of your choosing
sudo <python> -m pip install /opt/core/core-<version>-py3-none-any.whl

Example for removal, requires using the same options as install:

# remove a standard install
sudo <yum/apt> remove core
# remove a local install
sudo NO_VENV=1 <yum/apt> remove core
# remove install using alternative python
sudo PYTHON=python3.9 <yum/apt> remove core
# remove install using alternative python and local install
sudo NO_VENV=1 PYTHON=python3.9 <yum/apt> remove core
# remove install and skip python uninstall
sudo NO_PYTHON=1 <yum/apt> remove core

Installing OSPF MDR

You will need to manually install OSPF MDR for routing nodes, since this is not provided by the package.

git clone
cd ospf-mdr
./configure --disable-doc --enable-user=root --enable-group=root \
  --with-cflags=-ggdb --sysconfdir=/usr/local/etc/quagga --enable-vtysh \
make -j$(nproc)
sudo make install

When done see Post Install.

Script Based Install

The script based installation will install system level dependencies, python library and dependencies, as well as dependencies for building CORE.

The script based install also automatically builds and installs OSPF MDR, used by default on routing nodes. This can optionally be skipped.

Installaion will carry out the following steps:

  • installs system dependencies for building core
  • builds vcmd/vnoded and python grpc files
  • installs core into poetry managed virtual environment or locally, if flag is passed
  • installs systemd service pointing to appropriate python location based on install type
  • clone/build/install working version of OPSF MDR


Installing locally comes with its own risks, it can result it potential dependency conflicts with system package manager installed python dependencies


Provide a prefix that will be found on path when running as sudo, if the default prefix /usr/local will not be valid

The following tools will be leveraged during installation:

Tool Description
pip used to install pipx
pipx used to install standalone python tools (invoke, poetry)
invoke used to run provided tasks (install, uninstall, reinstall, etc)
poetry used to install python virtual environment or building a python wheel

First we will need to clone and navigate to the CORE repo.

# clone CORE repo
git clone
cd core

# install dependencies to run installation task
# skip installing system packages, due to using python built from source

# run the following or open a new terminal
source ~/.bashrc

# Ubuntu
inv install
# CentOS
inv install -p /usr
# optionally skip python system packages
inv install --no-python
# optionally skip installing ospf mdr
inv install --no-ospf

# install command options
Usage: inv[oke] [--core-opts] install [--options] [other tasks here ...]

  install core, poetry, scripts, service, and ospf mdr

  -d, --dev                          install development mode
  -i STRING, --install-type=STRING   used to force an install type, can be one of the following (redhat, debian)
  -l, --local                        determines if core will install to local system, default is False
  -n, --no-python                    avoid installing python system dependencies
  -o, --[no-]ospf                    disable ospf installation
  -p STRING, --prefix=STRING         prefix where scripts are installed, default is /usr/local
  -v, --verbose

When done see Post Install.

Unsupported Linux Distribution

For unsupported OSs you could attempt to do the following to translate an installation to your use case.

  • make sure you have python3.9+ with venv support
  • make sure you have python3 invoke available to leverage <repo>/
# this will print the commands that would be ran for a given installation
# type without actually running them, they may help in being used as
# the basis for translating to your OS
inv install --dry -v -p <prefix> -i <install type>

Dockerfile Based Install

You can leverage one of the provided Dockerfiles, to run and launch CORE within a Docker container.

Since CORE nodes will leverage software available within the system for a given use case, make sure to update and build the Dockerfile with desired software.

# clone core
git clone
cd core
# build image
sudo docker build -t core -f dockerfiles/Dockerfile.<centos,ubuntu> .
# start container
sudo docker run -itd --name core -e DISPLAY -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix:rw --privileged core
# enable xhost access to the root user
xhost +local:root
# launch core-gui
sudo docker exec -it core core-gui

When done see Post Install.

Installing EMANE


Installing EMANE for the virtual environment is known to work for 1.21+

The recommended way to install EMANE is using prebuilt packages, otherwise you can follow their instructions for installing from source. Installation information can be found here.

There is an invoke task to help install the EMANE bindings into the CORE virtual environment, when needed. An example for running the task is below and the version provided should match the version of the packages installed.

You will also need to make sure, you are providing the correct python binary where CORE is being used.

Also, these EMANE bindings need to be built using protoc 3.19+. So make sure that is available and being picked up on PATH properly.

Examples for building and installing EMANE python bindings for use in CORE:

# if your system does not have protoc 3.19+
mkdir protoc
unzip -d protoc
git clone
cd emane
git checkout v1.3.3
PYTHON=/opt/core/venv/bin/python ./configure --prefix=/usr
cd src/python
PATH=/opt/protoc/bin:$PATH make
/opt/core/venv/bin/python -m pip install .

# when your system has protoc 3.19+
# example version tag v1.3.3
# overriding python used to leverage the default virtualenv install
PYTHON=/opt/core/venv/bin/python inv install-emane -e <version tag>
# local install that uses whatever python3 refers to
inv install-emane -e <version tag>

Post Install

After installation completes you are now ready to run CORE.

Resolving Docker Issues

If you have Docker installed, by default it will change the iptables forwarding chain to drop packets, which will cause issues for CORE traffic.

You can temporarily resolve the issue with the following command:

sudo iptables --policy FORWARD ACCEPT

Alternatively, you can configure Docker to avoid doing this, but will likely break normal Docker networking usage. Using the setting below will require a restart.

Place the file contents below in /etc/docker/docker.json

  "iptables": false

Resolving Path Issues

One problem running CORE you may run into, using the virtual environment or locally can be issues related to your path.

To add support for your user to run scripts from the virtual environment:

# can add to ~/.bashrc
export PATH=$PATH:/opt/core/venv/bin

This will not solve the path issue when running as sudo, so you can do either of the following to compensate.

# run command passing in the right PATH to pickup from the user running the command
sudo env PATH=$PATH core-daemon

# add an alias to ~/.bashrc or something similar
alias sudop='sudo env PATH=$PATH'
# now you can run commands like so
sudop core-daemon

Running CORE

The following assumes I have resolved PATH issues and setup the sudop alias.

# in one terminal run the server daemon using the alias above
sudop core-daemon
# in another terminal run the gui client

Enabling Service

After installation, the core service is not enabled by default. If you desire to use the service, run the following commands.

sudo systemctl enable core-daemon
sudo systemctl start core-daemon