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Build your own Testbox


This page contains instructions for sites interested in building their own test-boxes, either for public or private experiments. The procedure is relatively straight-forward.

  1. Fill in the order form.
  2. After you have filled in one of these forms, the RIPE NCC will send you a customised version of the TTM Contract and the TTM Terms and Conditions. Please sign this form and return it to the RIPE NCC. Also pay the invoice for the service fee.
  3. Find a machine that meets the minimum requirements, see below.
  4. Create a boot floppy for the initial setup of the machine.
  5. The RIPE NCC will then download the software.

In case of a private experiment, the first two steps can be skipped. However, all support by the RIPE NCC ends after the software has been downloaded. Control of the box will be transferred back to you. In this setup, the box can only be used to measure to other boxes that you have configured yourself.

Supported Hardware

The following specifications are the minimum requirements to run the TTM software:

  • Processor:
    Intel Pentium IV or better
    A free PCI/PCI-X slot
    PCIe is not compatible with the current form factor of our GPS interface card.
  • Memory:
    512 Mb or more
  • Ethernet Card:
    Any card supported by FreeBSD
  • Harddisk:
    2 hard disks, EIDE/SATA, 10 Gb or more
    Our software for public experiments assumes that the machine has 2 disks.
  • Video card:
    Any video card capable of doing 25x80 characters.
  • GPS Receiver:
    Acutime Gold smart antenna
    Previous units from Trimble, the Palissade and the Acutime 2000, are supported but no longer available.
  • GPS Interface:
    Manufacturer: RIPE NCC
    An RS422 to RS232 interface, 3 pairs (2 down, 1 up), plus powersupply for the Trimble.

In general, any hardware configuration that supports the latest versions of the FreeBSD operating system out of the box will do. You can probably make it work with other configurations, but you are on your own there.


The next step is to download the a boot cd-rom from the RIPE NCC. This boot cd-rom will do the basic network setup, allowing NCC staff to remotely pull the latest version of the software to the box.

The boot floppy and all software on the test-box are distributed under the GNU Public License, even if a piece of source does not explicitly say so.

Now download and create the boot-floppy:

Insert a blank cd-rom into your workstation and burn the iso image to it.

Then insert the cd-rom in your test-box, boot it and follow the instructions on the screen. This will do the initial setup of the test-box and connect it to the network. After the setup program finishes, check if the box is reachable from a machine on your network.

If the box is intended for public experiments, proceed by filling out the application form for the TTM measurements service.

After we have received your order, we will download the latest version of the test-box software, test it and include the machine in the measurement chain. We will notify you when the machine is up and running.

If the box is intended for private experiments, now contact the test-box operators with the address of the box. We will then start a download of the latest version of the test-traffic software from our side. After a successful download, we will do a few basic checks, then notify you.

We will keep your email on file and notify you of any updates of the software unless you ask us otherwise.