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Open Source Working Group Minutes RIPE 82

Tuesday, 18 May 13:00-14:00 (UTC+2)
WG co-Chairs: Martin Winter, Ondrej Filip 
Scribe: Antony Gollan
Status: Final

1. Administrative Matters

Working Group Chairs

This presentation is available at:

There were no changes to the agenda.

The minutes from RIPE 81 were approved.

2. Mlxtoolkit: A Tool to Ease Life With Switchdev

Alexander Zubkov, Qrator Labs CZ s.r.o.

This presentation is available at:

Sia Saatpoor, Logius, asked what was the value of these or similar static tools, given software-defined and intent-based networking, where the emphasis was on automation and less human interaction in development.

Alexander said of course there were many tools that allowed someone to make software-defined or programmable configurations, but there were still tools you needed to use by hand, and you did not need complex tools to configure one switch.

Ondřej Filip, Open Source WG Co-chair asked what Alexander’s motivation was to create the tool and where he used it.

Alexander said they used it in production. The configuration was generated but they didn’t have many switches and mostly implemented configurations manually. Of course, if they had larger elements, they would look into more complex automation technologies.

Michael Richardson, Sandelman Software Works, asked if the user saw LLDP messages in the Linux host when using Switchdev.

Alexander replied that they did. They had LLDPMON running on the switch host.

Ondřej asked why Alexander had chosen Perl.

Alexander said because he knew Perl and was not fond of Python.

Blake Willis said the tool was very valuable and the Linux permit was for the stats.

Martin Winter asked if Alexander saw it working with other Switchdev targets beside mlx.

Alexander said he hadn’t written it, but it used common Linux tools. If the structure of the configuration and the features supported by other switches were similar, he thought there would be no problems to use the tool, or it could be adapted easily. He added that there were not so many supported by Switchdev currently and he hoped that would change some day.

3. Open Source for the IX-API

Marcos Sanz Grossón, DE-CIX

This presentation is available at:

There were no questions. Updates Since RIPE 71

Csaba Mate, Lead Developer and Frederic Loui, Project Leader

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Alexander Zubkov, Qrator Labs, asked if they had their own implementations of things like OpenVPN and Wireguard.

Frederic said they had an open implementation of both. He referred him to the blog linked in his slides, where his most recent article was about how to create a Wireguard tunnel. He said the code was there, and he encouraged him to check it out and give feedback.

Wolfgang Tremmel, DE-CIX Academy, asked if they could make the website more eye-friendly.

Frederic said they were not enough people to provide such a “Swiss Army knife” style netware. What they were planning to do was provide more documentation around the Freertr but for now he imagined the core Freertr would be kept to its minimum. He said that while it might seem quite minimal at first, once you got used to it, you saw that it had everything you needed to get started. Of course, they didn’t have shiny documentation, but they were working on this now. He hoped to have help from people in the community who wanted to use this. From RARE they only had four people and they were not working full-time on this. He added that they were interested in cooperating with any control plane project. They were not claiming they were the only solution, especially as the history of BGP breakages had shown that having the choice between different options/vendors was good, as they could complement and learn from one another. He added that RARE Freertr was data/control-plane independent.

Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC, asked how he could install Free.rtr on the UNBT router in his house. Alternatively, he asked what hardware would be suitable for a house with two 500Mbit/s external connections.

Frederic said that he had started a series on his blog called Small Office/Home Office Free.rtr 101. He said Daniel could find the whole solution there. He had implemented a small router with a FTTH 100Gbit/s link and he thought it would fit Daniel’s needs. Frederik said he was able to set up a multiple Wireguard tunnel with his office headquarters, OpenVPN and BGP that was working well. He added that he had forgotten to note that it was both IPv4/IPv6 compliant, and so everything on his home WiFi was IPv6-compliant.

Daniel asked if the UBNT Ubiquity hardware platform was supported.

Frederic said they could take that offline to discuss further, but as it was Linux-based he thought they were good to go. He added that the URL for his blog was and all the links were in his slides.

Martin said he had looked at their website and he hadn’t seen any license information in the source code.

Frederik said freerouter was using a free license, it was an MLT-like license. He said everything related to what they had done since 2019 was released under the Apache open license.

Martin asked if they could publish some of this information as otherwise that might scare some people off.

Frederik said he would relay that suggestion to his colleague, as he might want to address this point. He said he was pretty sure this was at least in the package he was using in Debian, which had a license file since that was a must-have.

End of session.