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<h2>Frequently Asked Questions</h2>
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<li> <a href="#GS">Getting Started</a>
     <li> <a href="#GS-1">How do I start a project?</a>
     <li> <a href="#GS-2">How do I join a project?</a>
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     <li> <a href="#GS-3">I have an Emulab account. Now what?</a>
     <li> <a href="#GS-4">Can I be in more than one project?</a>
     <li> <a href="#GS-5">Can I change my Emulab password?</a>
     <li> <a href="#GS-6">Where do I get help?</a>
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<li> <a href="#UTT">Using the Testbed</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-1">Is there a tutorial?</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-1A">How many nodes can I ask for?</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-2">Do I get root access on my nodes?</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-3">Do my nodes have consoles I can look at?</a>
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     <li> <a href="#UTT-4">Can I reboot (power cycle) my nodes?</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-5">Where do I store files needed by my experiment?</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-6">Are my files on <b>users.emulab.net</b>
                           backed up (filesaved)?</a>
     <li> <a href="#UTT-7">Are the nodes in my experiment backed up
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<li> <a href="#HDS">Hardware setup</a>
     <li> <a href="#HDS-1">How many nodes are there?</a>
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     <li> <a href="#HDS-2">How many nodes are currently available?</a>
     <li> <a href="#HDS-3">How many ethernet cards are on each node?</a>
     <li> <a href="#HDS-4">Can I do traffic shaping on my links?</a>
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<li> <a href="#SWS">Software setup</a>
     <li> <a href="#SWS-1">What OS do the nodes run?</a>
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     <li> <a href="#SWS-2">How do I select which OS to run on each node?</a>
     <li> <a href="#SWS-3">Can I load my own software (RPMs) on my nodes?</a>
     <li> <a href="#SWS-4">Can I schedule programs to run
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                           automatically when a node boots?</a>
     <li> <a href="#SWS-5">How can I turn on routing or set up routes
			   automatically in my nodes?</a>
     <li> <a href="#SWS-6">How does my software determine when other
                           nodes in my experiment are ready?</a>
     <li> <a href="#SWS-7">Can I run my own Operating System?</a>
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<li> <a href="#SEC">Security Issues</a>
     <li> <a href="#SEC-1">Is Emulab Firewalled?</a>
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<a NAME="GS"></a>
<h3>Getting Started</h3>
<li><a NAME="GS-1"></a>
    <h3>How do I start a project?</h3>
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    If you are new to the Testbed, simply click on the "Start Project"
    link on the Emulab <a href="https://www.emulab.net">Home
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    Page</a>. You will need to fill in the forms with your personal
    information and information about the project. Then click on the
    "Submit" button. Within a few days you will be contacted via email
    with an approval message. More information about starting projects
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    can be found in <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=auth.html">
    Authorization Page</a>.
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    If you already have an Emulab account, and wish to start a second
    project, first log into the Web Interface. Then select the "Start
    Project" link; all of the personal information will already be
    filled in. You will need to complete just the project information

<li><a NAME="GS-2"></a>
    <h3>How do I join a project?</h3>
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    If you are new to the Testbed, simply click on the "Join Project"
    link on the Emulab <a href="https://www.emulab.net">Home
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    Page</a>. You will need to fill in the form with your personal
    information, and provide the name of the project you are trying to
    join (typically, the <i>Project Leader</i> will have told you the
    name of the project). Then click on the "Submit" button, and wait
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    for the project leader to approve you.  When approved you will
    receive an email message saying so, and you can then log into the
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<li><a NAME="GS-3"></a>
    <h3>I have an Emulab account. Now what?</h3>
    Once you have been approved to start (or join) your first project,
    you will be able to log into Emulab's user machine,
    <b>users.emulab.net</b>. We require that all Emulab users use ssh. For
    example, if your Emulab account name is "joe", then you would do:
	ssh users.emulab.net -l joe		</pre>
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    Your password starts out the same as the password you initially
    supplied to the Start (or Join) web page. The skeleton <i>dot</i>
    files that are provided to all new Emulab users will contain
    <tt>/usr/testbed/bin</tt> in the <tt>PATH</tt> setting. This
    directory holds a number of utilities and programs that some (but
    not all) Emulab users will need in order to conduct experiments.

<li><a NAME="GS-4"></a>
    <h3>Can I be in more than one project?</h3>
    Yes. You may join (and/or start) as many projects as you like,
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    subject to Emulab <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=policies.html">
    administrative policies</a>.
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<li><a NAME="GS-5"></a>
    <h3>Can I change my Emulab password?</h3>
    Yes. You can change your Emulab Web password and your Emulab login
    password (the password you use to log into <b>users.emulab.net</b>, as
    well as nodes in your experiments). To change your Web password,
    simply click on the "Update User Information" in the menu to your
    left, and then enter your new password in the location provided. 
    To change your login password, use the unix <tt>passwd</tt>
    utility when logged into <b>users.emulab.net</b>. 

<li><a NAME="GS-6"></a>
    <h3>Where do I get help?</h3>
    If you cannot find an answer to your question in the
    <a href="doc.php3">Emulab Documentation</a>, then you can
    send us an <a href="emailus.php3">email message</a>. We will try
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    to answer your question as quickly as we can.

Leigh B. Stoller's avatar
Leigh B. Stoller committed
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<a NAME="UTT"></a>
<h3>Using the Testbed</h3>
<li><a NAME="UTT-1"></a>
    <h3>Is there a tutorial?</h3>
    Yes, we have an extensive <a href="tutorial/tutorial.php3">tutorial</a>
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    on using the Testbed.

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<li><a NAME="UTT-1A"></a>
    <h3>How many nodes can I ask for?</h3>
    You can ask for as many nodes as are currently available! You can
    click on the "Node Reservation Status" link at your left to see
    how many nodes are currently free. If you ask for more than are
    currently available, your experiment will be rejected (you
    will receive email noification shortly after you submit your NS
    file to the web interface).

    <em>We urge all new Emulab users to begin with a small 3-4 node
    experiment so that you will become familiar with NS syntax and the
    practical aspects of Emulab operation.</em>

<li><a NAME="UTT-2"></a>
    <h3>Do I get root access on my nodes?</h3>
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    Yes. Project leaders get root access to all of the nodes in all of
    the experiments that are running in their project. Project members
    get root if their project leader grants them root access, when the
    leader approves the group <a href="#GS-1">membership request</a>.
    Root privileges are granted via the <code>sudo</code> command. The
    <a href="tutorial/tutorial.php3#RootAccess">tutorial</a> describes
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    this in more detail.
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<li><a NAME="UTT-3"></a>
    <h3>Do my nodes have consoles I can look at?</h3>
    Yes. Each of the PCs has its own serial console line that you can
    interact with using the unix <tt>tip</tt> utility. To "tip" to
    "pc01" in your experiment, ssh into <b>users.emulab.net</b>, and
    then type <tt>tip pc01</tt> at the unix prompt. You may then
    interact with the serial console.
    The Sharks also have serial console lines, but because of the
    limited number of serial ports available on <b>users.emulab.net</b>, only
    one Shark, the last or "eighth", on each shelf has a console line
    attached. To tip to that shark, you would type <tt>tip shXX</tt>
    at the unix prompt, where "XX" is the shark shelf number. The
    shark shelf number is the first digit in the name. Using shark
    sh16-8 as an example, the shelf number is sixteen, and the number
    of the node on the shelf is eight.

<li><a NAME="UTT-4"></a>
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    <h3>Can I reboot (power cycle) my nodes?</h3>
    Yes. Each of the PCs is independently power controlled. If your
    node becomes wedged, or otherwise unresponsive, you can use the
    <tt>node_reboot</tt> command, as discussed in the
    <a href="tutorial/tutorial.php3#Wedged">Emulab Tutorial.</a>
    The Sharks are also power controlled, but because of the limited
    number of power ports available, the entire shelf of 8 sharks is
    on a single controller. The <tt>node_reboot</tt> does its best to
    cleanly reboot individual sharks, but if a single shark is
    unresponsive, the entire shelf will be power cycled.

<li><a NAME="UTT-5"></a>
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    <h3>Where do I store files needed by my experiment?</h3>
    Each project has its own directory, rooted at <tt>/proj</tt>,
    which is available via NFS to all of the nodes in experiments
    running in that project. For example, when the "RON" project was
    created, a directory called /proj/RON was also created. This
    directory is owned by the project creator, and is in the unix
    group "RON." Its permission (mode) is 770; read/write/execute
    permitted by the project creator and by all of the members of the
    project RON, but protected against all access by people outside
    the RON project.
    Project members are encouraged to store any files needed by their
    experiments in the corresponding /proj project directory. 

<li><a NAME="UTT-6"></a>
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    <h3>Are my files on <b>users.emulab.net</b> backed up (filesaved)?</h3>
    Yes. All of the files in your home directory on /users, and all of
    the files in your project directory in /proj are filesaved. While
    we can restore lost files in an emergency, we encourage you to
    back up critical data on your own to avoid (possibly long) delays
    in conducting your experiments.
<li><a NAME="UTT-7"></a>
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    <h3>Are the nodes in my experiment backed up (filesaved)?</h3>
    No! The nodes in your experiment are not filesaved. Any changes
    you make to the local filesystems will be lost if the event of a
    disk failure. We plan to provide a mechanism for experimenters to
    create snapshots of their node state, but that is not done yet. In
    the meantime, any files that must not be lost should be stored in
    the project directory (/proj/<project_name>), which is available
    via NFS to all of the nodes in your experiment. You may also store
    files in your home directory (/users/<login>), also available via
    NFS to all of your nodes, but that is not the preferred location
    since quotas on /users are relatively small.


<a NAME="HDS"></a>
<h3>Hardware Setup</h3>
<li><a NAME="HDS-1"></a>
    <h3>What kind of computers are used for my nodes?
<li><a NAME="HDS-2"></a>
    How many nodes are there?
<li><a NAME="HDS-3"></a>
    How many ethernet cards are on each node?</h3>
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    Please see the <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=hardware.html">
    Hardware Overview</a> page for a description and count of the
    computers that comprise the Testbed.
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<li><a NAME="HDS-4"></a>
    <h3>How many nodes are currently available (free)?</h3>
    If you click on the "Node Reservation Status" link in the menu to
    your left, you will see a summary of the number of nodes (by type)
    that are currently available, followed by a listing of the
    reservation status of each individual node.
<li><a NAME="HDS-5"></a>
    <h3>Can I do traffic shaping on my links?</h3>
    Yes! You can specify the delay, bandwidth, and packet loss rate
    between any two nodes in your topology. Bandwidth and delay are
    specified in the NS <tt>duplex-link</tt> statement, while packet
    loss rate is specified with the Emulab <tt>tb-set-link-loss</tt>
    extension to NS. You may also specify delay, bandwidth, and packet
    loss rate between nodes in a regular LAN.
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    Please see the
    <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=tutorial/nscommands.html">Extensions</a>
    page for a summary of all Emulab NS extensions, and the
    <a href = "tutorial/tutorial.php3">Emulab Tutorial</a> for an
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<a NAME="SWS"></a>
<h3>Software Setup</h3>
<li><a NAME="SWS-1"></a>
    <h3>What OS do the nodes run?</h3>
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    Please see the <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=software.html">
    Software Overview</a> page for a description of the Operating
    Systems that can be run on each of the Testbed nodes.
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<li><a NAME="SWS-2"></a>
    <h3>How do I select which OS to run on each node?</h3>
    When a choice of OS is available, you may specify which one you
    prefer for each node in the NS file using the Emulab
    <tt>tb-set-node-os</tt> extension to NS. When your experiment is
    configured, the appropriate disk image will be loaded on your
    nodes, and the selected operating system will boot up on each.
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    Please see the
    <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=tutorial/nscommands.html">Extensions</a>
    page for a summary of all Emulab NS extensions, and the
    <a href = "tutorial/tutorial.php3">Emulab Tutorial</a> for an
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<li><a NAME="SWS-3"></a>
    <h3>Can I load my own software (RPMs) on my nodes?</h3>
    Yes! If have an RPM (or more than one) that is appropriate for
    loading on the OS you have selected, you can arrange to have them
    loaded automatically when your experiment is configured. The
    Emulab NS extension <tt>tb-set-node-rpms</tt> is used in the NS
    file to specify a list of RPMS to install. You may specify a
    different list for each node in the experiment. When the node
    first boots after the experiment is configured, each of the RPMs
    will be installed (but only RPMs that have not already been
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    Please see the
    <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=tutorial/nscommands.html">Extensions</a>
    page for a summary of all Emulab NS extensions, and the
    <a href = "tutorial/tutorial.php3">Emulab Tutorial</a> for an
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<li><a NAME="SWS-4"></a>
    <h3>Can I schedule programs to run automatically when a node boots?</h3>
    Yes! You can arrange to run a single program or script when your
    node boots. The script is run as the UID of the experiment
    creator, and is run after all other node configuration (including
    RPM installation) has completed. The exit status of the script (or
    program) is reported back and is made available for you to view in
    Experiment Information link in the menu at your left. The Emulab
    NS extension <tt>tb-set-node-startup</tt> is used in the NS file
    to specify the path of the script (or program) to run. You may
    specify a different program for each node in the experiment.
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    Please see the
    <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=tutorial/nscommands.html">Extensions</a>
    page for a summary of all Emulab NS extensions, and the
    <a href = "tutorial/tutorial.php3">Emulab Tutorial</a> for an
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<li><a NAME="SWS-5"></a>
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    <h3>How can I turn on routing or set up routes automatically 
    in my nodes?</h3>
    You can use command mentioned above (<tt>tb-set-node-startup</tt>)
    in your NS file to specify a simple script in your home directory
    that will do this. For instance, if I had a node called router,
    and wanted to turn on routing in it, I would add these two lines
    to my NS file:
tb-set-node-os $router FBSD-STD
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tb-set-node-startup $router /users/myname/router-startup
    That would cause router to boot FreeBSD, and call my
    router-startup script, which should look like this:
/usr/site/bin/su1 sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=1
/usr/site/bin/su1 sysctl -w net.inet.ip.fastforwarding=1
exit 0
    That will make sure that routing gets turned on when my router
    node boots. Now say I have a client on one side of the router,
    and a server on the other side, and I want to establish a route
    from the client to the server through the router, and vice
    versa. I would add these lines to my NS file:
tb-set-node-startup $client /users/myname/clientroutecmd
tb-set-node-startup $server /users/myname/serverroutecmd
    This will have the client and the server each call a small script
    to set up routes. To add a route (on client) to interface 0 of the
    server through router, I would run a script called clientroutecmd
    that looks like this (for a node running FreeBSD):
sudo route add server-0 router
exit 0
    Similarly, to add a route (on server) to interface 0 of the client
    through router, I would use this serverroutecmd script:
sudo route add client-0 router
exit 0
    That should do it. We now will have a router node that really
    routes and forwards packets, and a client and a server that know
    how to talk to each other through a gateway router.
    Please see the
    <a href="docwrapper.php3?docname=tutorial/nscommands.html">Extensions</a>
    page for a summary of all Emulab NS extensions, and the
    <a href = "tutorial/tutorial.php3">Emulab Tutorial</a> for an
<li><a NAME="SWS-6"></a>
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    <h3>How does my software determine when other nodes in my
    experiment are ready?</h3>
    If your application requires synchronization to determine when all
    of the nodes in your experiment have started up and are ready to
    proceed, then you can use the Testbed's <i>ready bits</i>
    mechanism. The ready bits are really just a way of determining how
    many nodes have issued the <b>ready</b> command, and is returned
    to the application as a simple N of M string, where N is the
    number that have reported in, and M is the total number of nodes
    in the experiment. Applications can use this as a very simplistic
    form of barrier synchronization, albeit one that can be used just
    once and one that does not actually block!
    Use of the ready bits is described in more detail in the <a href =
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    "tutorial/tutorial.php3">Emulab Tutorial</a> and in the <a href =
    "docwrapper.php3?docname=doc/tmcd.html"> Testbed Master Control
    Daemon</a> documentation.
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<li><a NAME="SWS-7"></a>
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    <h3>Can I run my own Operating System?</h3>
    Yes! You can run your own OS on any of the PCs (the Sharks do not
    support custom operating systems as this time, however you can run
    <a href = "http://www.cs.utah.edu/flux/oskit/">OSKit</a> kernels
    on the PCs or the Sharks). Each of the PCs is partitioned so that
    the 4th DOS slice (about 6GB) is unused and available to be loaded
    with whatever OS you want to run. The only requirement is that
    your image contain a proper DOS boot record in the first sector
    (first sector of the 4th DOS slice) which can be invoked by the
    DOS Master Boot Record in the first sector of the disk. There are
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    other minor requirements which are detailed in the <a
    href="tutorial/tutorial.php3#CustomOS">Custom OS</a> documentation
    page. The procedure for creating and installing your custom OS are
    also described in this document.
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<a NAME="SEC"></a>
<h3>Security Issues</h3>
<li><a NAME="SEC-1"></a>
    <h3>Is Emulab Firewalled?</h3>
    Yes. Emulab blocks all of the <i>low numbered</i> ports (ports
    below 1024), with the exception of port 22 (Secure Shell). This is
    for the protection of experimentors, as well as to ensure that an
    errant application cannot become the source of a Denial of Service
    attack to sites outside of Emulab. If your application requires
    external access to other low numbered ports, please contact us to
    make special arrangements.