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Mininet emulator in Software Defined Networks

  • Last Updated : 25 Nov, 2021

Mininet is a tool for software-defined networks. It is an emulator of a network and it is used to visualize the switches and application of software-defined networks in a virtualized environment. It is also used to test the software-defined network devices and those using OpenFlow protocols. The switches used in Mininet are OpenFlow switches.

Mininet is majorly used as a learning tool to test, experiment, and learn about software-defined networks. Mininet is preferable because it is very fast and helps us to create customizable topologies. It is also very easy to use.

Methods to Install Mininet:

  1. Install Mininet as a virtual machine provided having a virtual box installed already
  2. By installing it directly from the source.
  3. By installing it from the package.
  4. By upgrading the currently existing Mininet.

On Downloading the Mininet we get –

1. Command-line : 
The Mininet command line is similar to that of the Linux command line, using it we can interact with the system. First, we need to type the Linux commands on the shell prompt later we type the Mininet command on the Mininet CLI.

Mininet commands:

  1. nodes: It displays all the mininet nodes available
  2. net: It displays the links between the nodes
  3. dump: It displays the information about all the nodes.

2. Mininet User interface : 
Actually, there is no exact user interface for the Mininet because everything in the Mininet is controlled either by python scripts or commands. But the Mininet can be controlled using Graphical User Interface while creating and visualizing the topology in the graphic environment.

3. Python interfaces : 
Mininet is available as a package and can be imported using python. We can also communicate and control the Mininet nodes by writing the scripts in python.

Features of Mininet :

  1. Mininet provides us the space to develop and test our software-defined network applications without the need to set up a physical environment.
  2. It gives us a network testbed thereby allowing us to develop and test applications that are using OpenFlow protocols.
  3. It can be used without programming also.
  4. It also gives us the flexibility to integrate python API, thereby paving the way for creating and experimenting with networks.
  5. It also has a CLI(Command Line Interface) which is aware of topology and OpenFlow thereby allowing us to debug or run network tests for our application.

Advantages of Mininet :

  1. It is very fast and takes very little time for booting.
  2. It is easy to install and use.
  3. It saves money because the emulators are cost-effective instead of testing with hardware devices.
  4. It is also very easy to connect with real-world network devices.
  5. It has high availability.
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