For this guide, you will need a laptop/desktop with a recent version of a Linux distro that is supported by Mininet. For this guide, the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release was used. Some tweaks maybe required to Mini-NDN’s file for other distros. Note that you’ll need administrative privileges in order to download and install extra packages and also to execute Mini-NDN.

Using Vagrantfile

With Vagrant installed, simply do vagrant up which will bring up an Ubuntu 18.04 virtual machine and install Mini-NDN and all its dependencies on it. Please make sure to tweak the CPU core count (default 4 cores) and RAM (default 4GB) according to your needs before doing vagrant up. Mini-NDN can be found in /home/vagrant/mini-ndn which is a symlink to /vagrant if Vagrantfile was used from within mini-ndn cloned on the host. Otherwise it is an actual clone of mini-ndn.


Mini-NDN depends on Mininet and NDN software to be installed in the system. If you have all the dependencies (see sections below) installed in the system simply clone this repository and run:

./ -i

The -i option uses develop to point the system install to the current directory. So any changes made to the cloned mini-ndn folder will be used without having to install it again to the system. If you do not need to modify the core of Mini-NDN, then install (or pip install .) can be used directly. See experiment for more information on running.

If you don’t have the dependencies, the following command will install them from source along with Mini-NDN. The dependencies include Mininet, NDN core (ndn-cxx, NFD, Chronosync, PSync, NLSR), Infoedit, and NDN Common Client Libraries (CCL). If you do not wish to install the master versions of the NDN core or want to switch to specific versions, you can edit the with release tags/specific versions.


If you wish to scale Mini-NDN experiments and do not have use for security extensions in your emulations, you should apply the ndn-cxx patch given in the patches folder using ./ -p before running the following commands. The ndn-cxx patch is taken from ndnSIM which provides an in-memory dummy KeyChain to reduce CPU computations. After these patches are applied sleep time after NFD, nfdc, NLSR, etc. is not required making the startup MUCH faster and scaling of Mini-NDN MUCH better.

./ -a

This pulls the NDN software from Github to ndn-src folder under the project.


If any changes are made to ndn-src folder, please don’t forgot to re-install the sources to the system.

To install without CCL, use:

./ -mni

To install in “quiet” mode (without user interaction), use:

./ -qa


The order of the flag -q is important to ensure that the environment is ready for a quiet install.

See -h for detailed options.

Installing Dependencies


Mini-NDN is based on Mininet. To install Mininet:

git clone --depth 1

After Mininet source is on your system, run the following command to install Mininet core dependencies and Open vSwitch:

./util/ -nv

To check if Mininet is working correctly, run this test:

sudo mn --test pingall

This will print out a series of statements that show the test setup and the results of the test. Look for Results: two-thirds of the way down where it will indicate the percentage of dropped packets. Your results should show “0% dropped (2/2 received)”.

NOTE: Mini-NDN, while providing a high level of emulation of hosts, requires programs to be installed onto your computer. It will not work if they are not installed. If you do not want NDN software installed onto your computer, you can use a virtual machine, which can be quite simply set up with the provided Vagrantfile.

NDN dependencies

Each node in Mini-NDN will run the official implementation of NDN installed on your system. The following dependencies are needed:

Mini-NDN uses NFD, NLSR, and ndn-tools.


Please do not try to install NDN software from both the source (GitHub) and PPA (apt). It will not work in most cases! If you used ./ -a in the past but now want to use apt, please run sudo ./waf uninstall in all the NDN projects before proceeding with apt. Similarly, remove from apt if switching to source.

Please see the scaling-note to learn about disabling security for better scalability.

Note that all three of these can be installed from the Named Data PPA. Instructions for setting it up can be found in the NFD installation instructions. Note that PPA and installs from source cannot be mixed. You must completely remove PPA installs from the system if switching to source and vice-versa.

For PPA installs, if you are using a custom nfd.conf file in an experiment, you should place it in /usr/local/etc/ndn/ rather than /etc/ndn/. This is to avoid a bug from the default configuration file for the PPA, which is incompatible with Mini-NDN.


Infoedit is used to edit configuration files for NFD and NLSR. To install infoedit:

git clone --depth 1
cd infoedit
sudo make install


You can execute the following example to bring up the Mini-NDN command line with NFD and NLSR running on each node:

sudo python examples/

You can use these steps to run the sample pingall experiment:

  1. Issue the command: sudo python examples/nlsr/
  2. When the mini-ndn> CLI prompt appears, the experiment has finished. On the Mini-NDN CLI, issue the command exit to exit the experiment.
  3. Issue the command: grep -c content /tmp/minindn/*/ping-data/*.txt. Each file should report a count of 50.
  4. Issue the command: grep -c timeout /tmp/minindn/*/ping-data/*.txt. Each file should report a count of 0.