Get NFD Connected

Named Data Networking (NDN) is a potential future Internet architecture designed as a distribution network. My last post described how to deploy NDN Forwarding Daemon (NFD) on a low end box. Now it's time to get it connected.

The procedures and experiences in this post are applicable to any NDN node. If you aren't using a low end box, you may follow the official guide to install binary packages or compile from source. This post assumes you have ndn-cxx, nfd, and ndnping installed. You need access to two machines with NFD running; they are referred to as "local" and "remote".

Connect to Another Machine

After installing NFD on your machine, you can connect to any other machine running NFD. Although NDN can run natively above Ethernet, there isn't a global scale native NDN network yet because NDN is still in its early stage. Instead, NDN can run as an overlay network above traditional IP network. You can specify the IP address and port number of the remote NFD, so that NDN packets are encapsulated into UDP or TCP packets and sent to the remote NFD.

Before going further, ensure NFD is started on both local and remote machines:

Deploy NDN Forwarding Daemon in Low End Box

Named Data Networking (NDN) is a future Internet architecture designed as a distribution network. To access NDN network from a Linux or OSX machine, one can install NDN Platform, a collection of software packages including the protocol stack and critical applications. NDN Forwarding Daemon (NFD), a core component of the architecture, serves as a software router and runs both on network routers as well as on end hosts to communicate with routers.

NDN Platform has new version releases periodically, and binary packages are provided with each platform release. However, the developement of NDN software, including NFD, happens much faster than platform releases. If one wants to run bleeding edge software, those packages must be built from source code available on GitHub.

As a geeky low end box user, I'm thinking: can I run NDN platform on a Linux box with a small amount of memory? The box I'm talking about is an OpenVZ container from LowEndSpirit UK location, with only 128MB memory and no swap space. To make the challenge more interesting, I want to avoid apt-get, and run bleeding edge version built from source code.

Building on the Box

I quickly installed compilers and dependencies (such as libboost-all-dev which takes several minutes to download) with apt-get, and cloned the git repositories for NFD and other essential NDN Platform packages. Given that the box has small memory and slow CPU, I can expect the compilation process to take a few hours, just like 8 years ago when I was compiling Apache on a library computer.