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8.2 KiB

gnrc_border_router using automatic configuration

This setup uses a single serial interface, ethos (Ethernet Over Serial) and UHCP (micro Host Configuration Protocol). Ethos multiplexes serial data to separate ethernet packets from shell commands. UHCP is in charge of configuring the wireless interface prefix and routes on the BR.

The script enables a ready-to-use BR in only one command.


This functionality works only on Linux machines. Mac OSX support will be added in the future (lack of native tap interface).


First, you need to compile ethos. Go to /dist/tools/ethos and type:

make clean all

Then, you need to compile UHCP. This tool is found in /dist/tools/uhcp. So, as for ethos:

make clean all

Afterwards, proceed to compile and flash gnrc_border_router to your board:

make clean all flash


Start the script by doing on dist/tools/ethos:

sudo sh /dev/ttyACMx tap0 2001:db8::/64

This will execute the needed commands to setup a tap interface and configure the BR. Notice that this will also configure 2001:db8::/64 as a prefix. This prefix should be announced to other motes through the wireless interface.

As said previously, ethos allows to send IP packets and shell commands. This is done through the same serial interface. By typing help you will get the list of available shell commands.

At this point you should be able to ping motes using their global address. For instance, if you use the gnrc_networking example on the mote, you can ping it from your machine with:

> ping6 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1

Just replace this address by your mote's address. Using ifconfig on the shell of your mote shows you the addresses of your mote, for instance:

Iface  7   HWaddr: 59:72  Channel: 26  Page: 0  NID: 0x23
            Long HWaddr: 5a:46:10:6e:f2:f5:d9:72 
            TX-Power: 0dBm  State: IDLE  max. Retrans.: 3  CSMA Retries: 4 
            AUTOACK  CSMA  MTU:1280  HL:64  6LO  RTR  RTR_ADV  IPHC  
            Source address length: 8
            Link type: wireless
            inet6 addr: ff02::1/128  scope: local [multicast]
            inet6 addr: fe80::5846:106e:f2f5:d972/64  scope: local
            inet6 addr: ff02::1:fff5:d972/128  scope: local [multicast]
            inet6 addr: 2001:db8::5846:106e:f2f5:d972/64  scope: global
            inet6 addr: ff02::2/128  scope: local [multicast]

The script also sets up a ULA (Unique Local Address) address on your Linux tap0 network interface. You can check your ULA on your PC with ifconfig Linux command. On this example, such address can be pinged from 6lo motes:

> ping6 fd00:dead:beef::1

Thus far, IPv6 communication with between your PC and your motes is enabled.


A known issue #5122 is that after ~15min global addresses on the BR Neighbour Cache dissappear. We are investigating why it happens and we'll propose a solution soon. If you experience it, just reboot your nodes and they will come again on-line.

gnrc_border_router with manual config

You can use ethos as a standalone driver, if you want to setup the BR manually.


To select ethos as the serial driver, be sure that the Makefile has the following:

ifeq (,$(filter native,$(BOARD)))
USEMODULE += ethos gnrc_netdev2
FEATURES_REQUIRED += periph_uart
# include UHCP client
USEMODULE += gnrc_uhcpc

You'll need IPv6 access to the nodes attached to the BR from your Linux PC. To do this, it is necessary to add a tap interface. As an example, you can do it as follows:

sudo ip tuntap add tap0 mode tap user ${USER}

This will setup your tap interface. Then configure it to route the packets coming from your 6lo network:

sudo ip link set tap0 up
sudo ip a a 2001:db8::1/48 dev tap0
sudo ip r d 2001:db8::/48 dev tap0
sudo ip r a 2001:db8::2 dev tap0
sudo ip r a 2001:db8::/48 via 2001:db8::2 dev tap0

Please note that the prefix 2001:db8:: is used as an example.

Then you can flash the gnrc_border_router example on your board:

make clean all flash

On this RIOT BR two interfaces are present. A wired interface represents the serial link between Linux and your mote. A wireless interface represents the 802.15.4 radio link. In order to route packets between this two interfaces, you can do the following:

> ifconfig 6 add 2001:db8::2/48
> ifconfig 5 add 2001:db8::3/64
> fibroute add :: via <link-local of tap> dev 6

By adding the address to the wireless interface the prefix will be disseminated. This prefix will be automatically added by the motes in the radio range.


Run ethos by choosing a serial interface according to your board. For instance /dev/ttyUSB* or /dev/ttyACM*.

sudo ./ethos tap0 /dev/ttyACM0

Now, you should be able to ping your nodes. Use the global address starting by your prefix, on our case 2001:db8:::

> ping6 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1

gnrc_networking_border_router with SLIP


In order to setup a 6LoWPAN border router on RIOT, you need either a board that offers an IPv6 capable network interface (e.g. the encx24j600 Ethernet chip) or connect it over the serial interface to a Linux host and use the SLIP standard [1]. The example application in this folder assumes as a default to be run on an Atmel SAM R21 Xplained Pro evaluation board using an external UART adapter for the second serial interface. However, it is feasible to run the example on any RIOT supported platform that offers either more than one UART or be equipped with an IPv6 capable network device. In this case only the Makefile of this application has to be slightly modified, e.g. by replacing the line

USEMODULE += gnrc_slip

with something like

USEMODULE += encx24j600

and specify the target platform as BOARD = myplatform. In order to use the border router over SLIP, please check the periph_conf.h of the corresponding board and look out for the UART_NUMOF parameter. Its value has to be bigger than 1.

Be sure that you have replaced on your Makefile the lines to use SLIP. You should have something like this:

ifeq (,$(SLIP_UART))
# set default (last available UART)
ifeq (,$(SLIP_BAUDRATE))		
# set default		

# Include SLIP package for IP over Serial communication
USEMODULE += gnrc_slip


In order to connect a RIOT 6LoWPAN border router over SLIP you run a small program called tunslip (imported from Contiki) [2] on the Linux host. The program can be found in the dist/tools/tunslip folder and has to be compiled before first use (simple calling make should be enough). Now, one can start the program by calling something like:

cd dist/tools/tunslip
sudo ./tunslip6 2001:db8::1/64 -t tun0 -s /dev/ttyUSB0

Assuming that /dev/ttyUSB0 is the device descriptor for the (additional) UART interface of your RIOT board.

On the RIOT side you have to configure the SLIP interface by configuring a corresponding IPv6 address, e.g.

ifconfig 6 add 2001:db8::2

and adding the SLIP interface to the neighbor cache (because Linux won't respond to neighbor solicitations on an interface without a link-layer address) by calling

ncache add 6 2001:db8::1

Then, to propagate the prefix you should add an address to the wireless interface:

ifconfig 5 add 2001:db8::3

After this you're basically done and should be able to ping between the border router and the outside world (assuming that the Linux host is properly forwarding your traffic).

Additionally, you can configure IPv6 addresses on the 6LoWPAN interface for communication with other 6LoWPAN nodes. See also the gnrc_networking example for further help.