Cassowary, photo taken at Featherdale Wildlife Park, Doonside (NSW), Australia

Kasuari: Emulation Framework for Agile Network Protocol Development


Kasuari is a Xen-based emulation framework that uses ns2 for simulating the characteristics of network links between virtual Linux nodes. Kasuari is part of the DTN activities at TZI.

Measuring real-world protocol and application behavior in DTN scenarios can be a resource-consuming task. For example, measuring the performance of DTN-enhanced mobile ad-hoc networks for applications such as sensor networks can likely involve more than 100 mobile nodes each of which running a non-trivial DTN implementation. Unfortunately, simulation is rarely useful for developing and assessing the performance of typical DTN setups, as the complex protocol behavior of real-world applications, bundle routers etc., cannot be re-produced accurately in a simulation environment. What is needed, is a testbed environment, that allows researchers to develop and assess protocol behavior of complete stacks, such as production TCP stacks, MANET routing sub-systems, DTN bundle router functionality and real-world user applications such as web browsers and e-mail agents under controlled, reproducible network conditions. We have developed the Kasuari emulation framework for these kinds of scenarios and have used it for a range of non-trivial measurements.

The Kasuari framework is mainly intended to help with (IP) protocol development and testing. One of its features is the possibility to run unmodified real-world networked applications on a virtual host under simulated network conditions. The framework is based on Xen 3.0, and comes with scripts to run the virtual machines, a pre-configured filesystem image (with DTN and AODV implementations), a copy-on-write driver and a few other tools. It can be used for testing almost any kernel module or networked application that runs on Linux, and it allows to simulate complex and realistic (wireless) networks using a slightly adopted version of the ns2 network simulator.

attachment:kasuari-slides.pdf is a presentation outlining some features and outlining the current work status.

The Kasuari framework has been created in the course of the diploma thesis A Testbed Framework Design for Protocol Development and Evaluation in Wireless Mobile Ad-Hoc and Delay Tolerant Networking Environments by Christoph Dwertmann.


The Kasuari framework is available as source code from our Subversion repository and as pre-compiled Debian packages for different x86 architectures. The installation using the Debian packages is highly recommended as it is quicker, easier and more reliable than building it from source. The installation is described in detail on KasuariInstall.




Christoph Dwertmann and Dirk Kutscher

Please send questions, comments, bug reports etc. to Christoph Dwertmann