[lime-dev] FirstBootWizard Description for Hackathon in Quintana

Nicolas Pace nico at libre.ws
Mon Sep 10 11:22:17 UTC 2018


As there is going to be a hackathon in Quintana in the upcoming weeks, I
was invited to share the progress of the FirstBootWizard (FBW) project.


The question it tries to reply is:
* How is a new network setted up? What is the first boot experience when
a LibreMesh node is turned on?
* How do a LibreMesh node joins an existing network?

The approach is for nodes (routers) to share their network config with
their peer nodes, so they can decide on whether they want to join their

There are a lot of complexities about this:
* hardware differences: original node had a set of radios, antennas and
wired interfaces, and mine has a different one,
* physical conditions: which radio and which antenna of that radio
fetched the config from my peer node?, and what if the radios were
configured specifically based on the context of that node? (location,
neighbours, etc).
* logical roles: one node can be an batman's alfred's coordinator, a
gateway with manual configurations, or even have static ip addresses or
centralized services running on them...
* customization: how do we split config between node config and network
config in a way that allows for customization and yet maintainability

These are the boundaries that we defined for the first iterations:
* We will design for the LibreRouter context first: as it is close to
getting released, and this is part of the first experience, needs to be
available asap, so we will narrow the focus to implement first the
features required for it, then generalize (in this case, triple radios
for example).
* We will priorize the cases of:
  1. One new node in an existing network: because that is the most
common case,
  2. First node of a network: because this is the inception moment, that
will also happen a lot.

Some other cases that were not taken into consideration but are part of
the process:
  3. different frequencies for different radios: the LR has two 5ghz,
and it is desired that both have different radios so there is no
self-inflicted noise. So, the configs will reflect that and need to
consider this situation.
  4. Border node of a network: it may happen that a node is put in to
communicate to networks with each other
  5. TVWS case: The 2.4ghz radio being used with the TVWS Frequency
shifter (basically, a device that turns a 2.4ghz radio into a 600Mhz
one, capable of non-line-of-sight links). No special considerations yet
in my mind, but still to be considered.
  6. Extra packages needed: the lime config doesn't include the
potential extra packages that might have been installed on a firmware,
  7. Attended upgrades server: this is key, as if there is one in your
network, you might do that before anything else (as it will have the
extra packages installed for example).

What has been done already (you can find it in the github repo:
https://github.com/libremesh/FirstBootWizard/ ):
  * serve-lime-config shares the lime-default with the network over
http, so anyone can fetch it. It is a symlink for the lime-defaults file
to a publicly accesible folder shared by uhttpd.
  * first-boot-wizard-daemon: a daemon that while in setup state
(defined by the presence of the /var/lock/first_run file) keeps
searching for nodes and fetching their config.
    The basic behaviour is:
    * no network config found around, keeps searching
    * one network config found around, applies its config and reboots
removing first_run file
    * many networks config found around, don't do anything, and keeps
them so the user can choose
    It also includes a ubus service to ask for the network config files
found around, so the user can choose which to join, or trigger it in a
latter moment if we want to reset the config to 'network defaults', and
also the ability to create a new network. These are the foundations to
add support in the lime-app.

  * are there anything within the lime-default file that we don't want
to be sharing openly within the adhoc/11s network?
  *  what is the UX we will provide is a password is needed?

Hope this is enough info to work on it! Will be around if any questions
appear, through here, Riot, Telegram, etc.

good luck!

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