The Mesh11sd Project

Mesh11sd is a dynamic parameter configuration daemon for 802.11s mesh networks.
It was originally designed to leverage 802.11s mesh networking at Captive Portal venues but is in fact a general purpose dynamic configuration daemon for 802.11s mesh network parameters using standard UCI configuration options.

This is the open source version and it enables easy and automated mesh network operation with multiple mesh nodes.
It does not require a Captive Portal to be running.

1. Overview

Mesh11sd allows all mesh parameters that are supported by the wireless driver to be set in either the wireless or the mesh11sd uci config file.
Settings take effect immediately without having to restart the wireless network and the default settings give rapid and reliable layer 2 mesh convergence.

The settings in the uci wireless config are acted upon at boot time or when the wireless network is restarted and are implemented before the mesh interface has reached an active state.
Unfortunately, many mesh configuration parameters can only be set after the mesh interface becomes active.

Without mesh11sd, many mesh parameters cannot be set in the uci wireless config file as the mesh interface must be up before the parameters can be set.
Some of those that are supported, would fail to be implemented when the network is (re)started resulting in errors or dropped nodes.

The mesh11sd daemon dynamically checks parameters that are set in the wireless config and sets them as required.
Parameters can also be set in the mesh11sd config and these settings will override any mesh parameter settings in the wireless config.

Depending on the wireless drivers/hardware, mesh parameters set in the wireless config may not only fail on startup, but may also generate errors and in the worst case may cause the wireless driver to crash. For this reason it is recommended that all parameter settings are moved from the wireless config and placed instead into the mesh11sd config.

2. Installation

Installation is achieved in the usual way for OpenWrt, either using the Luci UI, or the opkg command line utility. It is fully compatible with OpenWrt 19.07.x onwards but is only available for download for 21.02.x onwards.

If you are running a 19.07 version of OpenWrt it is safe to download manually from a later release of OpenWrt and install using opkg.

Opkg Example (21.02.x onwards):

  opkg update
  opkg install mesh11sd

3. Configuration

It is assumed that the mesh network interface is defined in the wireless configuration.

It is also assumed that the additional dependencies for encrypted mesh are also installed, ie:

Remove - wpad-basic-wolfssl (or wpad-basic)

Install:

  • wpad-mesh-wolfssl
  • or - wpad-wolfssl
  • or - wpad-mesh-openssl
  • or - wpad-openssl

A typical mesh interface configuration in /etc/config/wireless would look something like:

  config wifi-iface 'mesh0'
    option device 'radio0'
    option mode 'mesh'
    option encryption 'sae'
    option key 'secretmeshkey'
    option disabled '0'
    option network 'lan'
    option mesh_id 'PublicFreeMesh'

The Default mesh11sd configuration file looks like this (/etc/config/mesh11sd):

  config mesh11sd 'setup'
    option enabled '1'
    option debuglevel '1'
    option checkinterval '10'
    option interface_timeout '10'
  config mesh11sd 'mesh_params'
    option mesh_fwding '1'
    option mesh_rssi_threshold '-80'
    option mesh_gate_announcements '1'
    option mesh_hwmp_rootmode '3'
    option mesh_max_peer_links '150'

All settings in the config file are dynamic and will take effect almost immediately.

4. Setup Options

  • enabled - 0=disabled, 1=enabled
  • debuglevel - 0=silent, 1=notice, 2=info, 3=debug
  • checkinterval - the interval in seconds after which changes in parameters are detected and activated.
  • interface_timeout - the time in seconds that mesh11sd will wait for a mesh interface to establish before continuing.

Example: Set the debuglevel to 2

      uci set mesh11sd.setup.debuglevel='2'

Debuglevel will be set immediately to level 2 “info” and will remain set until changed again or a reboot occurs.

Changes can be made permanent with the following command:

      uci commit mesh11sd

5. Mesh Parameter Options

Basic mesh parameters are already included in the default config file.
These basic parameters ensure the mesh interface will be able to either seed a new mesh or join an existing one of the same mesh id.

  • mesh_fwding - packets will be forwarded to peer mesh nodes
  • mesh_rssi_threshold - the minimum received signal strength from a peer meshnode for a connection to be established.
  • mesh_gate_announcements - 0=disabled, 1=enabled. At least one meshnode must make gate announcements. It is safe to enable this on all nodes.

Background announcement traffic can be reduced in large networks by disabling mesh_gate_announcements on a proportion of nodes if required.

  • mesh_hwmp_rootmode - Set to 3 for fast mesh convergence in most situations. Can be set to 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4.
  • mesh_max_peer_links - sets the maximum number of peer nodes that can connect. Can be set from 1 - 255.

Example: Set mesh_rssi_threshold to -75 dBm (decibels relative to one milliwatt)

      uci set mesh11sd.mesh_params.mesh_rssi_threshold='-75'

The mesh_rssi_threshold will be set immediately to this new value and will remain set until changed again or a reboot occurs.

Changes can be made permanent with the following command:

      uci commit mesh11sd

See “Command Line Interface” for obtaining a list of possible mesh parameters for a mesh interface.

6. Command Line Interface

Mesh11sd is an OpenWrt service daemon and runs continuously in the background. It does, however, also have a CLI interface:

Usage: mesh11sd [option] [argument…]]

Option: -h –help help
Returns: This help information

Option: -v –version version
Returns: The mesh11sd version

Option: debuglevel
Argument: 0 - silent, 1 - notice, 2 - info, 3 - debug
Returns: The mesh11sd debug level

Option: enable
Returns: “1” and exit code 0 if successful, exit code 1 if was already enabled

Option: disable
Returns: “0” and exit code 0 if successful, exit code 1 if was already disabled

Option: status
Returns: the mesh status in json format

Example status output:

  {
     "setup":{
       "version":"1.0.0",
       "enabled":"1",
       "checkinterval":"15",
       "interface_timeout":"10",
       "debuglevel":"1"
  }
    "interfaces":{
      "mesh0":{
        "mesh_retry_timeout":"100",
        "mesh_confirm_timeout":"100",
        "mesh_holding_timeout":"100",
        "mesh_max_peer_links":"150",
        "mesh_max_retries":"3",
        "mesh_ttl":"31",
        "mesh_element_ttl":"31",
        "mesh_auto_open_plinks":"0",
        "mesh_hwmp_max_preq_retries":"4",
        "mesh_path_refresh_time":"1000",
        "mesh_min_discovery_timeout":"100",
        "mesh_hwmp_active_path_timeout":"5000",
        "mesh_hwmp_preq_min_interval":"10",
        "mesh_hwmp_net_diameter_traversal_time":"50",
        "mesh_hwmp_rootmode":"3",
        "mesh_hwmp_rann_interval":"5000",
        "mesh_gate_announcements":"1",
        "mesh_fwding":"1",
        "mesh_sync_offset_max_neighor":"50",
        "mesh_rssi_threshold":"-80",
        "mesh_hwmp_active_path_to_root_timeout":"6000",
        "mesh_hwmp_root_interval":"5000",
        "mesh_hwmp_confirmation_interval":"2000",
        "mesh_power_mode":"active",
        "mesh_awake_window":"10",
        "mesh_plink_timeout":"0",
        "mesh_connected_to_gate":"0",
        "mesh_nolearn":"0",
        "mesh_connected_to_as":"0",
        "mesh_id":"PublicFreeMesh",
        "device":"radio0",
        "channel":"11",
        "active_peers":"17"
      }
    }
  }
  

7. Reporting Issues

See the Github repository at:
https://github.com/openNDS/mesh11sd

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  • Last modified: 2022/04/07 15:17
  • by bluewavenet