The RIPE Atlas network is described as "a global network of probes that measure Internet connectivity and reachability, providing an unprecedented understanding of the state of the Internet in real time."

RIPE can either provide a hardware probe that you plug into an ethernet port if you apply and are accepted, or you can run a software probe, not needing any additional hardware, and apply online.

Prerequisites

  • Create an account here and make note of your username/email address

Installing the package

SSH into your OpenWRT device and enter the following commands:
opkg update

Configuring the package

This will install the appropriate package and its dependencies. It should print out something saying Missing probe_key. To init the key follow instruction in /etc/atlas/atlas.readme.

If we read the contents of that file, it reads:

# Atlas probe setup instruction

The atlas probe software requires a rsa 2048-4096 key for registration.

Follow these steps to register your probe on the ripe-atlas systems.
1. Insert your username in the atlas config file (/etc/config/atlas)
2. Use the command '/etc/init.d/atlas create_key' to create a priv/pub key.
3. The priv/pub key will be stored on the directory /etc/atlas/
4. Use the command '/etc/init.d/atlas get_key' to get the public key used for probe registration.
   Make sure to copy the entire key and that the last value is the correct username
5. Follow the instruction from the past command or go to 'https://atlas.ripe.net/apply/swprobe/'
   and register your probe.

So we'll follow those instructions. OpenWRT includes the vi editor by default. So we will execute:

vi /etc/config/atlas

Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, place the cursor in between the quotes following the option username line. Then, press I on your keyboard to enter insert mode, then enter your username, then press ESC to leave insert mode, followed by :wq to save and quit the editor and pressing the enter key. You should be returned to the command prompt.

Next, we will run /etc/init.d/atlas create_key to create our private and public key pairs. After it's done generating, run /etc/init.d/atlas get_key to print the key in the terminal. It will print the URL to register your software probe, or you can click here.

Registering your probe

The page will ask for your AS number, which is an identifying number for your ISP and can be found by going here and making note of the numbers following the "asn" array. Enter the city where your device is located, followed by the country. Finally, enter the public key that was returned by the get_key command earlier.

The approval process is a manual one, and someone will have to approve your software probe to be placed on the network.

Ensuring Atlas starts on boot

Finally, enter these last two commands in your terminal to enable and start the Atlas service.

/etc/init.d/atlas enable
/etc/init.d/atlas start

That's it! Once your probe is approved, you should be able to view the data on it and be able to use the credits generated by your probe to fully utilize the Atlas network.