The poor man's system to experiment computer networking
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Understanding computer networks without performing practical experiments is really difficult, not to say it is almost impossible. Unfortunately, setting up a networking lab can be very expensive.

Netkit is an environment for setting up and performing networking experiments at low cost and with little effort. It allows to "create" several virtual network devices (full-fledged routers, switches, computers, etc.) that can be easily interconnected in order to form a network on a single PC. Networking equipments are virtual but feature many of the characteristics of the real ones, including the configuration interface.

Emulating a network with Netkit is a matter of writing a simple file describing the link-level topology of the network to be emulated and some configuration files that are identical to those used by real world networking tools. Netkit then takes care of starting (emulated) network devices and of interconnecting them as required.

Further, we provide a corpus of teaching material that can be used for courses at different levels.

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Netkit is no longer supported. Try KatharĂ¡!

File Size Release date Description Changelog

MD5: bdfbd6554ef5ff4b95eead24898340cf

149KB 2011/05/04 Netkit core version 2.8 and documentation

Source Code


MD5: 6421d699bdc5a8aba0681a78becd393f
MD5 of decompressed filesystem image:

274MB 2011/05/04 Netkit filesystem version 5.2

Source Code
Installed packages


MD5: 1b4297abd1c29e6c4563be70f7480562

2.8MB 2009/11/26 Netkit kernel version 2.8 (includes a UML kernel)

Source Code
Kernel configuration

Install Instructions

Contact Us!

Questions, bug reports, contributions, and any communications concerning Netkit can be submitted to the Netkit team by email:

About Us

Netkit is the result of the joint work of several people from the Computer Networks Laboratory of the Roma Tre University and from the LUG Roma Tre.

Involved people changed across time. Currently, the Netkit team consists of:

  • Giuseppe Di Battista
  • Maurizio Patrignani
  • Maurizio Pizzonia
  • Massimo Rimondini
  • Sandro Doro uses Netkit in its TIC course (Technologies for Information and Communication, italian only)

A special mention is due for the following people, who gave significant contributions in the past:

  • Andrea Cecchetti
  • Lorenzo Colitti
  • Federico Mariani
  • Stefano Pettini
  • Flavia Picard
  • Fabio Ricci
  • Special thanks also go to the students of the Networking Courses of the Roma Tre University, who have been using Netkit extensively during their studies.