Ostinato Scripting using Python

Starting from version 0.6, Ostinato provides python bindings to enable scripting support.


  • Python 2.7+ (but not Python 3)
  • protobuf 2.3+


The Ostinato python bindings are available in the python-ostinato distribution.

Download (python-ostinato)

Install the downloaded package -

$ pip install /local/path/to/package

If you already have an older version installed (including any rc/beta release), add --upgrade to the above command to upgrade.

NOTE: The distribution is called python-ostinato. The package that it provides is called ostinato.

You can do a quick check if your installation is successful by running the example module included in the distribution. First make sure drone is running and then run the below command -

python -m ostinato.example

The example expects the following topology -

 +-------+          +-------+
 |       |Tx--->----|       |
 | Drone |          |  DUT  |
 |       |Rx---<----|       |
 +-------+          +-------+

Drone has 2 ports connected to DUT. Packets sent on the Tx port are expected to be received back on the Rx port. An easy way to simulate the above topology is to select the loopback port as both Tx and Rx ports

When prompted by the module, provide the IP of drone and select the Tx/Rx ports (or accept the defaults chosen by the module).

We will go through this example in the next section.


We start with importing the required modules and classes -

import os
import time

from ostinato.core import ost_pb, DroneProxy
from ostinato.protocols.mac_pb2 import mac
from ostinato.protocols.ip4_pb2 import ip4, Ip4

Setup some variables and create a DroneProxy object that will act as a proxy to communicate with drone -

host_name = ''
tx_port_number = 0
rx_port_number = 0
drone = DroneProxy(host_name)

Before we can instruct drone to do anything, we need to connect to drone. Once connected, we can invoke operations on drone. We query drone for the list of ports and then retrieve configuration for all the ports


    port_id_list = drone.getPortIdList()
    port_config_list = drone.getPortConfig(port_id_list)

    print('Port List')
    for port in port_config_list.port:
        print('%d.%s (%s)' % (port.port_id.id, port.name, port.description))

Several of the DroneProxy's methods, including the ones for transmit and capture, take a list of ports to operate on, so we set these up next.

    tx_port = ost_pb.PortIdList()
    tx_port.port_id.add().id = tx_port_number;

    rx_port = ost_pb.PortIdList()
    rx_port.port_id.add().id = rx_port_number;

Configuring a stream on a port is a two-step process - add + configure.

First we assign a stream id and then add it -

    stream_id = ost_pb.StreamIdList()
    stream_id.stream_id.add().id = 1

This just adds a 'default' stream. We then configure the stream using the same stream id as what we assigned earlier -

    stream_cfg = ost_pb.StreamConfigList()
    s = stream_cfg.stream.add()
    s.stream_id.id = stream_id.stream_id[0].id
    s.core.is_enabled = True
    s.control.num_packets = 5

NOTE: By default when you add a stream, it is disabled. You need to set Stream.core.is_enabled to True to enable it.

After configuring basic stream parameters such as number of packets, we configure the protocols in the stream. Adding a protocol to a stream is a 3-step process. First we add a protocol with protocol.add(), then we specify the specific protocol to use by assigning protocol_id.id to one of the various ost_pb.Protocol.kXXXFieldNumber, and finally we configure that protocol's fields - the protocol's fields are accessed using the Protocol.Extensions[XXX] dictionary. After setting up the stream parameters, we call modifyStream to configure the default stream installed by addStream() with the values given here -

    # setup stream protocols as mac:eth2:ip4:udp:payload
    p = s.protocol.add()
    p.protocol_id.id = ost_pb.Protocol.kMacFieldNumber
    p.Extensions[mac].dst_mac = 0x001122334455
    p.Extensions[mac].src_mac = 0x00aabbccddee

    p = s.protocol.add()
    p.protocol_id.id = ost_pb.Protocol.kEth2FieldNumber

    p = s.protocol.add()
    p.protocol_id.id = ost_pb.Protocol.kIp4FieldNumber
    # reduce typing by creating a shorter reference to p.Extensions[ip4]
    ip = p.Extensions[ip4]
    ip.src_ip = 0x01020304
    ip.dst_ip = 0x05060708
    ip.dst_ip_mode = Ip4.e_im_inc_host

    s.protocol.add().protocol_id.id = ost_pb.Protocol.kUdpFieldNumber
    s.protocol.add().protocol_id.id = ost_pb.Protocol.kPayloadFieldNumber


Before we start transmitting the stream, we clear the port statistics -


Now we can start transmitting the stream that we configured. Since we want to capture the transmitted packets when they appear on the rx port we ensure that we start capture before we start transmit and do the reverse while stopping.


    # wait for transmit to finish


We verify the transmit and receive by retreiving statistics

    tx_stats = drone.getStats(tx_port)
    rx_stats = drone.getStats(rx_port)

We retrieve the captured packets, save it in a temporary pcap file and use tshark to dump them

    buff = drone.getCaptureBuffer(rx_port.port_id[0])
    drone.saveCaptureBuffer(buff, 'capture.pcap')
    os.system('tshark -r capture.pcap')

Finally, we cleanup by deleting the stream that we configured and disconnect from drone


Download the full example.py

API Reference

"Use the Source, Luke!"

At this time, detailed reference documentation for the DroneProxy class and other protocol classes is a TODO item. Till such time as this becomes available, here are a few pointers to get you started -

  • Look at the *.proto files in the common directory
  • The basic API is in protocol.proto
  • All the RPCs listed under service OstService in protocol.proto are available as methods of DroneProxy
  • In addition, DroneProxy has one convenience method - saveCaptureBuffer(buf, filename); buf is what the getCaptureBuffer() method returns which is saved as a PCAP file with the provided filename
  • Each protocol (Mac, Ip4, Ip6, Udp etc.) has its own .proto file
  • You can learn about proto files from the protobuf documentation. At a minimum, you should read
  • The above documentation talks about generating .py files from the .proto files. The python-ostinato package already contains these generated .py files, so you don't need to worry about that


Q. Is there an easier way to use the python-ostinato API?

You can save streams from the GUI as a python script. Also look at simple-ostinato - a project (with great documentation!) by community member Corentin that wraps python-ostinato APIs with simpler APIs.

Q. I configured a stream and called startTransmit(), but no packets are being transmitted. Why?

Check that Stream.core.is_enabled is set to True

Q. I configured multiple streams and called startTransmit(), but streams are being transmitted in a random order. Why?

In case of multiple streams, streams are ordered by the Stream.core.ordinal field (not by order of streams nor by stream id). Make sure you set the ordinal field in each stream correctly as per the required order.

Q. Ostinato python bindings don't work with Python 3

At this time Ostinato python bindings are compatible with Python 2 only and not with Python 3. The primary blocker for supporting Python 3 is the lack of official support of Python 3 in ProtoBuf. We are aware that there are third-party packages available, but our plan is to wait for Google to provide official support.

Q. How do I find the version of the python bindings I'm using?

Use -

import ostinato
print ostinato.__version__
print ostinato.__revision__

Q. Does the python package include any debugging features?

Yes. Add the following at the start of your script -

import logging

You can set the logging level for the ostinato module independently from your own script's logging level -


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