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Running the SCION infrastructure on a local topology


This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to generate a local topology and run a SCION network locally on your system.


This tutorial assumes that SCION is already installed on your system. If this is not the case, please follow How to build SCION on Ubuntu 16.04 x86-64 or How to build SCION on Raspberry PI.

Generating topology

Before continuing with the following steps, you should first navigate to the SCION root directory:

cd $SC

The SCION installation comes with a command to generate the local topology from 'topo' configuration files. A default topology is defined in topology/Default.topo and it is depicted in the following figure:

Default topology

Creating a topology overwrites the existing installation

When running the topology command deletes the current topology, which is stored in the gen folder. We thus advise to back up the current gen directory before calling the topology creation command.

In case the gen folder was accidentally overwritten, you need to re-establish it after running the local topology if you want to get back to your previous installation. In case of re-creating the SCIONLab topology running in a VM, re-establishing is easy: shell cd $SC rm -rf gen cp -r /vagrant/gen .

Reset runtime environment after topology changes

Every time a new topology is instantiated, the SCION runtime environment needs to be reset as described here.

To generate the default topology, you can run

./ topology

This command will generate the topology information in the gen directory. The structure of the gen directory will be:


Running large topology

Running the default SCION topology requires significant amount of system resources. This might not be possible on IoT devices like Raspberry PI or on a resource-limited virtual machine. For this reason, using a smaller topology is recommended. To generate a small topology with only a single ISD and 3 ASes, you can use the predefined definition of tiny topology as follows:

./ topology -c topology/Tiny.topo

Some notes about the topology definition in topology/Default.topo

  • defaults.subnet (optional): override the default subnet of

  • core (optional): specify if this is a core AS or not (defaults to 'false').

  • beacon_servers, certificate_servers, path_servers, (all optional): number of such servers in a specific AS (override the default value 1).

  • links: keys are ISD_ID-AS_ID (format also used for the keys of the JSON file itself) and values can either be PARENT, CHILD, PEER, or CORE.

Running SCION

Running the SCION infrastructure:

./ run

Stopping the SCION infrastructure:

./ stop

Testing the infrastructure:

./ test

Next steps

After running the SCION infrastructure, it is necessary to verify that it is running properly. This is covered in the tutorial Verifying SCION Installation.