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Arachne is a packet loss detection system and an underperforming path detection system. It provides fast and easy active end-to-end functional testing of all the components in Data Center and Cloud infrastructures. Arachne is able to detect intra-DC, inter-DC, DC-to-Cloud, and DC-to-External-Services issues by generating minimal traffic:

  • Reachability
  • Round-trip and 1-way latency
  • Silent packet drops and black holes
  • Jitter (average of the deviation from the network mean latency)
  • PMTU or Firewall issues too related possibly to network config changes (accidental or not)
  • Whether network-level SLAs are met


There are two ways to use the Arachne package.

As a standalone program

Run Arachne as a standalone program (it's Debian packaged already too).

As a library in your own program

Import this package and call Arachne from your program/service with

    arachne.Run(config, arachne.ReceiverOnlyMode(false))

where the option provided above is among the few optional ones.

Below is the list of all the CLI options available, when Arachne is used as a standalone program. The default options should be good enough for most users.

$ arachne --help


Usage: arachne [--foreground] [-c=<config_file>] [--receiver_only] [--sender_only]

Arachne is a packet loss detection system and an underperforming path detection
system for Data Center and Cloud infrastructures.

  -v, --version                                     Show the version and exit
  --foreground=false                                Force foreground mode
  -c, --config_file="/usr/local/etc/arachne/arachne.yaml"     Config file path
  (default: /usr/local/etc/arachne/arachne.yaml)
  --receiver_only=false                             Force TCP receiver-only mode
  --sender_only=false                               Force TCP sender-only mode

Note on required privileges to run

Arachne is granted access to raw sockets without the need to run with sudo or as root user, by being granted CAP_NET_RAW capability (see: capabilities).

Note on BPF filtering

When receiving packets, Arachne attempts to apply a BPF filter to the raw socket so that processing of packets occurs on a much smaller set (ones destined specifically for Arachne agent testing). This is currently supported only on Linux and thus performance will be worse on BSD-based systems where a larger number of packets must be inspected.

Released under the MIT License.

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