Monday 8 June 2015

TurboBytes Pulse Tool To Run Network Diagnostics In Distributed Manner

TurboBytes Pulse Tool To Run Network Diagnostics In Distributed Manner.

It is made up of 2 components!

CNC : This is the Command & Control server. Users make http requests to it describing the test they want to run. CNC then runs it across all minions, gathers the response and then returns them to the user. Dependencies : mongodb (I might replace it with something lighter, or make it optional)

minion - This is the agent that runs at places where you want to debug from. It makes a TLS connection to CNC and waits for incoming test requests to be executed. Dependencies: mtr command (ubuntu: apt-get install mtr-tiny)

Build instructions

go get
cd $GOPATH/src/
go build cnc.go
go build minion.go

You can build these for any target supported by Go by manipulating GOOS and GOARCH. gccgo is not supported currently because it uses older Go versions. You might need to adapt the code for gccgo. We had success in running it on MIPS as proof of concept.

It is important that the CNC and minion are from the same release. If you are updating one of them then its crucial to update the other to avoid unexpected behaviour. They share data structures.


CNC and minion use TLS to communicate with each other. Use your own CA to sign the certificates and minion and CNC trusts only this CA. The TLS setup was inspired by this blogpost.

Install EasyRSA

git clone example-ca
chmod 700 example-ca
cd example-ca
rm -rf .git

Create CA

./easyrsa init-pki
Its important that you set a passphrase for your CA's private key

Create server cert

./easyrsa build-server-full localhost nopass
Replace localhost with the hostname of the server that runs the CNC.

Create minion certificate

./easyrsa build-client-full 'client0' nopass
Create one certificate for each minion instance. Replace 'client0' with some descriptive name. This is whats shown in the ui/api to indicate which agent ran the test.

Running Pulse

Its important that system times are correct. If not then TLS might not work correctly.


The CNC needs mongodb running on localhost. This requirement will be removed in future releases. Mongo is only used for storing metadata about minions.

usage : ./cnc -ca="/path/to/ca.crt" -crt="/path/to/server.crt" -key="/path/to/server.key"

Note: server.crt and server.key is the certificate/key generated using the build-server-full command.

Its important that all minions can reach port 7777 on the server, and all users can reach port 7778.


usage : ./minion -ca="/path/to/ca.crt" -crt="/path/to/minion.crt" -key="/path/to/minion.key" -cnc=""

Note: minion.crt and minion.key is the certificate/key generated using the build-client-full command. is the hostname of the CNC

Use one client certificate exclusive to one minion.

Using Pulse

Visit for a listing of currently online agents. contains a rough demo UI to run tests.

DNS test

API endpoint: /dns/ Method: POST Payload: Json object

Example :-

    "Host": "",
    "QType": 1,
    "Targets": ["", ""]

Host : The hostname we want to resolve QType : Dns query type Targets : The nameservers we want to query.

HTTP test

API endpoint: /curl/ Method: POST Payload: Json object

Example :-

    "Path": "/foo/bar.jpg",
    "Endpoint": "",
    "Host": "",
    "Ssl": false

Path : The URI to test Endpoint : The server to connect to. Host : The contents of the Host header. If blank then endpoint's value is used here. Ssl : Weather to talk SSL/TLS or plaintext.

The HTTP test makes a GET request to the target and once the headers come in, it terminates the connection without consuming the full body. This is by design so as to not consume too much bandwidth.


mtr test is a wrapper around the mtr command.

API endpoint: /mtr/ Method: POST Payload: Json object

example :-

    "Target": ""

Target : The hostname/ip we want to trace to.

More info: 
TurboBytes pulse


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