Aether In a Box

Setting Up Aether-in-a-Box

Aether-in-a-Box (AiaB) provides an easy way to deploy Aether’s SD-CORE components and run basic tests to validate the installation. This guide describes the steps to set up AiaB.

AiaB can be set up with a 4G or 5G SD-CORE. We use SimApp to configure the required state in SD-CORE for testing core functionality.

Helm charts are the primary method of installing the SD-CORE resources. AiaB offers a great deal of flexibility regarding which Helm chart versions to install:

  • Local definitions of charts (for testing Helm chart changes)

  • Latest published charts (for deploying a development version of Aether)

  • Specified versions of charts (for deploying a specific Aether release)

AiaB can be run on a bare metal machine or VM. System prerequisites:

  • Ubuntu 18.04

  • Kernel 4.15 or later

  • Haswell CPU or newer

Clone Repositories

To initialize the AiaB environment, first clone the following repository using your Gerrit ID:

cd ~
git clone "ssh://<username>"

mkdir -p ~/cord
cd ~/cord
git clone "ssh://<username>"
git clone "ssh://<username>"

Set up Authentication Tokens

cd ~/aether-in-a-box

Edit the file configs/authentication.


  • Log into the Aether Harbor Registry using your Crowd credentials

  • Select User Profile from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner

  • For REGISTRY_USERNAME, use the Username in your profile

  • Copy the CLI secret to the clipboard and paste to REGISTRY_CLI_SECRET

Also fill out REPO_USERNAME and REPO_PASSWORD with the information needed to authenticate with Aether’s Helm chart repositories.

If you have already set up AiaB but you used incorrect credentials, first clean up AiaB as described in the Cleanup section, then edit configs/authentication and re-build AiaB.

Start the 4G SD-CORE

make test

Start the 5G SD-CORE

If you have already installed the 4G SD-CORE, you must skip this step. Only one version of the SD-CORE can be installed at a time.:

make 5gc

You can use gnbsim to test 5G functionality. Detailed steps in link (see gNB Simulator)


The first time you build AiaB, it takes a while because it sets up the Kubernetes cluster. Subsequent builds will be much faster if you follow these steps to clean up the Helm charts without destroying the Kubernetes cluster.:

Clean up the 4G SD-CORE: *make reset-test
Clean up the 5G SD-CORE: *make reset-5g-test

Developer Loop

Suppose you wish to test a new build of a 5G SD-CORE services. You can deploy custom images by editing ~/aether-in-a-box/5g-core-values.yaml, for example:

  pullPolicy: IfNotPresent

To upgrade a running 5G SD-CORE with the new image, or to deploy the 5G SD-CORE with the image:

make 5gc

Troubleshooting / Known Issues

If you suspect a problem, first verify that all pods are in Running state:

kubectl -n omec get pods
kubectl -n aether-roc get pods

If the pods are stuck in ImagePullBackOff state, then it’s likely an issue with credentials. See the Set up Authentication Tokens section.

4G Test Fails

Occasionally make test (for 4G) fails for unknown reasons; this is true regardless of which Helm charts are used. If this happens, first try cleaning up AiaB and re-running the test. If make test fails consistently, check whether the configuration has been pushed to the SD-CORE:

kubectl -n omec logs config4g-0 | grep "Successfully"

You should see that a device group and slice has been pushed:

[INFO][WebUI][CONFIG] Successfully posted message for device group 4g-oaisim-user to main config thread
[INFO][WebUI][CONFIG] Successfully posted message for slice default to main config thread

Then tail the config4g-0 log and make sure that the configuration has been successfully pushed to all SD-CORE components.