WLAN Pi 2.0, Now Built on Armbian, Turns Your Raspberry Pi Into a Network Performance Analyzer

Updated releases switches to Armbian, not only bringing new features but opening the door for supporting additional SBCs in the future.

The WLAN Pi project, which aims to turn a Raspberry Pi into a full analysis toolkit for networking professionals and hobbyists alike, has launched version 2.0 — a substantial rebuild, including a new interface and a move to the Armbian Linux distribution under-the-hood which could lead to broader system support in future releases.

"The goal of the WLAN Pi is provide wireless LAN professionals with a ready-to-use device capable of providing throughput measurements for assessing network performance," project maintainer Scott McDermott explains. "The WLAN Pi can be used to test Wired-to-Wired, Wired-to-Wireless, and even Wireless-to-Wireless. These tests can be used to assist in establishing baselines, help with troubleshooting, testing consistency, as well as measuring end-to-end network throughput."

"WLAN Pi v2 includes some major changes behind the scenes, rebuilt from the ground up on Armbian using the latest Linux kernel (5.8). This update also includes a revamped toolset, many usability improvements, and paves the way for the future of the project to support multiple hardware platforms."

Among the changes for its second major release are a new browser-based user interface based on Flask, a more powerful administrative built on the Cockpit Project, and a "server mode" — designed to turn the host Raspberry Pi into a fully-functional network server for a lab environment with DHCP and TFTP functionality, then revert back to "classic" mode on reboot.

The new release also comes with an updated Front Panel Menu System (FPMS), an optional interface which uses three buttons and an OLED panel to provide physical control of the system without the need for a keyboard or monitor. Additional Wi-Fi drivers have been added for USB dongles, the Wiperf performance monitor mode has been updated, and the shift to Armbian will allow the team to port the software to other Arm-based systems in the future.

WLAN Pi v2.0 is available to download now on GitHub, where the source code is also made available under the GNU General Public License 2.0.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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