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Installing NetSimulyzer 3D Visualization Support Add-on Module in ns-3 under Debian/Ubuntu

NetSimulyzer ns-3 Add-on Module.

In fact, ‘NetSimulyzer’ consists of two parts. One is the actual 3D visualization tool and the other is an ns-3 companion module.  Both are named as NetSimulyzer — so it will make some confusion during installation.

This article will only explain the installation of ‘NetSimulyzer ns-3 companion module’ — which is used to generate 3D traces needed for recreating the 3D network scenarios


Note: The following article explains the installation of the ‘NetSimulyzer 3D visualization tool’ under Debian/Ubuntu Linux variants which is going to be used to test the ns-3 NetSimulyzer module simulation.


Installing NetSimulyzer 3D Visualization Tool under Debian/Ubuntu

Installation Requirements 

  1. (Preferably) a Debian/Ubuntu or any Linux variant.
  2. A C++ 17 compliant compiler
    Minimum supported compilers:
    GCC 7.3.0
    or Clang 6.0.0
  3. This ns-3 NetSimulyzer module installation will require a pre-installed ns-3 (preferably ns-3.33).
  4. And most preferably, a computer/laptop with a higher-end CPU and a LOT of memory. (Even though, this ns-3-waf  compile process  can be done on a computer with decent hardware,  compiling  NetSimulyzer Tool part that will be used to visualize the 3D simulation outputs  of ns-3 will consume a lot of CPU and memory resources and may just ‘hang’ or ‘crash’ your machine)


Step 1: Install with the necessary packages/prerequisites and make ns-3.33 as explained at (Even though compiling of ns-3 is not needed now, we may do it to confirm the good working of basic ns-3 install).

And check ns-3’s good working by running a sample simulation.

$./waf -run examples/tutorial/first

Step 2: Install ‘git’ if needed

$ sudo apt install git

Step 3: Change to a folder under which you want to install NetSimulyzer module and clone the NetSimulyzer ns-3 module project from github. (Preferably, we may install a new module under ‘contrib’ folder of ns-3.

$ cd /home/yourname/ns-allinone-3.33/ns-3.33/contrib

$ git clone netsimulyzer

This will create a folder ‘netsimulyzer’ under the path /home/yourname/ns-allinone-3.33/ns-3.33/contrib


Step 4: Reconfigure & Rebuild ns-3 with the newly added netsimulyzer module

$ cd /home/yourname/ns-allinone-3.33/ns-3.33/

$./waf configure –enable-examples

$ ./waf

The output of successful Install

After the completion of waf build, the terminal screen will list all the available ns3-modules. Notice the highlighted name netsimulyzet in that list.


Step 5: Run using the following command to check the newly added netsimulyzer module in action

$ ./waf –run mobility-buildings-example

The following terminal output shows the simulation outputs of ‘mobility-buildings-example’. (Infact, this simulation is not creating any particular console output – but it will create a 3D trace output file called ‘netsimulyzer-mobility-buildings-example.json’. Further, that .jason file  ‘netsimulyzer-mobility-buildings-example.json’ will be available under ns-3.33 folder.


Step 6: Run the NetSimulyzer visualization tool that was installed earlier (as explained in the article

$ cd  /home/yourname/NetSimulyzer

$ ./build/netsimulyzer


This will open the NetSimulyzer user interface from which you can load and play  .jason format output 3D trace files.


Step 7: Load and visualize a 3D Network Scenario (that was previously created during Step 5)

In this example, the output file of the ns-3 example simulation ‘’ –  ‘netsimulyzer-mobility-buildings-example.json’ has been loaded in the NetSimulyzer visualization tool. By clicking Node 0, we can ‘look’ the scenario from that node’s camera perspective.


The following posts show the use of NetSimulyzer.



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