Desktop App Manual

1. Installation
2. Usage
3. Support and bug report

1. Installation

Follow the right procedure depending on your operating system:

  • Linux
    • Debian/Ubuntu
      Download the deb package and install it using dpkg or double-clicking it. After the installation a reboot may be necessary
    • ArchLinux
      Portolan is available on aur
    • . You can also use the pacman binary package

    • Fedora/CentOS
      Download the rpm package and install it using rpm or double-clicking it. After the installation a reboot may be necessary
    • Raspberry Pi
      Portolan is available on the Pi Store (coming soon). You can also use the deb package. After the installation a reboot may be necessary
    • Generic
      Download the tar.gz archive and execute linux/ with root privileges. It requires Java 6 or higher and the command line tool iwlist. After installation, in order for Portolan to work, you have to start the script /usr/share/portolan/ as root and you have to run it at each boot
  • Mac OS X
    Download the pkg package and install it, you have to allow installation of untrusted packages from OS X settings. After the installation a reboot may be necessary
  • Windows 7 and newer
    Download the exe installer and execute it. It requires Java 6 or higher. After the installation a reboot may be necessary

Once installed, Portolan automatically performs measurements for the Portolan project (except for Generic Linux installation, see above for details). It periodically connects to our servers to retrieve any measurement tasks it needs to perform. If a task is received, the application carries out measurements and sends the results back to the server. Data stored on the servers is completely anonymous. No personal data is collected.

1.1 Common Issues

If you have a firewall, it may block ICMP packets and some tools may not work properly. To avoid this, add a rule that allows ICMP TTL_EXCEEDED and DEST_UNREACH packets (for Windows Firewall it can be done automatically during installation).

Norton Antivirus
Norton Antivirus considers the .exe file unsafe because it is not signed and move it in quarantine. Don’t panic, it is just a false positive. You can retrieve the installer from quarantine and continue with the installation procedure.

2. Usage

Portolan application is composed of three panels:screen_main

  • Analyzer panel
    The left panel can be used to run some network diagnostic tools.
  • Measurements panel
    The top-right panel can be used to run measurements such as ping, traceroute, paris traceroute, AS traceroute and MDA.
  • Output panel
    The bottom-right panel shows the output of both Analyzer and Measurements panels.

2.1. Analyzer panel

Checks if BitTorrent traffic from/towards your computer is limited.
BitTorrent traffic is considered limited if the throughput of a BitTorrent flow is lower than the 80% of the throughput of an HTTP flow.
Throughput estimation
Computes the maximum throughput from/towards your computer.
Public address
Determines your public IP address.
NAT presence
Checks if this computer is behind a NAT or a PAT.
IPv6 support
Check if IPv6 connections are supported.
Fragmentation support
Checks if IP fragmentation is supported.
Computes the maximum MTU on the path from your computer to the given address.

DNS Lookup
Performs a DNS lookup of the given address and shows useful information about it.
LAN Scan
Searches for devices in the current LAN and for each of them searches for open well known TCP ports.
Net Calculator
Shows some information about the given IPv4 address.
Port Map
Allows to check if the given ports are open on a given host.
Perform All
Perfoms all the available analyzer measurements to diagnose your network.
Show Stats
Shows statistics about the application usage.

2.2. Measurements panel

This panel can be used to tune parameters to perform network measurements:

  • Measure
    Allows to choose the type of measuere among ping, traceroute, paris traceroute, AS traceroute and MDA.
  • Protocol
    Allows to choose the protocol for measure among ICMP, UDP and TCP (TCP is not available on Windows).
  • Timeout
    Timeout of the probes in milliseconds.
  • Interval
    Minimum interval between probes.
  • Count
    Number of ping packets to send (available for ping only).
  • Errors
    Number of consecutive unresponsive hops before the measeurement is stopped (not available for ping).
  • TTL Range
    Initial and maximum Time To Live of the probes (not available for ping).
  • Flow
    The initial flow of the probes. For ICMP indicates the Identifier field. For UDP and TCP indicates the destination port.
  • Extensions
    • Fingerprint, for each interface discovered during the traceroute, computes its fingerprint i.e. a triplet containing the initial TTLs of icmp packets (respectively Time Exceeded, Echo Reply and Destination Unreachable) sent by this interface
    • MPLS, print the MPLS stack contained in the received ICMP packets (if present), when the measure is completed prints discovered MPLS tunnels
  • IP Version
    Choose whether to use IPv4 or IPv6 or let the application choose.
  • Destination
    The target IP address of the measurement.


3. Support and bug report

For support and bug reports contact us