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Version: Torizon OS 6.x.y

Networking with Torizon OS


Networking with Torizon OS can refer to different topics:

  • Configuration of the host network, not directly related to containers.
  • Configuration of networking on a container, and the relationship between the container and the host networks.
  • Configuration of inter-container networking, often with the purpose of multi-process communication using the network stack (e.g. REST API).

The first part of this article explains about host network configuration: the Torizon OS image currently provides NetworkManager, a program that provides detection and configuration for the system to automatically connect to networks.

The second part of this article explains about container network configuration and how to share a network between containers using docker-compose.

Ethernet Interface Naming on Torizon OS​

Torizon OS Ethernet interfaces are always named ethernetX, being X a number starting from 0, for instance, ethernet0, ethernet1 and so on.

This article complies with the Typographic Conventions for Torizon Documentation.


In order to take full advantage of networking with Torizon OS, see the articles:

Host Configuration: NetworkManager​

The nmcli is a command-line client for NetworkManager. You can show the status of your network devices, detected by NetworkManager:

# nmcli device

Show our available connections and devices, on which the active connection is applied to:

# nmcli connection show

To disconnect from a network:

# nmcli con down id '<Connection_name>'

To delete a connection:

# nmcli con delete '<Connection_name>'

Static Network Configuration​

If you looking for a way to configure a Static Network Configuration, nmcli provides the following commands:

# nmcli con mod '<Connection_name>'  ipv4.addresses "<desired IP/mask>"
# nmcli con mod '<Connection_name>' ipv4.gateway "<desired gateway>"
# nmcli con mod '<Connection_name>' ipv4.dns "<DNS server 1>,<DNS server 2>"
# nmcli con mod '<Connection_name>' ipv4.method "manual"

After running the commands above, you can visualize your entire network configuration by opening the <connection-name>.nmconnection file:

# cd /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/
# sudo cat <connection-name>.nmconnection

Expected file output:





After the changes were made, do not forget to reload the configuration file:

# sudo nmcli connection reload

Dynamic Network Configuration​

Along with Static Network Configuration, ncmli provides a way to configure a dynamic connection:

# nmcli con mod '<Connection_name>'  ipv4.method "auto"

Other nmcli Commands​

You must read the nmcli man page, either running man nmcli on a computer with nmcli installed or Googling after it. For quick reference, man --help is also useful.


Torizon OS supports two Wi-Fi modes: client mode and access point (AP) mode.

Wi-Fi Client Mode​

This mode is used when you want a Torizon OS Device to connect to a Wi-Fi access point.

To see a list of available Wi-Fi access points:

# nmcli device wifi list

To connect to a Wi-Fi access point:

# nmcli -a device wifi connect <WIFI_NAME>
Share internet over ethernet​

Now that your device is connected to a Wi-Fi access point, you might want to share the internet to other devices over ethernet.

  1. Note the Wi-Fi interface name(<WIFI_IFACE_NAME>) that NetworkManager used to connect to the Wi-Fi.

    # nmcli connection show --active | grep wifi | awk '{print $4}'
  2. Activate a DHCP server on the ethernet interface(<ETH_IFACE_NAME>). To do that, you can leverage systemd's built-in DHCP server support, creating the file /etc/systemd/network/ with the following content (substitute <ETH_IFACE_NAME>, <IPV4_ADDR>, <IPV4_ADDR_NETMASK>, <DHCPD_POOL_OFFSET>, <DHCPD_POOL_SIZE> and <STATIC_DNS_ADDRESS> accordingly):


    You can refer to Systemd manpages for more configuration possibilities and details.




    Now just restart the systemd-networkd service:

    # sudo systemctl restart systemd-networkd

    At this point, any device connected to the ethernet will be able to lease an IP address from the DHCP server.

  3. Setup Packet Forwarding and NAT to give internet access to the device connected over the ethernet.

    As this is a reverse scenario of Wi-Fi hotspot mode, we can follow the same steps described under the Wi-Fi hotspot mode and just reverse the NAT interfaces like below:(substitute <ETH_IFACE_NAME> and <WIFI_IFACE_NAME> accordingly):

    # sudo iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o <WIFI_IFACE_NAME> -j MASQUERADE
    # sudo iptables -A FORWARD -m conntrack --ctstate RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
    # sudo iptables -A FORWARD -i <ETH_IFACE_NAME> -o <WIFI_IFACE_NAME> -j ACCEPT

    Now the device connected over ethernet should be able to access the internet.

Wi-Fi Access Point Mode​

This mode is used when you want a Torizon OS Device to act as a Wi-Fi access point.

Method 1: NetworkManager​

The Network Manager method for upstream version presents some compatibility issues reported on NetworkManager >> Issues. Be aware that this method may not work as expected.

Run the following commands to configure Torizon OS as a Wi-Fi access point, substituting <WIFI_AP_NAME>, <WIFI_SSID>, <WIFI_PASSWORD> and <IPV4_ADDR> accordingly:

# nmcli con add type wifi ifname uap0 mode ap con-name <WIFI_AP_NAME> ssid <WIFI_SSID>
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> 802-11-wireless-security.key-mgmt wpa-psk
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> 802-11-wireless-security.proto rsn
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> ccmp
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> 802-11-wireless-security.pairwise ccmp
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> 802-11-wireless-security.psk <WIFI_PASSWORD>
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> ipv4.addresses <IPV4_ADDR>
# nmcli con modify <WIFI_AP_NAME> ipv4.method manual
# nmcli con up <WIFI_AP_NAME>

Besides a Wi-Fi access point, you also need to activate a DHCP server in Torizon OS. To do that, you can leverage systemd's built-in DHCP server support, creating the file /etc/systemd/network/ with the following content (substitute <IPV4_ADDR>, <IPV4_ADDR_NETMASK>, <DHCPD_POOL_OFFSET> and <DHCPD_POOL_SIZE> accordingly):


You can refer to Systemd manpages for more configuration possibilities and details.




Now just restart the systemd-networkd service:

$ sudo systemctl restart systemd-networkd
Method 2: Hostapd​

This section is based on the BSP Access Point mode

  1. Tell NetworkManager to stop managing the uap interface. Create the file /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/99-disable-uap.conf with the following content:


  2. Set the Access Point interface IP and SSID in Hostapd configuration file. Change the following variables in /etc/hostapd.conf:


    An alternate hostapd.conf file that creates a WLan in the 5GHz range, protected with WPA2:


    Replace <WIFI_SSID>, <IP_ADDR>, <WIFI_PASSWORD> and <CC> accordingly. In order to complete your file with the correct country code, please take a look at Country Codes. The hostapd.conf is documented in the default hostapd.conf file that is deployed, as well as here:

  3. To provide the Access Point interface with a static IP address and DHCP, it is necessary to create the file /etc/systemd/network/




    Replace <IPV4_ADDR>, <IPV4_ADDR_NETMASK> and <STATIC_DNS_ADRESS> accordingly. This also automatically sets up forwarding and the iptables masquerading rules, also including the setup of the AP sharing interface with a DHCP server. You can find more information and examples on the systemd-networkd documentation.

  4. Enable and start hostapd:

    # sudo systemctl enable hostapd
    # sudo systemctl start hostapd

AP will not survive a reboot: To make it persist do the following

  1. Edit hostapd.service to execute after the desired interface (uap) is created and add these lines:

    Description=Hostapd IEEE 802.11 AP, IEEE 802.1X/WPA/WPA2/EAP/RADIUS Authenticator

Now your access point is all set and should work as expected.

Wi-Fi Hotspot Mode​

To configure a hotspot, first make sure to follow the steps at the section Method 2: Hostapd. Then, proceed with the next instructions. If you are using the Method 1: NetworkManager, this steps are not needed.

Once AP Mode is configured, it is a common use-case to share an internet connection from another interface (hotspot), when you want your system-on-module with Torizon OS to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This section relies on the Internet Sharing article from the Arch Wiki and on BSP internet sharing mode.

  1. Enable the Packet Forwarding settings by editing the 30-ipforward.conf with the following content:


The changes will take effect after a reboot.

  1. Use modprobe to load the kernel modules related to IP tables, NAT and Conntrack.

    # modprobe ip_tables
    # modprobe nf_nat
    # modprobe nf_conntrack
  2. Use iptables to enable NAT:

    # sudo iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o ethernet0 -j MASQUERADE
    # sudo iptables -A FORWARD -m conntrack --ctstate RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
    # sudo iptables -A FORWARD -i uap0 -o ethernet0 -j ACCEPT
  3. Save the current config to /etc/iptables/iptables.rules:

    # sudo su
    # mkdir /etc/iptables/
    # iptables-save > /etc/iptables/iptables.rules
    # exit
  4. Create a systemd service file iptables.service. The example is modified from the iptables package from Arch Linux:

    Description=IPv4 Packet Filtering Framework

    ExecStart=/usr/sbin/iptables-restore /etc/iptables/iptables.rules
    ExecReload=/usr/sbin/iptables-restore /etc/iptables/iptables.rules

  5. Reload systemd services and enable the new service:

    $ sudo systemctl --system daemon-reload
    $ sudo systemctl enable iptables


It's possible to configure a VPN tunnel in Torizon OS using WireGuard. In order to do this, please follow the instructions described in How to Use VPN on Torizon OS.

ifupdown Plugin​

Torizon OS supports the NetworkManager's ifupdown plugin. This plugin makes it possible to configure the network using a /etc/network/interfaces file. For more information on how to use this plugin, please check the official NetworkManager documentation and the NetworkManager.conf manpage.

Production Release​

After you make the changes to the board, you can use the command isolate from the TorizonCore Builder Tool to generate your custom Torizon OS image for the Toradex Easy Installer. To learn how to do it, please refer to the article Capturing Changes in the Configuration of a Board on Torizon OS.

Networking Inside Docker Container​

This section is a brief introduction on how to use different network configurations inside a Docker container. You must also refer to the Docker Networking documentation, which is a comprehensive source of information.

Show the list of networks:

# docker network ls

Inspect network to see what containers are connected to it:

# docker network inspect <NETWORK_NAME>

Network drivers:

  • Bridge (containers communicate on the same Docker host)

  • Host (uses the host's networking directly)

  • Overlay (when containers running on different Docker hosts to communicate)

  • Macvlan (when you need your containers to look like physical hosts )

  • None

  • 3rd-party- network plugins


When you run a new container, it automatically connects to the bridge network. A private network internal to the host is created in order to provide communication to the containers.

Create a user-defined bridge network:

# docker network create --subnet=<> <NETWORK_NAME>

Create a container connected to our user-defined network:

# docker run --name <CONTAINER_NAME> -d --net <NETWORK_NAME>  <IMAGE_NAME>

Specify the IP to a container and publish port 80 in the container to port 8080 to allow connections from other machine on the network :

# docker run --name <CONTAINER_NAME> -d --net <NETWORK_NAME> --ip <>  --publish <8080>:<80> <IMAGE_NAME>

Connect a running container to a network:

# docker network connect <NETWORK_NAME> <CONTAINER_NAME>


Macvlan driver can be configured in different ways. The advantage is to use the newest built-in and a lightweight driver, allowing the container to connect directly to host interfaces.

Create a macvlan network:

# docker network create -d macvlan --subnet=<>  \
--gateway=<> -o parent=<ETHERNET_INTERFACE> \

Attach the container to the macvlan network:

# docker run -dit --network <NETWORK_NAME> \
--name <CONTAINER_NAME> <IMAGE_NAME> /bin/bash

Docker Networking Drivers Use Cases​

To understand more about Docker networking drivers and which one is more advised to use on your application, please take a look at Understanding Docker Networking Driver Use Cases (archived).

Docker Network Using Docker-Compose​

When you start your application, Docker Compose sets up a bridge network by default. Each service connects to the network, which makes them reachable with each other.

You can create your own networks to provide isolation and more options:

image: app
- frontend
image: app
- frontend
- backend
image: app
- backend
# here you can configure your network

App2 is connected to frontend and backend network, so it can communicate with app1 and app3. App1 and app3 can't communicate with each other, because they are on separate networks.

Connect to the external network:

name: <pre-existing-network>

Docker compose looks for the pre-existing-network.

For more information about, please take a look at Docker Compose Documentation.

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