ns-3 is a packet-level network simulator for research and education.

Are you interested in contributing to a widely-used performance evaluation tool for computer networking research? ns-3 is a discrete-event, packet-level network simulator with an emphasis on networking research and education. Users of ns-3 can construct simulations of computer networks using models of traffic generators, protocols such as TCP/IP, and devices and channels such as Wi-Fi and LTE, and analyze or visualize the results. Simulation plays a vital role in the research and education process, because of the ability for simulations to obtain reproducible results (particularly for wireless protocol design), scale to large networks, and study systems that have not yet been implemented. A particular emphasis in ns-3 is a high degree of realism in the models (including frameworks for using real application and kernel code) and integration of the tool with virtual machine environments and testbeds. Very large scale simulations are possible; simulations of hundreds of millions of nodes have been published. ns-3 has been in development since 2005 and has been making regular releases since June 2008 (our last release was ns-3.33 in January 2021). The tool is in wide use; we provide statistics about the project on our web site (under the Overview/Statistics page), but in summary, we have a users mailing list (Google Groups forum) of over 9500 members as of February 2021, averaging over 8 posts per day. Our developers' list has over 1500 subscribers, and the code base has a total of 295 authors and around 10 active maintainers. ns-3 is operated as an open source project, originally funded with financial backing from three NSF grants and from the French government (and via help from Google Summer of Code), but with most current contributions coming from interested researchers and students worldwide. We use a GPLv2 licensing model and heavily use mailing lists, and chat for code springs, but typically not other social media.

lightbulb_outline View ideas list


  • c++
  • python 3


comment IRC Channel
email Mailing list
mail_outline Contact email

The ns-3 Network Simulator Project 2021 Projects

  • Akshit Patel
    Add logging support to Simulation Execution Manager (SEM)
    The project aims to add support for ns-3’s built-in logging to SEM, also allowing the user to visualize the logs on an interactive dashboard. The...
  • Parth Pratim Chatterjee
    Direct Code Execution Modernization
    DCE currently makes use of net-next-nuse to extend the Linux kernel internals like the networking stack to host applications but over the years the...
  • Ameya Deshpande
    IPv6 Nix-Vector Routing
    The project aims to implement IPv6 Nix-Vector Routing with minimal code duplication from IPv4 Nix-Vector Routing. ns-3 has an implementation of...