PlanetLab Support maintains the PlanetLab infrastructure and provides support to the third parties affected by PlanetLab experiments and researchers who conduct experiments.


PlanetLab Support
Princeton University
35 Olden St
Princeton, NJ 08540

Unwanted Traffic From PlanetLab

  • If you are visiting this website because you are receiving unwanted or unrequested traffic from any PlanetLab node, please use the search form to identify the researchers responsible for the traffic, and report your complaint to them. The PlanetLab Support team ( is copied on all complaints, and will ensure that your concerns are addressed in a timely manner. If you are unable to determine the source of the traffic, please contact PlanetLab Support ( Feel free to direct any additional concerns or questions about PlanetLab to this address.
  • If you have received UDP traceroute packets from a number of PlanetLab nodes, you or another user on your network may have recently accessed a website cached by the Coral project, which runs on PlanetLab. Many websites, including Slashdot, regularly post "Coralized" links to popular content. Coral actively probes its clients using a fast traceroute-like tool, to determine the nearest proxy for its clients to use. If you do not want to receive such probes, discontinue accessing URLs that end in
  • If you are receiving HTTP requests from PlanetLab nodes, users may be accessing your website through Coral or CoDeeN, another content distribution network that runs on PlanetLab. If you do not want your site to be cached by Coral or CoDeeN, please contact the maintainers of Coral or the maintainers of CoDeeN directly.
  • If your intrusion detection system (IDS) claims that a PlanetLab node may be compromised with a virus because of traffic that it sent you, the IDS is likely to be mistaken. All PlanetLab nodes run a custom version of Linux, not Windows. Each node boots from secure immutable media and is installed with only the minimum amount of software. All services, such as Coral and CoDeeN, run in virtual servers that, even if compromised, remain isolated from the rest of the system. PlanetLab Operations staff work full-time to monitor and ensure the security and integrity of the network.

Researchers using the PlanetLab network are bound by an Acceptable Use Policy which forbids malicious or disruptive behavior. Additionally, all PlanetLab nodes are secured and actively managed by the PlanetLab Operations team.

Researcher Involvement With PlanetLab

We have made some changes to the way support is handled so that more people can participate while allowing the PlanetLab support team the ability to track tickets. We have put together a configuration that has most of the look-and-feel of a mailing list (so that people can simply respond to messages and the right things happen) while still tracking each request.

Because the PlanetLab support team at Princeton will go over every support request to make sure it is properly resolved, the support system is not meant to be a discussion list. We want to move discussions to {arch,users,devel} quickly where there will be more subscribers who will want to follow and respond to list-specific threads. For details on these lists, see the Mailing Lists page.

PlanetLab support interacts with a variety of people who have a broad range of experience, expertise, and patience. We don't want to alienate new users or outside system administrators who may be contacting us with what they believe to be a serious matter. It is paramount that responses are prompt, professional, and accurate.

  • Please only respond to questions where you can make a positive contribution. Do not guess, unless you're the expert on the topic. Questions from outside PlanetLab should usually be left to staff at Princeton.
  • Be courteous and not judgmental. Flame wars are not tolerated. Do not push your personal agenda (e.g., "you asked about sprockets, but I think you want my cogs instead"). Do not reply "RTFM."
  • Support is not a discussion list. If a question spawns a discussion, the discussion should be moved from support to a discussion list as quickly as possible.

Note: When you reply to a message on support, it will go through our request tracking system (RT) and be forwarded to the original requestor, to anyone on the CC list for the ticket (more below), and to everyone subscribed to PlanetLab support. Because the mail goes through RT and it is RT that redistributes the mail, the list of recipients is not in the mail header. Instead, the requestor and the CC list for the ticket appears at the top of each message. For example:

Email Recipients (see Support)
Ticket Ccs:


Whenever RT receives a message, it incorporates the CC list on the mail header into the CC list for the ticket. So, to include others on the ticket initially or to add them later in the thread, simply CC them on the return mail and RT will pick this up for the follow-up messages. Note that once someone (or a list) has been added to the CC list, they cannot be removed.

Note that a natural consequence of this feature is that people may receive two copies of a message. For example, if you CC someone in a reply, your mailer will send a copy of the message directly; when RT diseminates the message those on the CC list may then receive a second copy.

Moving a Discussion or Ticket to an Open List

When moving an item to a mailing list (e.g., arch or users), be sure to forward the message in such a way that support@planet-lab.orgis no longer a recipient either directly or indirectly. The easiest way to do this is to "forward" the message to the new list. A "reply" can be used with care by removing from the To, Cc, and Bcc lines.

Subscribing to "Support"

To subscribe to support, navigate to the Support Community page.

When you subscribe, expect to receive 30-40 messages per day. At the above link, there is a digest option.

Support Archives

There have been several instantiations of PlanetLab support.