PlanetLab Europe Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

The Nature of the PlanetLab Europe Testbed

PlanetLab Europe consists of computational resources hosted by organizations (principally research organizations like universities) that donate their own time, rack space, and network connectivity for the good of the community. As an overlay, PlanetLab Europe is not a "testbed" in the usual sense of a controlled environment for experiments.

It provides access to other testbeds that are interconnected with PlanetLab Europe in a worldwide federation. It also allows the deployment of experimental services that are accessible to all users of the internet.

Running an experiment on PlanetLab Europe is fundamentally different from running it in a LAN-based lab or on an isolated wide-area testbed.

All aspects of this policy governing the use of the PlanetLab Europe testbed apply equally to the User Member’s use of other testbeds that are federated with PlanetLab Europe and that it accesses through the PlanetLab Europe testbed.

If those testbeds have additional requirements, User Member's access to those testbeds will be conditioned upon agreement to those requirements, in a separate agreement.

General Guidance on Experiments

A good litmus test when considering whether an experiment is appropriate for PlanetLab Europe is to ask what the network administrator at your organization would say about the experiment running on your local site.

If the experiment disrupts local activity (e.g., uses more than its share of your site’s internet bandwidth) or triggers complaints from remote network administrators (e.g., performs systematic port scans), then it is not appropriate for PlanetLab Europe.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your use of PlanetLab Europe falls within these constraints. This means that you should debug your code in a controlled environment so that you have confidence that you understand its behavior.

Responsibility of Sites with Regard to Their Users

PlanetLab Europe is designed to support a broad community of end-users, both User Members of PlanetLab Europe and users of the federated testbeds, as well as external end-users who access experimental services that are deployed on the testbed.

As a consequence, PlanetLab Europe could indirectly support users that have not officially registered with PlanetLab Europe, and may even be unknown to you (the resource provider).

It is your responsibility as a site administrator to ensure that your users do not cause your service to violate the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy. In particular, site administrators should ensure that their users are not able to hijack the service and use it to attack or spam other nodes or network users.

Standards of Network Etiquette

PlanetLab Europe is designed to support network measurement experiments that purposely probe the Internet. However, we expect all users to adhere to widely-accepted standards of network etiquette in an effort to minimize complaints from network administrators.

Activities that have been interpreted as worm and denial-of-service attacks in the past (and should be avoided) include sending SYN packets to port 80 on random machines, probing random IP addresses, repeatedly pinging routers, overloading bottleneck links with measurement traffic, and probing a single target machine from many PlanetLab Europe nodes.

It is likely that individual PlanetLab Europe Sites will have their own Acceptable Use Policies. Users should not knowingly violate such local Acceptable Use Policies. Conflicts between Site Acceptable Use Policies and PlanetLab Europe's stated goal of supporting research into wide-area networks should be brought to the attention of PlanetLab Europe administrators.

The expectations placed on PlanetLab Europe Sites are described in a companion document: Hosting Responsibilities.

Handling Complaints

While the central PlanetLab Europe authority is often the first point-of-contact for complaints about misbehaving services, it is our policy to put the complainant in direct contact with the researcher who is responsible for the service.

To report a suspected violation contact: PlanetLab Europe Support.

No Guarantees

  • PlanetLab Europe provides absolutely no privacy guarantees with regard to packets sent to/from slices (a “slice” being a set of virtual machines and other resources obtained by a user from PlanetLab Europe and its federated testbeds).
  • Users should assume packets will be monitored and logged, for example, to allow other users to investigate abuse (see previous paragraph).
  • PlanetLab Europe also does not provide any guarantees with respect to the reliability of individual nodes, which may be rebooted or reinstalled any time. Reinstalling a node implies that the disk is wiped, meaning that users should not treat the local disk as a persistent form of storage.
  • Any goods, services, and written materials provided by PlanetLab Europe or its agents or any member in any form, whether furnished in draft or final form are provided "as-is with all defects" and without any warranty of any kind. PlanetLab Europe disclaims all warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and noninfringment.
  • In no event shall PlanetLab Europe or any other member be liable to any other member of PlanetLab Europe for any consequential, incidental, punitive or lost profit damages, or for any damages arising out of loss of use or loss of data, to the extent that such damages arise out of the activities of PlanetLab Europe or this agreement or any breach thereof even if member has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be deemed as creating any rights or liabilities in or for third parties who are not Members of PlanetLab Europe.

Rules of Use

  • Overall Rules
    • PlanetLab Europe should not be used for any illegal enacted by any Law or Regulation.
    • PlanetLab Europe should not be used for any commercial activities. Use for research and educational purposes is allowed.
    • Access rights granted to PlanetLab Europe exclude any rights to sublicense, including to affiliates, unless expressly stated otherwise.
    • Access rights granted to PlanetLab Europe don’t give the rights to accede to any other PlanetLab platform that is not federated with PlanetLab Europe.
    • While PlanetLab Europe is federated with other testbeds, access rights to those testbeds may be restricted by those testbeds or by agreements between PlanetLab Europe and those testbeds.
  • Node Usage Rules
    • Use existing security mechanisms. For example, all access to PlanetLab Europe nodes must be via SSH.
    • Do not circumvent accounting and auditing mechanisms. This means you must associate your identity with the PlanetLab Europe slice (account) in which your service runs. You must not do anything to obfuscate the audit trail.
    • No hacking attempts of the PlanetLab Europe nodes. This includes "red team" (hacker test) experiments. All access is non-root.
    • Avoid spin-wait for extended periods of time. If possible, do not spin-wait at all.
  • Network Usage Rules
    • Do not use your PlanetLab Europe slice (account) to gain access to any hosting site resources that you did not already have.
    • Do not use one or more PlanetLab Europe nodes to flood a site with so much traffic as to interfere with its normal operation. Use congestion-controlled flows for large transfers.
    • Do not do systematic or random port or address block scans. Do not spoof or sniff traffic.


Violation of this Acceptable Use Policy may result in any of the following:

  • Disabling the slice (account)
  • removing the Site from PlanetLab Europe
  • Informing the organization’s administration.

To report a suspected violation of this policy, contact:

In case of any breach with this Acceptable Use Policy, Sorbonne Université, on behalf of the PlanetLab Europe Steering Committee, shall terminate this Membership Agreement at any time and without written notice as provided in the PlanetLab Europe Membership Agreement.