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Networking Projects Ubiquiti

UFiber OLT API

In a previous post we took a quick look to the Ubiquiti UFiber OLT. As always, UBNT tries to offer a non expensive solution to provide last-mile conectivity for end users. I am using non-expensive because UBNT gear is not cheap. Yeah, it can be affordable, but you only get what you pay for.

We saw that the command line is very limited, even when the software is a fork of Vyatta. There is no way to get ONUs provisioned from the command line, so forgot about Ansible (we love Ansible), netmiko, and other SSH clients tools to ease your life.

UBNT wants you to use the web GUI, period. They offer a dockerized management system called UNMS, which really comes handy after you have provisioned your customers.

Both you and me, as network operators, know that provisioning customers is one of the more boring tasks, but is is still a critical one. Fast and precise provisioning translates in more customers, more stability, faster troubleshooting, and peace of mind.

Yeah, SONAR exists, but not all operators can work with their pricing and technology supports. And don’t even think to integrate billing if you are using electronic invoicing with AFIP in Argentina.

If you are still here, don’t give up. If there is a will, there is a way.

Under the hood

The OLT has a web GUI served by HTTPS, with a self-signed certificate, on port 443. There is no easy way to use a proper certificate here, but well, it’s something.

If you are not authenticated, this is what waits for you in the URL root.

Looks like a login screen

I want to know if this is a standard HTML form. And indeed it is.

<form id="LoginForm" method="post" class="ui-form">
    <input id="Username" name="username" class="text-input" type="text" placeholder="Username" autocapitalize="off" autocorrection="off">
    <input id="Password" name="password" class="text-input" type="password" placeholder="Password">
    <input id="LoginButton" class="submit-input ui-button ui-widget ui-state-default ui-corner-all" type="submit" value="Login" role="button" aria-disabled="false">
</form>

What happens when we log in? I’m using Chrome version 81 and something, let’s open devtools to see the network activity.

General

Request URL:
https://x.x.x.x/
Request Method:
POST
Status Code:
303 See Other
Remote Address:
x.x.x.x:443

Request Headers

Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,image/webp,image/apng,/;q=0.8,application/signed-exchange;v=b3;q=0.9
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, br
Accept-Language: es,en;q=0.9
Cache-Control: max-age=0
Connection: keep-alive
Content-Length: 32
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Cookie: PHPSESSID=5da99950e9f74ad8b727f219c9e41d76; X-CSRF-TOKEN=9f0c78e2ea8994b39834e0241466c21b68a28df59bf98364ece91dcd183bdab5; beaker.session.id=29fdb5243db8446f81f75587c9c2a722
DNT: 1
Host: x.x.x.x
Origin: https://x.x.x.x
Referer: https://x.x.x.x/
Sec-Fetch-Dest: document
Sec-Fetch-Mode: navigate
Sec-Fetch-Site: same-origin
Sec-Fetch-User: ?1
Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/83.0.4103.116 Safari/537.36

Response

Content-Length: 0
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2015 08:54:30 GMT
Location: https://x.x.x.x/
Server: Server
Set-Cookie: PHPSESSID=a24b5cbbd6874a1eb09c2d086a93efc6
Set-Cookie: X-CSRF-TOKEN=6f13035a0b7aa4b375e6798c7c60f12e805ecea8c74a3306da81c710e6a3701b
Set-Cookie: beaker.session.id=a24b5cbbd6874a1eb09c2d086a93efc6; httponly; Path=/; secure

Form Data

username: ubnt
password: ubnt

So, this is a standard POST. And we got a cookie.

This can be translated to Python by using the request module.

host = 'olt.ubnt'
url = 'https://{host}'.format(host=host)

USER_AGENT = 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4044.138 Safari/537.36'

HEADER_FORM_URLENCODED = {
    'Content-Type': 'application/x-www-form-urlencoded',
    'User-Agent': USER_AGENT,
}

form_data = {
    'username': username,
    'password': password,
}
response = requests.post(
    verify=False,
    url=url,
    headers=HEADER_FORM_URLENCODED,
    data=form_data
)

Good enough for me. Of course this should be into a try/catch structure, but ymmv.

Shut up and take my ONUs

So, we are logged in. What about ONU configuration? The GUI allows to update firware, but this is done automatically starting from software version 3.1.3. We can also set many parameters of the ONU configuration, and provision them via OMCI, but the ONU should already exist in the ONU list.

Configuring existing ONUs

There is no way to add non-existing ONUs to the configuration, which makes pre-provisioning impossible.

What happens when we click on save?

A POST request is made, passing an interesting payload to the /api/edge/batch.json endpoint. Let’s see how does it looks like.

This POST puts a payload with all the ONU configuration, and a bit more. It uses a JSON structure which looks like this.

{
    "SET": {
        "onu-list": {
            "UBNTffffffff": {
                "disable": "false",
                "profile": "profile-2",
                "name": "ARTURO TEST",
                "wifi": {
                    "provisioned": false,
                    "enabled": true,
                    "ssid": "UBNT-ONU",
                    "hide-ssid": false,
                    "auth-mode": "wpa2psk",
                    "wpapsk": "",
                    "channel": "auto",
                    "channel-width": "20/40",
                    "tx-power": "100"
                },
                "pppoe-mode": "auto",
                "pppoe-user": "ARTURO",
                "pppoe-password": "ARTURO",
                "wan-address": "null",
                "port-forwards": []
            }
        }
    }
}

Of course this is a fake ONU with a UBNTffffffff serial number. Yeah, we can fool the GUI and send whatever values we want.

This comes real handy because you can pre-provision ONUs before they show up in the PON port.

As an ISP, this means a time saver, because you can deliver ONUs ready to plug and play, and the OLT will hand out all the configuration without further intervention.

The web GUI is handy (altough not so stable), but it really doesn’t makes sense to have to manually provision each ONU when they are connected in the PON port.
Technicians have to spend to a lot time on customers houses waiting for the NOC to configure each new customer. This is no-bueno in pandemic times. You want to install as many new customers as possible, as fast as possible, and staying in foreign homes as less as possible.

It seems it’s time for me to code something.

If you are reading this, Robert Pera, please make me a CLI.

By Arturo

Always computing, connecting people and machines.

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