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OpenWISP 2 Controller

Project description

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OpenWISP Controller is a configuration manager that allows to automate several networking tasks like adoption, provisioning, management VPN configuration, X509 certificates automatic generation, revocation of x509 certificates and a lot more features.

OpenWISP is not only an application designed for end users, but can also be used as a framework on which custom network automation solutions can be built on top of its building blocks.

Other popular building blocks that are part of the OpenWISP ecosystem are:

  • openwisp-monitoring: provides device status monitoring, collection of metrics, charts, alerts, possibility to define custom checks
  • openwisp-firmware-upgrader: automated firmware upgrades (single devices or mass network upgrades)
  • openwisp-radius: based on FreeRADIUS, allows to implement network access authentication systems like 802.1x WPA2 Enterprise, captive portal authentication, Hotspot 2.0 (802.11u)
  • openwisp-network-topology: provides way to collect and visualize network topology data from dynamic mesh routing daemons or other network software (eg: OpenVPN); it can be used in conjunction with openwisp-monitoring to get a better idea of the state of the network
  • openwisp-ipam: allows to manage the assignment of IP addresses used in the network
  • openwisp-notifications: allows users to be aware of important events happening in the network.

Want to help OpenWISP? Find out how to help us grow here.

Table of Contents:

Deploy it in production

An automated installer is available at ansible-openwisp2.


  • Python >= 3.6
  • OpenSSL

Install stable version from pypi

Install from pypi:

pip install openwisp-controller

Install development version

Install tarball:

pip install

Alternatively you can install via pip using git:

pip install -e git+git://

If you want to contribute, follow the instructions in Installing for development.

Project Structure & main features

OpenWISP Controller is a python package consisting of four django apps:

Config App

  • configuration management for embedded devices supporting different firmwares:
  • configuration editor based on JSON-Schema editor
  • advanced edit mode: edit NetJSON DeviceConfiguration objects for maximum flexibility
  • configuration templates: reduce repetition to the minimum
  • configuration variables: reference ansible-like variables in the configuration and templates
  • template tags: tag templates to automate different types of auto-configurations (eg: mesh, WDS, 4G)
  • simple HTTP resources: allow devices to automatically download configuration updates
  • VPN management: automatically provision VPN tunnels with unique x509 certificates


The PKI app is based on django-x509, it allows to create, import and view x509 CAs and certificates directly from the administration dashboard.

Connection App

This app enables the controller to instantiate connections to the devices in order perform push operations (eg: configuration updates or firmware upgrades via the additional firmware upgrade module).

The default connection protocol implemented is SSH, but other protocol mechanism is extensible and custom protocols can be implemented as well.

Geo App

The geographic app is based on django-loci and allows to define the geographic coordinates of the devices, as well as their indoor coordinates on floorplan images.

This module also provides an API through which mobile devices can update their coordinates. See below for further details:

GET /api/v1/device/{id}/location/
PUT /api/v1/device/{id}/location/


You can change the values for the following variables in to configure your instance of openwisp-controller.


type: int
default: 2
unit: seconds

Configure timeout to wait for an authentication response when establishing a SSH connection.


type: int
default: 60
unit: seconds

Configure timeout to wait for the banner to be presented when establishing a SSH connection.


type: int
default: 30
unit: seconds

Configure timeout on blocking read/write operations when executing a command in a SSH connection.


type: int
default: 5
unit: seconds

Configure timeout for the TCP connect when establishing a SSH connection.


type: tuple
  ('openwisp_controller.connection.connectors.ssh.Ssh', 'SSH'),

Available connector classes. Connectors are python classes that specify ways in which OpenWISP can connect to devices in order to launch commands.


type: tuple
  ('openwisp_controller.connection.connectors.openwrt.ssh.OpenWrt', 'OpenWRT SSH'),

Available update strategies. An update strategy is a subclass of a connector class which defines an update_config method which is in charge of updating the configuratio of the device.

This operation is launched in a background worker when the configuration of a device is changed.

It’s possible to write custom update strategies and add them to this setting to make them available in OpenWISP.


type: dict
  'netjsonconfig.OpenWrt': OPENWISP_UPDATE_STRATEGIES[0][0],

A dictionary that maps configuration backends to update strategies in order to automatically determine the update strategy of a device connection if the update strategy field is left blank by the user.


type: tuple
  ('netjsonconfig.OpenWrt', 'OpenWRT'),
  ('netjsonconfig.OpenWisp', 'OpenWISP'),

Available configuration backends. For more information, see netjsonconfig backends.


type: tuple
  ('openwisp_controller.vpn_backends.OpenVpn', 'OpenVPN'),

Available VPN backends for VPN Server objects. For more information, see OpenVPN netjsonconfig backend.

A VPN backend must follow some basic rules in order to be compatible with openwisp-controller:

  • it MUST allow at minimum and at maximum one VPN instance
  • the main NetJSON property MUST match the lowercase version of the class name, eg: when using the OpenVpn backend, the system will look into config['openvpn']
  • it SHOULD focus on the server capabilities of the VPN software being used


type: str

The preferred backend that will be used as initial value when adding new Config or Template objects in the admin.

This setting defaults to the raw value of the first item in the OPENWISP_CONTROLLER_BACKENDS setting, which is netjsonconfig.OpenWrt.

Setting it to None will force the user to choose explicitly.


type: str

The preferred backend that will be used as initial value when adding new Vpn objects in the admin.

This setting defaults to the raw value of the first item in the OPENWISP_CONTROLLER_VPN_BACKENDS setting, which is openwisp_controller.vpn_backends.OpenVpn.

Setting it to None will force the user to choose explicitly.


type: bool
default: True

Whether devices can automatically register through the controller or not.

This feature is enabled by default.

Autoregistration must be supported on the devices in order to work, see openwisp-config automatic registration for more information.


type: bool
default: True

Whether devices that are already registered are recognized when reflashed or reset, hence keeping the existing configuration without creating a new one.

This feature is enabled by default.

Autoregistration must be enabled also on the devices in order to work, see openwisp-config consistent key generation for more information.


type: bool
default: True

Whether devices that are not already present in the system are allowed to register or not.

Turn this off if you still want to use auto-registration to avoid having to manually set the device UUID and key in its configuration file but also want to avoid indiscriminate registration of new devices without explicit permission.


type: dict
default: {}

Additional context that is passed to the default context of each device object.

OPENWISP_CONTROLLER_CONTEXT can be used to define system-wide configuration variables.

For more information regarding how to use configuration variables in OpenWISP, see How to use configuration variables.

For technical information about how variables are handled in the lower levels of OpenWISP, see netjsonconfig context: configuration variables.


type: bool
default: True

The default value of the auto_cert field for new Template objects.

The auto_cert field is valid only for templates which have type set to VPN and indicates whether a new x509 certificate should be created automatically for each configuration using that template.

The automatically created certificates will also be removed when they are not needed anymore (eg: when the VPN template is removed from a configuration object).


type: str
default: /etc/x509

The filesystem path where x509 certificate will be installed when downloaded on routers when auto_cert is being used (enabled by default).


type: str
default: {mac_address}-{name}

Defines the format of the common_name attribute of VPN client certificates that are automatically created when using VPN templates which have auto_cert set to True.


type: bool
default: True

In the device list page, the column IP will show the management_ip if available, defaulting to last_ip otherwise.

If this setting is set to False the management_ip won’t be shown in the device list page even if present, it will be shown only in the device detail page.

You may set this to False if for some reason the majority of your user doesn’t care about the management ip address.


type: bool
default: True

In the device list page, the column backend and the backend filter are shown by default.

If this setting is set to False these items will be removed from the UI.

You may set this to False if you are using only one configuration backend and having this UI element doesn’t add any value to your users.


type: bool
default: False

The field hardware_id can be used to store a unique hardware id, for example a serial number.

If this setting is set to True then this field will be shown first in the device list page and in the add/edit device page.

This feature is disabled by default.


type: dict
    'null': True,
    'max_length': 32,
    'unique': True,
    'verbose_name': _('Serial number'),
    'help_text': _('Serial number of this device')

Options for the model field hardware_id.

  • blank: wether the field is allowed to be blank
  • null: wether an empty value will be stored as NULL in the database
  • max_length: maximum length of the field
  • unique: wether the value of the field must be unique
  • verbose_name: text for the human readable label of the field
  • help_text: help text to be displayed with the field


type: bool
default: True

When the hardware ID feature is enabled, devices will be referenced with their hardware ID instead of their name.

If you still want to reference devices by their name, set this to False.


type: tuple
default: ('Device', 'Devices')

Defines the verbose_name attribute of the Device model, which is displayed in the admin site. The first and second element of the tuple represent the singular and plural forms.

For example, if we want to change the verbose name to “Hotspot”, we could write:


Default Alerts / Notifications

Notification Type Use
config_error Fires when status of a device configuration changes to error.
device_registered Fires when a new device is registered automatically on the network.

Installing for development

Install the system dependencies:

sudo apt install -y sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev openssl libssl-dev
sudo apt install -y gdal-bin libproj-dev libgeos-dev libspatialite-dev libsqlite3-mod-spatialite

Fork and clone the forked repository:

git clone git://<your_fork>/openwisp-controller

Navigate into the cloned repository:

cd openwisp-controller/

Launch Redis:

docker-compose up -d redis

Setup and activate a virtual-environment. (we’ll be using virtualenv)

python -m virtualenv env
source env/bin/activate

Make sure that you are using pip version 20.2.4 before moving to the next step:

pip install -U "pip==20.2.4" wheel setuptools

Install development dependencies:

pip install -e .
pip install -r requirements-test.txt
npm install -g jslint stylelint

Create database:

cd tests/
./ migrate
./ createsuperuser

Launch celery worker (for background jobs):

celery -A openwisp2 worker -l info

Launch development server:

./ runserver

You can access the admin interface at

Run tests with:

./ --parallel

Run quality assurance tests with:


Install and run on docker

NOTE: This Docker image is for development purposes only. For the official OpenWISP Docker images, see: docker-openwisp.

Build from the Dockerfile:

docker-compose build

Run the docker container:

docker-compose up

Troubleshooting Steps

You may encounter some issues while installing GeoDjango.

Unable to load SpatiaLite library extension?

If you are getting below exception:

django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Unable to load the SpatiaLite library extension

then, You need to specify SPATIALITE_LIBRARY_PATH in your as explained in django documentation regarding how to install and configure spatialte.

Having Issues with other geospatial libraries?

Please refer troubleshooting issues related to geospatial libraries.

How to use configuration variables

Sometimes the configuration is not exactly equal on all the devices, some parameters are unique to each device or need to be changed by the user.

In these cases it is possible to use configuration variables in conjunction with templates, this feature is also known as configuration context, think of it like a dictionary which is passed to the function which renders the configuration, so that it can fill variables according to the passed context.

The different ways in which variables are defined are described below.

Predefined device variables

Each device gets the following attributes passed as configuration variables:

  • id
  • key
  • name
  • mac_address

User defined device variables

In the device configuration section you can find a section named “Configuration variables” where it is possible to define the configuration variables and their values, as shown in the example below:


Template default values

It’s possible to specify the default values of variables defined in a template.

This allows to achieve 2 goals:

  1. pass schema validation without errors (otherwise it would not be possible to save the template in the first place)
  2. provide good default values that are valid in most cases but can be overridden in the device if needed

These default values will be overridden by the User defined device variables.

The default values of variables can be manipulated from the section “configuration variables” in the edit template page:

default values

Global variables

Variables can also be defined globally using the OPENWISP_CONTROLLER_CONTEXT setting.

System defined variables

Predefined device variables, global variables and other variables that are automatically managed by the system (eg: when using templates of type VPN-client) are displayed in the admin UI as System Defined Variables in read-only mode.

system defined variables

Example usage of variables

Here’s a typical use case, the WiFi SSID and WiFi password. You don’t want to define this for every device, but you may want to allow operators to easily change the SSID or WiFi password for a specific device without having to re-define the whole wifi interface to avoid duplicating information.

This would be the template:

    "interfaces": [
            "type": "wireless",
            "name": "wlan0",
            "wireless": {
                "mode": "access_point",
                "radio": "radio0",
                "ssid": "{{wlan0_ssid}}",
                "encryption": {
                    "protocol": "wpa2_personal",
                    "key": "{{wlan0_password}}",
                    "cipher": "auto"

These would be the default values in the template:

    "wlan0_ssid": "SnakeOil PublicWiFi",
    "wlan0_password": "Snakeoil_pwd!321654"

The default values can then be overridden at device level if needed, eg:

    "wlan0_ssid": "Room 23 ACME Hotel",
    "wlan0_password": "room_23pwd!321654"

How to configure push updates

Follow the procedure described below to enable secure SSH access from OpenWISP to your devices, this is required to enable push updates (whenever the configuration is changed, OpenWISP will trigger the update in the background) and/or firmware upgrades (via the additional module openwisp-firmware-upgrader).

Note: If you have installed OpenWISP with openwisp2 Ansbile role then you can skip the following steps. The Ansible role automatically creates a default template to update authorized_keys on networking devices using the default access credentials.

1. Generate SSH key

First of all, we need to generate the SSH key which will be used by OpenWISP to access the devices, to do so, you can use the following command:

echo './sshkey' | ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "openwisp"

This will create two files in the current directory, one called sshkey (the private key) and one called (the public key).

Store the content of these files in a secure location.

2. Save SSH private key in OpenWISP (access credentials)

add SSH private key as access credential in OpenWISP

From the first page of OpenWISP click on “Access credentials”, then click on the “ADD ACCESS CREDENTIALS” button in the upper right corner (alternatively, go to the following URL: /admin/connection/credentials/add/).

Select SSH as type, enable the Auto add checkbox, then at the field “Credentials type” select “SSH (private key)”, now type “root” in the username field, while in the key field you have to paste the contents of the private key just created.

Now hit save.

The credentials just created will be automatically enabled for all the devices in the system (both existing devices and devices which will be added in the future).

3. Add the public key to your devices

Add authorized SSH public keys template to OpenWISP (OpenWRT)

Now we need to instruct your devices to allow OpenWISP accessing via SSH, in order to do this we need to add the contents of the public key file created in step 1 ( in the file /etc/dropbear/authorized_keys on the devices, the recommended way to do this is to create a configuration template in OpenWISP: from the first page of OpenWISP, click on “Templates”, then and click on the “ADD TEMPLATE” button in the upper right corner (alternatively, go to the following URL: /admin/config/template/add/).

Check enabled by default, then scroll down the configuration section, click on “Configuration Menu”, scroll down, click on “Files” then close the menu by clicking again on “Configuration Menu”. Now type /etc/dropbear/authorized_keys in the path field of the file, then paste the contents of in contents.

Now hit save.

There’s a catch: you will need to assign the template to any existing device.

4. Test it

Once you have performed the 3 steps above, you can test it as follows:

  1. Ensure there’s at least one device turned on and connected to OpenWISP, ensure this device has the “SSH Authorized Keys” assigned to it.
  2. Ensure the celery worker of OpenWISP Controller is running (eg: ps aux | grep celery)
  3. SSH into the device and wait (maximum 2 minutes) until /etc/dropbear/authorized_keys appears as specified in the template.
  4. While connected via SSH to the device run the following command in the console: logread -f, now try changing the device name in OpenWISP
  5. Shortly after you change the name in OpenWISP, you should see some output in the SSH console indicating another SSH access and the configuration update being performed.



Path: openwisp_controller.config.signals.config_modified


  • instance: instance of Config which got its config modified

This signal is emitted every time the configuration of a device is modified.

It does not matter if Config.status is already modified, this signal will be emitted anyway because it signals that the device configuration has changed.

It is not triggered when the device is created for the first time.

This signal is used to trigger the update of the configuration on devices, when the push feature is enabled (requires Device credentials).


Path: openwisp_controller.config.signals.config_status_changed


  • instance: instance of Config which got its status changed

This signal is emitted only when the configuration status of a device has changed.


Path: openwisp_controller.config.signals.checksum_requested


  • instance: instance of Device for which its configuration checksum has been requested
  • request: the HTTP request object

This signal is emitted when a device requests a checksum via the controller views.

The signal is emitted just before a successful response is returned, it is not sent if the response was not successful.


Path: openwisp_controller.config.signals.config_download_requested


  • instance: instance of Device for which its configuration has been requested for download
  • request: the HTTP request object

This signal is emitted when a device requests to download its configuration via the controller views.

The signal is emitted just before a successful response is returned, it is not sent if the response was not successful.


Path: openwisp_controller.connection.signals.is_working_changed


  • instance: instance of DeviceConnection
  • is_working: value of DeviceConnection.is_working
  • old_is_working: previous value of DeviceConnection.is_working, either None (for new connections), True or False
  • failure_reason: error message explaining reason for failure in establishing connection

This signal is emitted every time DeviceConnection.is_working changes.

It is not triggered when the device is created for the first time.


Path: openwisp_controller.config.signals.device_registered


  • instance: instance of Device which got registered.
  • is_new: boolean, will be True when the device is new, False when the device already exists (eg: a device which gets a factory reset will register again)

This signal is emitted when a device registers automatically through the controller HTTP API.

Setup (integrate in an existing django project)

Add openwisp_controller applications to INSTALLED_APPS:

    # openwisp2 modules
    # openwisp2 admin theme
    # (must be loaded here)
EXTENDED_APPS = ('django_x509', 'django_loci')

Note: The order of applications in INSTALLED_APPS should be maintained, otherwise it might not work properly.

Other settings needed in


ASGI_APPLICATION = 'openwisp_controller.geo.channels.routing.channel_routing'
    # in production you should use another channel layer backend
    'default': {'BACKEND': 'channels.layers.InMemoryChannelLayer'},

        'BACKEND': 'django.template.backends.django.DjangoTemplates',
        'DIRS': [],
        'OPTIONS': {
            'loaders': [
            'context_processors': [

FORM_RENDERER = 'django.forms.renderers.TemplatesSetting'

Add the URLs to your main

urlpatterns = [
    # ... other urls in your project ...
    # openwisp-controller urls
    url(r'', include('openwisp_controller.urls')),
    url(r'', include('openwisp_notifications.urls')),

Configure caching (you may use a different cache storage if you want):

    'default': {
        'BACKEND': 'django_redis.cache.RedisCache',
        'LOCATION': 'redis://localhost/0',
        'OPTIONS': {
            'CLIENT_CLASS': 'django_redis.client.DefaultClient',

SESSION_ENGINE = 'django.contrib.sessions.backends.cache'

Configure celery (you may use a different broker if you want):

# here we show how to configure celery with redis but you can
# use other brokers if you want, consult the celery docs
CELERY_BROKER_URL = 'redis://localhost/1'

EMAIL_BACKEND = 'djcelery_email.backends.CeleryEmailBackend'

If you decide to use redis (as shown in these examples), install the requierd python packages:

pip install redis django-redis

Then run:

./ migrate

Extending openwisp-controller

One of the core values of the OpenWISP project is Software Reusability, for this reason openwisp-controller provides a set of base classes which can be imported, extended and reused to create derivative apps.

In order to implement your custom version of openwisp-controller, you need to perform the steps described in this section.

When in doubt, the code in the test project will serve you as source of truth: just replicate and adapt that code to get a basic derivative of openwisp-controller working.

Premise: if you plan on using a customized version of this module, we suggest to start with it since the beginning, because migrating your data from the default module to your extended version may be time consuming.

1. Initialize your project & custom apps

Firstly, to get started you need to create a django project:

django-admin startproject mycontroller

Now, you need to do is to create some new django apps which will contain your custom version of openwisp-controller.

A django project is a collection of django apps. There are 4 django apps in the openwisp_controller project, namely config, pki, connection & geo. You’ll need to create 4 apps in your project for each app in openwisp_controller.

A django app is nothing more than a python package (a directory of python scripts), in the following examples we’ll call these django app sample_config, sample_pki, sample_connection & sample_geo but you can name it how you want:

django-admin startapp sample_config
django-admin startapp sample_pki
django-admin startapp sample_connection
django-admin startapp sample_geo

Keep in mind that the command mentioned above must be called from a directory which is available in your PYTHON_PATH so that you can then import the result into your project.

For more information about how to work with django projects and django apps, please refer to the django documentation.

2. Install openwisp-controller

Install (and add to the requirement of your project) openwisp-controller:

pip install openwisp-controller

3. Add your apps in INSTALLED_APPS

Now you need to add mycontroller.sample_config, mycontroller.sample_pki, mycontroller.sample_connection & mycontroller.sample_geo to INSTALLED_APPS in your, ensuring also that openwisp_controller.config, openwisp_controller.geo, openwisp_controller.pki, openwisp_controller.connnection have been removed:

# Remember: Order in INSTALLED_APPS is important.
    # other django installed apps
    # all-auth
    # openwisp2 module
    # 'openwisp_controller.config', <-- comment out or delete this line
    # 'openwisp_controller.pki', <-- comment out or delete this line
    # 'openwisp_controller.geo', <-- comment out or delete this line
    # 'openwisp_controller.connection', <-- comment out or delete this line
    # admin
    # other dependencies
    # rest framework
    # channels

Substitute mycontroller, sample_config, sample_pki, sample_connection & sample_geo with the name you chose in step 1.


Add the following to your


5. Add openwisp_utils.staticfiles.DependencyFinder

Add openwisp_utils.staticfiles.DependencyFinder to STATICFILES_FINDERS in your


6. Add openwisp_utils.loaders.DependencyLoader

Add openwisp_utils.loaders.DependencyLoader to TEMPLATES in your

        'BACKEND': 'django.template.backends.django.DjangoTemplates',
        'OPTIONS': {
            'loaders': [
            'context_processors': [

5. Initial Database setup

Ensure you are using one of the available geodjango backends, eg:

    'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.contrib.gis.db.backends.spatialite',
        'NAME': 'openwisp-controller.db',

For more information about GeoDjango, please refer to the geodjango documentation.

6. Other Settings

Add the following settings to

FORM_RENDERER = 'django.forms.renderers.TemplatesSetting'

ASGI_APPLICATION = 'openwisp_controller.geo.channels.routing.channel_routing'
    'default': {
        'BACKEND': 'channels.layers.InMemoryChannelLayer'

For more information about FORM_RENDERER setting, please refer to the FORM_RENDERER documentation. For more information about ASGI_APPLICATION setting, please refer to the ASGI_APPLICATION documentation. For more information about CHANNEL_LAYERS setting, please refer to the CHANNEL_LAYERS documentation.

6. Inherit the AppConfig class

Please refer to the following files in the sample app of the test project:

You have to replicate and adapt that code in your project.

For more information regarding the concept of AppConfig please refer to the “Applications” section in the django documentation.

7. Create your custom models

For the purpose of showing an example, we added a simple “details” field to the models of the sample app in the test project.

You can add fields in a similar way in your file.

Note: for doubts regarding how to use, extend or develop models please refer to the “Models” section in the django documentation.

8. Add swapper configurations

Once you have created the models, add the following to your

# Setting models for swapper module
CONFIG_DEVICE_MODEL = 'sample_config.Device'
CONFIG_CONFIG_MODEL = 'sample_config.Config'
CONFIG_TEMPLATETAG_MODEL = 'sample_config.TemplateTag'
CONFIG_TAGGEDTEMPLATE_MODEL = 'sample_config.TaggedTemplate'
CONFIG_TEMPLATE_MODEL = 'sample_config.Template'
CONFIG_VPN_MODEL = 'sample_config.Vpn'
CONFIG_VPNCLIENT_MODEL = 'sample_config.VpnClient'
CONFIG_ORGANIZATIONCONFIGSETTINGS_MODEL = 'sample_config.OrganizationConfigSettings'
DJANGO_X509_CA_MODEL = 'sample_pki.Ca'
DJANGO_X509_CERT_MODEL = 'sample_pki.Cert'
GEO_LOCATION_MODEL = 'sample_geo.Location'
GEO_FLOORPLAN_MODEL = 'sample_geo.FloorPlan'
GEO_DEVICELOCATION_MODEL = 'sample_geo.DeviceLocation'
CONNECTION_CREDENTIALS_MODEL = 'sample_connection.Credentials'
CONNECTION_DEVICECONNECTION_MODEL = 'sample_connection.DeviceConnection'

Substitute sample_config, sample_pki, sample_connection & sample_geo with the name you chose in step 1.

9. Create database migrations

Create database migrations:

./ makemigrations

Now, to use the default administrator and operator user groups like the used in the openwisp_controller module, you’ll manually need to make a migrations file which would look like:

Create database migrations:

./ migrate

For more information, refer to the “Migrations” section in the django documentation.

10. Create the admin

Refer to the file of the sample app.

To introduce changes to the admin, you can do it in two main ways which are described below.

Note: for more information regarding how the django admin works, or how it can be customized, please refer to “The django admin site” section in the django documentation.

1. Monkey patching

If the changes you need to add are relatively small, you can resort to monkey patching.

For example:

from openwisp_controller.config.admin import DeviceAdmin, TemplateAdmin, VpnAdmin

# DeviceAdmin.fields += ['example'] <-- monkey patching example
from openwisp_controller.connection.admin import CredentialsAdmin

# CredentialsAdmin.fields += ['example'] <-- monkey patching example
from openwisp_controller.geo.admin import FloorPlanAdmin, LocationAdmin

# FloorPlanAdmin.fields += ['example'] <-- monkey patching example
from openwisp_controller.geo.admin import CaAdmin, CertAdmin

# CaAdmin.fields += ['example'] <-- monkey patching example

2. Inheriting admin classes

If you need to introduce significant changes and/or you don’t want to resort to monkey patching, you can proceed as follows:

from django.contrib import admin
from openwisp_controller.config.admin import (
    DeviceAdmin as BaseDeviceAdmin,
    TemplateAdmin as BaseTemplateAdmin,
    VpnAdmin as BaseVpnAdmin,
from swapper import load_model

Vpn = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Vpn')
Device = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Device')
Template = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Template')

class VpnAdmin(BaseVpnAdmin):
    # add your changes here

class DeviceAdmin(BaseDeviceAdmin):
    # add your changes here

class TemplateAdmin(BaseTemplateAdmin):
    # add your changes here
from openwisp_controller.connection.admin import CredentialsAdmin as BaseCredentialsAdmin
from django.contrib import admin
from swapper import load_model

Credentials = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Credentials')

class CredentialsAdmin(BaseCredentialsAdmin):
    # add your changes here
from openwisp_controller.geo.admin import (
    FloorPlanAdmin as BaseFloorPlanAdmin,
    LocationAdmin as BaseLocationAdmin
from django.contrib import admin
from swapper import load_model

Location = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Location')
FloorPlan = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'FloorPlan')

class FloorPlanAdmin(BaseFloorPlanAdmin):
    # add your changes here

class LocationAdmin(BaseLocationAdmin):
    # add your changes here
from openwisp_controller.geo.admin import (
    CaAdmin as BaseCaAdmin,
    CertAdmin as BaseCertAdmin
from django.contrib import admin
from swapper import load_model

Ca = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Ca')
Cert = load_model('openwisp_controller', 'Cert')

class CaAdmin(BaseCaAdmin):
    # add your changes here

class CertAdmin(BaseCertAdmin):
    # add your changes here

11. Create root URL configuration

from django.contrib import admin
from openwisp_controller.config.utils import get_controller_urls
from openwisp_controller.geo.utils import get_geo_urls
# from .sample_config import views as config_views
# from .sample_geo import views as geo_views

urlpatterns = [
    # ... other urls in your project ...
    # Use only when changing controller API views (discussed below)
    # url(r'^controller/', include((get_controller_urls(config_views), 'controller'), namespace='controller'))

    # Use only when changing geo API views (discussed below)
    # url(r'^geo/', include((get_geo_urls(geo_views), 'geo'), namespace='geo')),

    # openwisp-controller urls
    url(r'', include(('openwisp_controller.config.urls', 'config'), namespace='config')),
    url(r'', include('openwisp_controller.urls')),

For more information about URL configuration in django, please refer to the “URL dispatcher” section in the django documentation.

12. Import the automated tests

When developing a custom application based on this module, it’s a good idea to import and run the base tests too, so that you can be sure the changes you’re introducing are not breaking some of the existing features of openwisp-controller.

In case you need to add breaking changes, you can overwrite the tests defined in the base classes to test your own behavior.

See the tests in sample_app to find out how to do this.

For running the tests, you need to copy fixtures as well:

  • Change sample_config to your config app’s name in sample_config fixtures and paste it in the sample_config/fixtures/ directory.

You can then run tests with:

# the --parallel flag is optional
./ test --parallel mycontroller

Substitute mycontroller with the name you chose in step 1.

For more information about automated tests in django, please refer to “Testing in Django”.

Other base classes that can be inherited and extended

The following steps are not required and are intended for more advanced customization.

1. Extending the Controller API Views

Extending the sample_config/ is required only when you want to make changes in the controller API, Remember to change config_views location in in point 11 for extending views.

For more information about django views, please refer to the views section in the django documentation.

2. Extending the Geo API Views

Extending the sample_geo/ is required only when you want to make changes in the geo API, Remember to change geo_views location in in point 11 for extending views.

For more information about django views, please refer to the views section in the django documentation.

Registering new notification types

You can define your own notification types using register_notification_type function from OpenWISP Notifications. For more information, see the relevant documentation section about registering notification types in openwisp-notifications.

Once a new notification type is registered, you have to use the “notify” signal provided in openwisp-notifications to send notifications for this type.


Please refer to the OpenWISP contributing guidelines.





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