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Z-Monitor: A Monitoring Tool for IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Personal Area Networks
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Latest News

January 28, 2014: Source code released on Google Code under GNU GPL license

Z-Monitor is now open source under GNU GPL License and available to public on github More information will be available soon.


Z-Monitor (ZM) is a free tool for monitoring and controlling IEEE 802.15.4 Low Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (LOWPANs).
It provides a convenient solution for researchers and students for developing, debugging and deploying wireless sensor network applications based on LOWPANs.
The tool is compatible with the open-source official TinyOS implementation of the IEEE 802.15.4 recently released by the TinyOS 15.4 WG. Z-Monitor has also been tested and validated with the open-ZB implementation. Currently, Z-Monitor is available only for TelosB motes and will soon be extended to a wider range of COTS platforms.

Why Z-Monitor?

The motivation behind Z-Monitor is the fact that commercial products for monitoring and testing IEEE 802.15.4-compliant LOWPANs are too expensive and typically require special sniffing hardware. In addition, other generic-purpose sniffers such as WireShark and Ethereal are not specifically designed for IEEE 802.15.4-compliant networks. Z-Monitor provides a free solution that relies on the use of simple commercially available motes for sniffing traffic and monitoring IEEE 802.15.4-based LOWPANs.
The current version Z-Monitor 2.0 supports TelosB mote as the underlying sniffing hardware.


Z-Monitor 2.0 provides a friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) that supports the following features:

  • Frame Decoding: it shows the details about received frames that pertain to the Physical and MAC layers with respect to the IEEE 802.15.4 standard specification. Two different GUIs were designed for Frame Decoding operation offering more flexibility to users for protocol analysis.
  • Topology Visualization: it shows the logical topology of the network (parent-to-child relationship between nodes).
  • Traffic Timeline: it shows the sequence of packet received over time.
  • Packet Statistics: it provides useful statistics about number and type of packets received by the sniffer. Statistics can be saved in a file and analysed off-line.
  • Star-based topology: the current version supports star-based topology as it is related to the Physical and MAC Layers of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard protocol. Multi-hop support is planned for next releases with support of ZigBee and 6LowPAN Network Layer protocols.

Future contributions

Z-Monitor will be open for contributions from the scientific community. Instructions on how to contribute will be announced soon. You can also send your suggestions to <dev at z-monitor dot org>.
Z-Monitor will be extended to provide more comprehensive features. Currently, we expect to provide the following contributions in the short-term future:

  • More extensions to 6LowPAN and ZigBee Network Layers
  • Support of RPL routing protocol frame decoding (ContikiRPL implementation)
  • Support of multi-hop topologies
  • Adding advanced filtering options
  • Adding statistical functions.
  • Useful suggestions from the community.

Older News

November 11, 2011: Release of Z-Monitor 2.1

Z-Monitor (ZM) version 2.1 has been released on November 11, 2011. Several new features have been added:

  1. Fixing several issues related to the parsing of IEEE 802.15.4 frames and 6LoWPAN packets.
  2. Support of RPL routing protocol under the Contiki operating system.
  3. Support of all 6LoWPAN implementations under TinyOS (BLIP) and Contiki operating systems.
  4. Saving parsed packets as XML and text formats.
  5. Opening Log files of previously saved packets.
  6. Enhancing the capturing and parsing performance of Z-Monitor using multi-threading and more modular design.
  7. Enhancing the GUI design.

We will be happy to receive your feedback/comments on dev "at" z-monitor "dot" org

Z-Monitor 2.1 is available on the Download page.

October 04-07, 2011: Demo Presentation

Fernando Royo participated to the 37th IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN), 04-07 October 2011 in Germany, and presented a demonstration of Z-Monitor 2.1 Software.
Demo Abstract: Z-Monitor: A Monitoring Software for IEEE 802.15.4 Wireless Sensor Networks
It was co-authored by Olfa Gaddour, Anis Koubaa, Rihab Chaari, Fernando Royo, Nada Al-Elaiwi, Hanan Al-Soli,Stefano Tennina, Hichem Boujelben.

July 11, 2011: Conference Paper

The following paper Z-Monitor: Monitoring and Analyzing IEEE 802.15.4-based Wireless Sensor Networks has been accepted in the 6th IEEE LCN Workshop on Network Measurements, in conjunction with 36th IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2011), Bonn (Germany), 4-7 October 2011. The Demo Abstract was co-authored by Anis Koubaa, Shafique Chaudhry, Olfa Gaddour, Rihab Chaari, Nada Al-Elaiwi, Hanan Al-Soli, and Hichem Boujelben.

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