This document presents a way to connect an OT2 connected to a computer with the USB/ethernet adapter to the internet by bridging the USB/ethernet adapter wired connection to the computer’s internet connection.

IMPORTANT: On most operating systems, creating a bridge adapter that includes your internet connection will disconnect your computer from the internet while the bridge is active (removing the bridge will allow you to regain connectivity). Make sure this guide is saved in a location accessible without internet connectivity before following these steps.

Background

Under normal circumstances, connecting the OT2 to a computer using the USB interface creates a network connection between only the OT2 and the computer. Because the computer is not running the software that a router or switch would, this connection is known as a link-local connection and does not allow the OT2 to connect to the internet.

Windows, OSX, and Linux however have the capability to create something called a bridge network adapter, which connects in software two network adapters so they seamlessly push traffic between them. Creating this network bridge between the OT2’s USB/ethernet adapter and the computer’s network connection allows the OT2 to use the computer’s connection to the internet and retrieve the online-only portion of Opentrons release 3.3 update.

OSX

This guide is sourced from Apple's knowledgebase.

Creating the bridge

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.
  • Click the Action pop-up menu , then choose Manage Virtual Interfaces.
  • Click the Add button , choose New Bridge, then select the interfaces to include in the bridge. The interfaces should be the way your Mac connects to the internet (probably the adapter named Wi-Fi) and the OT2’s USB/ethernet adapter, which will be called something like USB 10/100 LAN. You can tell for sure which adapter is the OT2’s by noticing which adapter only has a green dot when the USB cable is plugged in. Name the bridge something you will remember, like Opentrons Bridge.
  • Click Create, then click Done.
  • To apply the changes, click Apply. Once you do this, your OT2 will be connected to the internet, but your Mac will no longer have internet connectivity.

Removing the Bridge

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.
  • Click the Action pop-up menu , then choose Manage Virtual Interfaces.
  • Select the bridge you created above, and click the Delete button
  • Click Done
  • Select the bridge you created above in the list on the left of Network Manager and click the Delete button. You can select either option in the confirmation window.
  • On the bottom left of Network Manager, click the Add button  and select Wi-Fi from the dropdown menu. Click OK.
  • On the bottom left of Network Manager, click the Add button  and select USB 10/100 LAN from the drop down menu. Click OK.
  • On the bottom right of Network Manager, click Apply. The Wi-Fi and USB 10/100 LAN adapters will reconnect.

Windows 7, 8, and 10

This guide is sourced from Windows Central (not affiliated with Microsoft).

If you are an advanced user, you can follow the steps in the linked guide to set up and save a static IP address. This may allow your computer to remain connected to the internet while the bridge adapter is active; however, if you have an IT department you should contact them about the settings to use, and depending on their configuration the steps outlined in the linked guide may not be possible.

Creating the Bridge

  • Open the Network Connections control panel pane:
  • On Windows 7, 8, and 10 navigate through Control Panel to Network Connections
  • On Windows, 7, 8, and 10 in the search bar type “Network Status” and select  “Change Adapter Settings”
  • On Windows 10, press Windows+X and select Network Connections, or (on other Windows versions) navigating through Control Panel.
  • Select both the network adapter that connects to the internet and the OT2’s USB/ethernet adapter. The OT2’s network adapter should look something like this:The name may be different, but the bottom line should read something like Realtek USB FE Family Controller. To be certain you have the right one, disconnect and reconnect the OT2’s USB cable and find the adapter that changes.
  • Right click the selection and select Bridge Network Connections.

Removing the Bridge

  • Open the Network Connections control panel pane by (on Windows 10) pressing Windows+X and selecting Network Connections, or (on other Windows versions) navigating through Control Panel.
  • Select the two adapters that are in the bridge you created above (they should say enabled, bridged in the second line of text beside the icon), right click them, and select Remove from bridge. 

Linux

Network administration in Linux can vary widely between distros. This guide describes how to set up a network bridge in an Ubuntu desktop machine; for other distributions or headless servers, contact us, your IT department, or set up your own bridge connection between the OT2’s USB/ethernet adapter and your internet connection.

This guide is sourced from ask.xmodulu.com. It contains instructions for configuring a bridge using nm-connection-editor’s GUI. If your system does not use NetworkManager or you do not want to use the GUI, check the Ubuntu community help wiki (or your preferred distro’s documentation) which contains guides to other methods of making the bridge.

Creating the Bridge

  • Open a terminal and run ifconfig to find the interface name of the OT2’s USB/ethernet adapter. If you can’t find it, try disconnecting the cable, running ifconfig, reconnecting it, running ifconfig again, and noting down the interface that only appears when the cable is plugged in. Note down the interface name ethX and the MAC address.
  • Open nm-connection-editor
  • Click the add button in the top left
  • Select the Bridge connection type from the dropdown
  • Add a connection
  • Select the Opentrons USB/ethernet adapter that you noted down above.
  • Add another connection and this time select the adapter that connects your computer to the internet.
  • For both connections, allow any user to connect to them and enable when the computer turns on
  • Go to the IPv4 configuration tab of the bridge adapter settings and configure it in the same way that your internet connection is configured - probably DHCP.
  • In Network Connections, delete the old adapter that connected you to the internet (or disable it). If you delete it, note down the way it was configured.

Removing the Bridge

  • Open nm-connection-editor
  • Edit the bridge connection created above and remove the two connections contained in it
  • If you deleted the connection that connects your computer to the internet, recreate it with the settings you noted down above. If you disabled it, re-enable it now.
  • Delete the bridge connection
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