[release] ChirpStack v4.0

v4.0.0

After many months of development and testing, we are really excited to share ChirpStack v4.

The aim of ChirpStack v4 is to make it significantly easier to setup and use ChirpStack, compared to the previous version. One of the major changes that you will notice is that the ChirpStack Network Server and ChirpStack Application Server have been merged into a single component. Over the years we have seen many issues reported on the forum and GitHub, related to setting up and connecting both services. ChirpStack v4 also provides multi-region support out-of-the-box, including region configuration. No longer it is needed to define your own configuration file or setup multiple ChirpStack Network Server instances to serve multiple regions simultaneously.

A big thank you to the ChirpStack community for supporting and contributing to the ChirpStack project! Please find below a breakdown of all the new features and changes that v4 brings.

Main features and changes

Multi-region support

ChirpStack v4 adds multi-region support, removing the need to setup multiple ChirpStack Network Server instances. Configuration files are included for the common regions (as defined by the LoRa Alliance), which should help getting started with ChirpStack.

Each enabled region has its own gateway backend, making it possible to use one or multiple MQTT brokers for the different gateway pools. In case a single MQTT broker is used, each backend must be configured with its own MQTT topic prefix (e.g. eu868/gateway/...).

ChirpStack v4 also supports multiple configurations of the same region, e.g. to configure a US915 for 8 channels and to configure a US915 band for 16 channels.

TTN device repository support

ChirpStack v4 adds support for importing the TTN LoRaWAN Devices repository as device-profile templates, including codec functions if these are defined in this repository.

Device metrics dashboard

In the device-profile template and / or device-profile, it is possible to define the measurements that are exposed by the device in the decoded payload. Once defined, ChirpStack will automatically aggregate and store this data. These metrics can be viewed in the web-interface on the device dashboard.

Configuration

Directory

Instead of using a single configuration file (e.g. chirpstack-network-server.toml), ChirpStack makes use of a configuration directory such that the configuration can be split in multiple files. By default you will find a single chirpstack.toml configuration file, and many region_...toml configuration files, split by region.

Environment variables

ChirpStack v4 removes the TOML hierarchy to environment variable mapping. Instead it allows you to define the variables like $MY_CONFIGURATION, which will get automatically substituted when an environment variable is found with the name MY_CONFIGURATION.

API

The REST interface that was present in ChirpStack Application Server v3 has been removed, in favor of the gRPC API interface (please see the api/ folder of the repository for the API definitions). However, a gRPC to REST interface bridge component will be provided as a separate service. Please note that in v3, this bridge component was embedded and REST interface calls were internally translated to gRPC calls. Therefore, gRPC was always recommended interface to use.

The ChirpStack v4 gRPC API does support server reflection, making it possible to use for example gRPC UI or BloomRPC as development interface.

ChirpStack Gateway Bridge v3 compatibility

ChirpStack v4 is fully compatibility with the latest version of ChirpStack Gateway Bridge v3. This should help migrating from v3 to v4. Please note that the ChirpStack Gateway Bridge must be configured with the protobuf marshaler.

UI rewrite

ChirpStack v4 contains a rewrite of the ChirpStack Application Server v3 UI. The new UI aims to be more user-friendly. Under the hood the API interface has been ported to gRPC-web and all code has been ported to Typescript.

Other changes

Passive Roaming improvements

The implementation of Passive Roaming has been improved, adding support for appending /sns and /fns server endpoint suffixes. The usage of this suffix is not specified in the Backend Interfaces specification, but is required by some other network-server implementations.

UUID identifiers

All identifiers that are exposed have been changed to UUID. Previously most identifiers (e.g. users, applications…) were incremental integers. In case ChirpStack is setup as multi-tenant instance, this could expose some information about the number of clients on the network. The migration script (see below) will migrate these integers by converting these as strings, prefixed with zeros in the UUID format. E.g. ID 123 would be converted to the UUID string 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000123.

String identifiers in API

All binary identifiers have been changed to string type in the API. While binary fields are more efficient, these were confusing when encoded as JSON as the Protobuf to JSON mapping uses base64 encoding for binary fields. For example, a Gateway ID 0102030405060708 was encoded as AQIDBAUGBwg= in JSON.

JavaScript codec engine

The JavaScript codec engine is based on QuickJS, which is an embeddable JavaScript engine which supports the ES2020 specification.

API interface changes

While the structure of API messages is roughly the same as the ChirpStack Application Server API interface, some small changes have been made.

Integration events

The integration event messages have been restructured for better consistency. Each event message has a deviceInfo field which holds device-related information (tenant id & name, application id & name, device-profile id & name, device EUI & name and tags).

Development changes

Single repository

ChirpStack v4 will make it a lot easier to make customizations, especially when API changes are involved, as API definitions are no longer separated from the code. In v3 these definitions were moved to an external repository to avoid cross dependencies.

Rust

For ChirpStack v4, it was decided to use Rust rather than Go. This was not an easy choice and the arguments for this decision are debatable. However, as most code was touched during the ChirpStack Application Server and ChirpStack Network Server merge, it was the only moment to re-consider this. The Rust memory management prevents many memory related pitfalls and helps catching
bugs at compile time rather than runtime.

Migrating from v3 to v4

The recommended way to migrate from v3 to ChirpStack v4 is to create a new PostgreSQL and Redis database and to use the ChirpStack v3 to v4 migration script. This script will copy all the data from the “old” into the “new” database. While the script does not make any modifications to the old database, it is always recommended to make a backup first.

12 Likes

Very excited to see this. I was hesitant to try test releases for one project that is close to be finished as I did not have time to test it at all, but this gives me more confidence to give it a go :slight_smile:

1 Like

Successfully installed v4 and migrated data from v3, made necessary compatibility changes and everything seems to be working fine!

Some minor things I came across:

  1. Using template config from Configuration - ChirpStack open-source LoRaWAN® Network Server documentation results in Chirpstack not starting.
    Reason is empty client_cert_lifetime="" value under [integration.mqtt.client]. Adding default value from v3 solves the issue.

  2. Javascript decoder with v3 to v4 compatibility wrapper does not work, fails with “decodeUplink did not return ‘data’” error.

// v3 to v4 compatibility wrapper
function decodeUplink(input) {
	return {
		object: Decode(input.fPort, input.bytes, input.variables)
	};
}

Had to rename object to data for decoder to start working. Decoder now puts the decoded data into object object of the uplink message :slight_smile:

  1. Feature: Gateway metadata (tab) are no more or not yet?

  2. Feature: Device dashboard metrics has period selection (24h/31d/1y). Would be usefull to have the same for gateway metrics.

  3. Feature: I was kinda used to seeing “few seconds ago” or “month ago” type of string on device/gateway list which is usefull for quick status check especially when deploying new device/gateway. Absolute time is not bad, but possibly having both would be the best. Would it be possible?

  4. Oh and one more thing: I can see the downlink data can now be enqueued also as HEX. Adding an ASCII text option would be usefull too :slight_smile:

3 Likes

v4.0.2

Features

  • A new menu option Regions was added to the web-interface, exposing per region information.

Improvements

  • Internal dependencies were updated.

Bugfixes

  • Fix Wi-Fi geolocation issue in LoRa Cloud integration.
  • Fix missing per data-rate stats in gateway dashboard.
  • Fix terminating stream loop (and releasing of Redis connection) on client disconnect. (#40)
  • Fix rendering client_cert_lifetime rendering in configuration template (mqtt integration).
3 Likes

Issues 1 and 2 have been fixed in the above release + in the latest migration tool update. Thanks for reporting :+1:

2 Likes

The region GUI is really awesome!
And the DR stats for gateway is working.

Thanks a lot for your great effort.

2 Likes

v4.0.3

Improvements

  • Add code example for reading frame-logs from Redis Streams.
  • Add missing metadata logging and add code example for reading metadata from Redis Streams.
  • Add dev_addr_prefix configuration. (#49)
  • Make it possible to enable / disable auto-detection of metrics in device-profile. (#42)
  • Add Redis config examples for username and password configuration. (#54)
  • Add metadata tab to gateway configuration in UI.

Bugfixes

  • Use trust_store instead of ca_path for MQTT integration. (#47)
  • Fix Cannot serialize NaN as google.protobuf.Value.number_value error.
  • Fix logout URL in case OIDC is enabled.
  • Fix java_outer_classname in tenant.proto. (#55)
  • Fix closing and detecting if eventlog channel is closed.
  • Fix metrics interval calculation on daily aggregate in case of DST to non-DST timezone change.
3 Likes

v4.0.4

Bugfixes

  • Fix coding-rate for LoRaWAN 2.4GHz. (#51)
  • Fix not removing of queue-item after it was sent, if payload did not fit RX2.
1 Like

v4.0.5

Improvements

  • Add keep_alive_interval for MQTT configuration.

Bugfixes

  • Fix incorrect splitting of multiple URLs in HTTP integration. (#62)
  • Fix missing ThingsBoard location and status telemetry.
  • Send ThingsBoard telemetry (fPort, fCnt, …) even in case there is no decoded payload.
  • Fix LeafletJS controls floating over header (UI).
1 Like