Multicast and MBONE on Linux

[ overview | setup | applications | links | uses | environment | tests | credits ]

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The MBONE (Multicast Backbone) and multicast technology are an exciting branch of Internet technology that could have a major impact on how the Internet is used in the future. Where traditional IP traffic is one sender to one reciever, multicasting has the ability of doing one sender to many receivers. Propegation can also be set to control how far traffic will go. Traffic can be restricted to a single host, site, region, or the whole world.

I had the opportunity to see one of the early demonstrations of the MBONE at NetWorld Interop in 1994. Audio and video broadcasts from all over the world were piped into large pictures and big screen at the convention center. The ability to move that much information over the Internet to a lot of people at one times facinated me.

Unfortunately, Linux support for multicasting has lagged behind that of other UNIX's. Multicast routing support has only recently begun to show up in the Linux kernel. Developers are still trying to work some of the bugs out of the multicast routing daemon that works on Linux. This fledgling support is probably best illustrated by the following message which comes up during Linux boot on kernel version 1.3.69 with multicast routing support included:

   Linux IP multicast router 0.05-maybe-works 8)

This collection of documents will try to explain how to setup your computer for multicasting as well as providing lists of applications available and other sites with related information. A lot of this collection deals with my own efforts to get Teksouth onto the MBONE. mrouted has proven to be my nemesis through most of this, and most of the testing has revolved around setting up and configuring mrouted.

Hopefully you will find this information of use. Of course, any errors or misquotes in this document are solely my responsibility and should not be attributed to the sources I have used.

Special notes

If you create a link to this site from your web page, please point it to "" so that my usage tracking software will pick up on the hits. Thanks.

I'm always interested in hearing about other people's experiences. If you are having problems, I'll offer what limited information I have to help. You can E-mail me direct at "".

[ overview | setup | applications | links | uses | environment | tests | credits ]

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