MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet

Multicast Router Software

UNIX platforms

If you choose to use your router (Cisco, Proteon, and so on) to route multicast traffic, I suggest you contact your vendor. It probably has a version of the router software that supports multicast routing.

As a rule of thumb, avoid versions of mrouted that are under version 3.3. Get the highest possible version number, the current version being 3.8. Currently, mrouted is available for UNIX platforms only. The software can be obtained from parcftp.xerox.com in the /pub/net-research/ipmulti/ directory. The files in this directory have the form ipmulti*-*.tar.Z, where the first star represents a version of ipmulti and the second star represents an operating system version (example: sunos41x).

The ipmulti software comes in two parts, the kernel patches and the multicast router software. The kernel patches allow your machine to support the right level of multicast for doing multicast routing. If you are unsure how to install the patches, ask your favorite UNIX system administrator. The multicast router software in the ipmulti package is not the latest version, and I recommend that you also get the latest mrouted package from that same site and directory. The mrouted packages are named mrouted3.8-*.tar.Z where the * represents an operating system name and version.

NOTE: You still may have to get this software if you plan to use a UNIX machine to run your MBONE desktop applications. For your UNIX machine to be able to use these applications, it must have the multicast host extensions. Currently, Solaris 2.*, Irix, FreeBSD, NeXTStep 3.3, and a number of other flavors of UNIX have these extensions already, and the ipmulti software is not be needed.

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft has announced support for multicast in Windows NT and Windows 95. Multicast is also available in TCP/IP-32 for Windows for Workgroups, PC/TCP (TCP Software) 3.2, and more. Unfortunately, no MBONE applications that would use multicast are yet available for Windows, although some are under development in Singapore. However, using these applications in unicast mode may be possible.

The most certain way for Windows users to use the MBONE is to set a Cu-SeeMe reflector and use the Cu-SeeMe application. The reflector and the application are available at gated.cornell.edu via FTP in the /pub/video/ directory. The files are named PC.CU-SeeMe*, where the star represents a version number.


The Macintosh operating system 7.5.2 and more include OpenTransport TCP/IP, which supports multicast.

Again, like Windows systems, there is no real way for Macs to use multicast yet due to the lack of desktop applications. Maven (an audio tool) allows you to listen to some MBONE events but does not give you video. If you want to give it a try, Maven can be found at k12.cnidr.org under /pub/Mac/Dir-Soundstuff/. The files are named Maven-*.sea.bin, where the star represents a version number. Maven has some degree of inter- operability with VAT.

The Cu-SeeMe reflector and tool can be obtained from gated.cornell.edu in the /pub/video/ directory. The files are named MAC.CU-SeeMe*, where the star represents a version number.

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