The Second International Conference on
Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology
Live AUDIO, VIDEO, and WHITEBOARD broadcast over the Internet MBONE
August 15-17, 1994
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM, PDT (UTC-7)
The ISMB conference is intended to bring together scientists who are
applying the technologies of advanced data modeling, machine learning,
artificial intelligence, robotics, parallel computing, and other
computational methods to problems in molecular biology.
We plan to broadcast the refereed paper presentations as well as those
of the invited speakers over the MBONE. Those folks not able to make
it to the conference in person can still watch live video and audio of
the presentations on an Internet-connected UNIX workstation.
Furthermore, Internet viewers will be able to participate in question
& answer sessions via audio (microphone required) or email.
More information about the conference itself is available on the
World-Wide Web at ftp://camis.stanford.edu/pub/altman/www/ismb.html.
If you don't have access to Mosaic or a similar WWW viewer, you can
get this file by anonymous ftp and simply read through it.
In order to view the conference, both your workstation and network
need to be configured properly. Someone with at least some small
amount of UNIX system administration experience ought to be able to
get this going with the investment of somewhere between 20 minutes and
6 hours of work. Typically, this will be spread out over a few days
or weeks, as you will probably need to exchange some email with your
As such, if you are interested in watching or participating, now would
a good time to get started. I've attached my "Quick & Dirty Guide to
Getting Connected to the MBONE" to this posting. Give this to your
local system administrator and see if he or she is interested/willing
to do this for you.
The conference will be announced in sd (the multicast session
directory) shortly beforehand.
Thanks in advance to Digital Equipment Corp., as they will be
providing us with the necessary computer hardware to make this happen.
Author: Dan Mosedale <mosedale at genome.Stanford.EDU>
Last updated: 94/07/23
This document copyright 1994 by Dan Mosedale.
Comments, corrections, and improvements are welcomed.
ftp://genome-ftp.stanford.edu/pub/mbone/mbone-connect will always contain
the most current version of this version of the document.
Recent changes to this document are marked with a vertical bar
character | at the beginning of the changed lines.
Dan's Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting Connected to the MBONE
* First, get and read
"MBone Provides Audio and Video Across the Internet"
Michael R. Macedonia and Donald P. Brutzman
_IEEE COMPUTER_, pp. 30-36, April 1994.
PostScript, text, and hypertext versions of this article are available as
This is a good introduction to what the MBONE is and how it works.
* READ THE MBONE FAQ LIST, available at
Note to network admins: the version of the FAQ available at AT&T has one
extra section that talks about the security implications of multicast
packets, including a few issues involved in tunnelling them through a
The rest of these instructions assume that you have read the FAQ.
* make sure that your network provider can supply a multicast feed
Call your network provider/manager. If they don't already get MBONE
packets but are willing to try and get them for you, point them to a
copy of the MBONE FAQ, which explains where they can find out about a feed.
* subscribe to the mbone mailing list by sending a message to
<mbone-request at isi.edu>
and asking to be added. If you have any problems while trying to do
the install, or if you can't find multicast binaries for your
machine, chances are that someone else has had the same question.
The first thing to try is to download the archives
(ftp://venera.isi.edu/mbone/mbone.mail) and browse/search through
the file to see if it's already been mentioned on the list.
The second thing to try if you should have problems is to browse
through various MBONE resources available via the World Wide Web.
http://genome-www.Stanford.EDU/~mosedale/mbone.html contains a
meta-directory of many of them.
* configure machine(s) for multicasting
How much work you need to do to get multicasting going depends in
large part on how modern your OS is. Notably, Solaris (2.1+),
BSD/386 (1.1+), DEC OSF/1 (2.0+), and IRIX (4.0+) come with kernel
support in place.
From here on, I will assume that you will be running your multicast
applications on the same machine that you use to run mrouted
(assuming your LAN needs a tunnel). If the machines you have are
all slow, you may want to configure two machines for multicasting
and split the duties.
As far as kernel multicast support, fixes, and application binaries
for various boxes:
WARNING - I have not tested all of the platforms listed here and
thus cannot personally verify that they all work. Further, some
applications may not be available for every platform.
OTHER SOURCES - in this document, I have listed the primary
ftp sites for most programs. However, almost all of the programs
mentioned here can be found at other archive sites which may be
closer to you. Please check the closest sources first. Archive
| sites include ftp://ftp.ucs.ed.ac.uk/pub/videoconference (UK),
Available at ftp://gregorio.stanford.edu/vmtp-ip/ipmulti*.
Although not so-labelled, the Ultrix patches are said to work
with Ultrix 4.3 as well.
If you are running SunOS 4.1.3_U1B, you will want to get both
Note that this is a beta-test version.
To install the gregorio patches, (and perhaps the xerox ones
also), Ignacio Martinez <martinez at fundesco.es> gives this tip:
> Configure kernel and patch kernel code with the sources
> included in the distribution (the important thing here is
> not just copying the object files *.o and rebuilding, but
> generate new *.c & *.h files from the patches as well)
SPARCstation 5 note: in SunOS 4.1.3_U1B, there are kernel bugs
related to the audio device. Even after applying jumbo patch
101508-06, only some of the bugs are fixed. Rumor has it that
Sun is aware of said bugs and that a complete patch is under
construction. In the meantime, you will probably want to use
a different machine.
Ultrix Packetfilter Note: if you are using the Ultrix
packetfilter on your system (with CAP or Netman, for example),
installing the multicast patches may break the packetfilter.
If you are running Ultrix 4.2A or 4.3, you can get a version
of the packetfilter which does work with multicasting at
v4.0.x has mrouted and kernel support included, but both are badly
broken; you must get and install the patches from
v5.x includes kernel support and mrouted. Newer versions of
mrouted et al can be found at ftp://sgi.com/sgi/ipmcast;
these are recommended but not required.
Also, Ran Atkinson <atkinson at itd.nrl.navy.mil> says:
> There is a bug in SGI's X server software that interacts
> badly with wb. A workaround for the bug is to run xpsview
> once upon login and before attempting to run wb. SGI is
> aware of the problem and says they will fix it in some
> future release of IRIX. The bug is reportedly present in
> IRIX 5.2 and earlier.
HP/UX 9.01 (9000/7xx)
contains kernel patches and mrouted.
Working kernel support is included in Solaris 2.3. Earlier
versions may require a patch. The directory
this patch, along with all the application binaries.
DEC OSF/1 (Alpha)
v2.0 includes kernel support for multicasting, but not
has both sources and binaries.
v1.3 requires kernel patches as well as mrouted; get them at
Under OSF/1 v2.0 (and maybe v1.3 as well), whether or not you
have the -allmulti switch to ifconfig set seems to be
BSD/386 1.1 (Intel 386/486/586)
From the vat README file:
> Not all of the IP Multicast changes made it into BSD/386 v1.1.
> In particular, the in_pcb fixes that bring the network code
> into conformance with the Host Requirements RFC were left out.
> Apply the kernel source patches in
> if you'd like your kernel to properly demultiplex
> multicast packets.
If you don't have kernel source code, you can find object files at
contains most of the necessary application binaries (nv, sd,
mrouted, vat, etc.).
The machines listed below can be patched to support multicasting,
but are missing most of the necessary applications (ie sd, vat,
and wb). So you will probably want to avoid trying to use these
machines unless you are prepared to volunteer to port said programs.
AIX 3.2.5 (RS/6000)
* get sd, vat, wb, and the lbl version of ghostscript from the subdirectories
of ftp://ftp.ee.lbl.gov/conferencing. Note that if you already picked up
the binaries for these somewhere else but don't have man pages, you can get
them here also.
- install them as per the instructions
- note that for some machines (notably Digital boxes), you will
also need to ftp and install AudioFile in order to use vat.
Details are supplied in the README file for vat.
* get nv from ftp://parcftp.xerox.com/pub/net-research
| - binaries for many machines are available as nv3.3beta-*. For
| those who prefer to build their own binaries, source code is
| available there as well. Note that this is a beta-test version;
however, it's been extremely stable in the couple of months that
I've been using it.
- install it as per the instructions
* with help from your net-provider, configure a tunnel using mrouted
| (if someone on your network hasn't already done this)
- Using the information in the man page for mrouted, the FAQ list
(which has a specific section about this), and help from your
network provider, configure a tunnel to put multicast packets on
* test sd
- within a minute or so (maximum) of starting up sd, you should
see at least six sessions, often times a lot more. If not, wait
a while and try again (very occasionally, the entire MBONE loses
connectivity). If this doesn't do it, check out the mailing
list archives and www resources mentioned above. If you don't
find anything there, send mail to the mbone list.
* test vat
- on some machines, you may need to start the AudioFile server at
- in sd, select the "MBONE audio" session. This will start vat.
You should quickly see the names of 20 or more people; there are
always this many hanging around. Select the help button for
some info about how vat works.
- if you have a microphone, turn it on. Use the procedure
described in the help window to ask if anyone on the net is
- test nv
- in sd, if there are any conferences going on which advertise
video in nv format, click on them. You should see pictures.
- if there are no such conferences, click on "MBONE video." If
you have a mike, you can ask the "MBONE audio" session if
someone can send you some video for testing. Most of the time,
nothing is being broadcast on MBONE video.
- test wb
- if you are on an SGI machines, and are running IRIX 5.2 or
earlier, now is the time to start xpsview and then quit.
- select an sd session that includes whiteboard media. Wb is
pretty self-explanatory -- look it over. Participate, if
A final note. Once you have some experience with the MBONE, you may
wish to create a session. Before you do, PLEASE re-read the section
of the FAQ which relates to TTLs and thresholds, as well as the man
page for mrouted and the man pages for the applications you will be
using (vat, nv, etc). If you don't know exactly what you are doing,
it is very easy to flood large chunks of the Internet with massive
amounts of data. Very often, when this happens, the folks who made
the mistake have no idea that they are causing a problem until they
receive a torrent of angry email.
This is it -- you are now connected!
Dan Mosedale, Systems Admin Email: mosedale at genome.Stanford.EDU
Stanford Genetics Department