Frequently Asked Questions
- Does JChannel have a limit on the size of messages sent
over it ?
- Is it time consuming to port all of our code from
JChannel to EnsChannel?
- I receive an error message when starting EnsChannel
'Some IO garbage at ensemble outboard startup'. What does it mean ?
- When 2 EnsChannels start up, they do not seem to 'find'
each other (they don't form a process group).
- How can I tunnel I firewall ?
Q: Does JChannel have a limit on the size of messages sent over it ?
- We are using JChannel. When reading image (*.gif), JChannel seems have size limit. We
have no problem to show tiny images, but we cannot show large images. The wrong message is
that UDP has limited size.
- I have a question concerning with Java Groups. I am using JChannel to send packets,
using channel.Receive(0), etc. Have you ever experience massive lost of packets. From what
I am understanding, Java groups is running on top of UDP, which is really unreliable. That
means we will experience lost of packets. Thanks.
Currently (Nov 98) JChannel uses UDP to send/receive messages. UDP has a size
limitation which is the cause for the problem encountered. I intend to write a FRAG layer
which fragments larger messages into smaller ones and defragments them at the receiver
side. That layer can then just be used on top of the UDP layer. There are 2 ways to
overcome this problem:
- Use EnsChannel or IbusChannel instead of JChannel when using packets larger than 8KB in
size. Both have fragmentation layers.
- Write a FRAG layer yourself. This should not be very difficult. I'm currently writing a
paper that describes how to write protocol layers and use them with JavaGroups. We
welcome useful layers and will integrate and distribute them together with JavaGroups.
Q: Is it time consuming to port all of our code from JChannel to EnsChannel?
Absolutely not. Applications should be written against the
abstract class. An actual implementation might for example be JChannel, EnsChannel or
IbusChannel. You can parameterize an application to choose the desired stack subclass when
started. Applications may also use instances of each type of stack in the same
Q: I receive an error message when starting EnsChannel 'Some IO garbage at ensemble
outboard startup'. What does it mean ?
The exact error message is:
Waiting for the outboard process to start
java.net.ConnectException: Connection refused
Some IO garbage at ensemble outboard startup.
Q: When EnsChannel starts up, it spawns the
outboard executable and then
tries to connect to it via a socket. To ensure that outboard has enough time to start and
initialize, EnsChannel waits 2.5 seconds before it tries to connect. There are 2 main
problems that cause the above error message:
outboard executable cannot be found. Make sure it is in the PATH.
- 2.5 seconds may be too short for outboard to start up. Therefore EnsChannel cannot
connect correctly to outboard via socket. The timeout can be increased by changing file
Q: When 2 EnsChannels start up, they do not seem to 'find' each other (they don't form
a process group).
There is probably no gossip daemon running. Refer to the Ensemble documentation on how
to start it. Also, check that the
ENS_* environment variables have been set
Q: How can I tunnel a firewall ?
Okay, there are 2 things: a gossip deamon and a router.
- The gossip daemon is used to register channels, and keep track of channels and groups.
Channels periodically register with the gossip daemon. When a registration from a channel
hasn't been received for a certain period of time (10 secs), the channel is dropped. New
channels query the gossip daemon for initial membership. The gossip daemon is used when IP
multicast is disabled. Otherwise, IP multicast would ping to a well-known IP mcast address
to find the initial membership.
- The router is used to tunnel traffic through a firewall using TCP. Your stack has to
contain a TUNNEL layer at the bottom, instead of a UDP layer. TUNNEL establishes a TCP
connection with JRouter, and sends outgoing packets over that connection, and receives
In your case, I would use both the gossip daemon and the router. You would start the
components in the following order: 1. Start gossip daemon:
JavaGroups/JavaStack/GossipServer (starts on port 12001 by default) 2. Start JRouter:
JavaGroups/JavaStack/JRouter (starts on port 12002 by default) 3. Create your channel: new
JChannel The channel properties in this case have to be defined as follows:
'janet.cs.cornell.edu' would have to be replaced by the hostname on which you run gossip
and JRouter. When starting a new channel, you would see messages in both the gossip
server's window, and the JRouter. These messages would tell you what happens.