“UFTP is an encrypted multicast file transfer program, designed to securely, reliably, and efficiently transfer files to multiple receivers simultaneously. This is useful for distributing large files to a large number of receivers, and is especially useful for data distribution over a satellite link (with two way communication), where the inherent delay makes any TCP based communication highly inefficient. The multicast encryption scheme is based on TLS with extensions to allow multiple receivers to share a common key. UFTP also has the capability to communicate over disjoint networks separated by one or more firewalls (NAT traversal) and without full end-to-end multicast capability (multicast tunneling) through the use of a UFTP proxy server. These proxies also provide scalability by aggregating responses from a group of receivers.

UFTP has been used in the production process of The Wall Street Journal to send WSJ pages over satellite to their remote printing plants, and other users have used it to send to over 1000 receivers.
h3. Protocol Summary

A UFTP session consists of 3 main phases: The Announce/Register phase, the File Transfer phase, and the Completion/Confirmation phase. The File Transfer phase additionally consists of the File Info phase and the Data Transfer phase for each file sent.

The Announce/Register phase sets up the multicast file transfer session and negotiates all encryption parameters. The server sends out an announcement over a public multicast address which the clients are expected to be listening on. All subsequent messages from the server go over a private multicast address specified in the announcement. Allowed clients send a registration to respond to the announcement. The server will then send either a confirmation message if encryption is disabled, or the encryption key for the session if encryption is enabled. If the client receives the encryption key, it sends an acknowledgment back to the server.

The File Transfer phase starts with the File Info phase for the first file to send. The server sends a message describing the file in question. Besides the name and size of the file, this message describes how the file will be broken down. A file is divided into a number of blocks, and these blocks are grouped into sections. A block is a piece of the file that is sent in a single packet. A section is a grouping of blocks that can be sent together before the server needs to request feedback from the clients. The total number of blocks and sections is included in this message.

Continuing the File Transfer phase is the Data Transfer phase for the first file. Data packets, each of which is a block, are sent by the server at a rate specified by the user. Because UDP does not guarantee that packets will arrive in order, each block is numbered so the client can properly reassemble the file. When the server finishes a section, it send a message to the clients requesting status. The clients then send back a status message containing the list of NAKs (negative acknowledgments) for the blocks in that section. Once all sections have been sent, if the server has received a non zero number of NAKs from any client, the server will begin a second pass of the data, this time only sending the packets that were NAKed. The server will continue with subsequent passes of the data until all clients have either received the file or have timed out while the server was waited for a status message. When a client has received the entire file, it sends a completion message in response to the next status request.

The File Info phase and the Data Transfer phase are then repeated for each file to be sent during the session

The Completion/Confirmation phase shuts down the session between the server and clients. It starts with a message from the server indicating the end of the session. The clients then respond with a completion message, and the server responds to each completion with a confirmation message.”http://www.tcnj.edu/~bush/uftp.html

How to test

Before running UFTP you have to make user that the routing table on your machine has has a static multi-cast route enabled.
On Linux: route add -net netmask dev iface

Run tests by exchanging files between a client (uftpd) and a server (uftp).

UFTP Server command example:
uftp -Y aes256 -h sha1 FILE = server sends FILE over tls encrypted with aes256 and sha1

UFTP Client command example:
uftpd -D RECV-DIR -T TEMP-DIR -L LOG= client daemon saves files received RECV-DIR and temporary files (in case communication is interrupted) to TEMP-DIR and logs to LOG

Experiment design

Router > Router: In this setting we have the uftp package installed on two adjacent routers. One servers as a client, the other as the server…. IT WORKS!

Host > Router: The host is directly connected to the router

* Wired:

matt@wontseeme:~/src/bismark_week/uftp-3.5.1$ ./uftp -D -R 500 /home/matt/Dropbox/ebooks/R/02_corpus_frequency_data.slides.pdf
UFTP version 3.5.1  Copyright (C) 2001-2011  Dennis A. Bush
Starting at Thu Jul 14 12:37:08 2011
Transfer rate: 1000 Kbps (125 KB/s)
Wait between packets: 11718 us
Using private multicast address  Group ID: 549A4C1C
Initializing group
Sending ANNOUNCE 1
Sending ANNOUNCE 2
Received REGISTER from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Sending REG_CONF 3.1
Sending ANNOUNCE 3
Received REGISTER from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Sending REG_CONF 4.1
Sending ANNOUNCE 4
----- 500 -----
Error getting file status for 500: No such file or directory
----- 02_corpus_frequency_data.slides.pdf -----
File ID: 0001  Name: 02_corpus_frequency_data.slides.pdf
  sending as R/02_corpus_frequency_data.slides.pdf
Bytes: 6071756  Blocks: 4205  Sections: 1
Sending FILEINFO 1.1
Received INFO_ACK from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Sending FILEINFO 2.1
Received INFO_ACK+ from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Sending FILEINFO 3.1
Received INFO_ACK+ from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Sending FILEINFO 4.1
Received INFO_ACK+ from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Couldn't get INFO_ACK from gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Maximum file transfer time: 142 seconds
Sending file...pass 1
Sending DONE 1.1
Got 20 NAKs for pass 1 section 1 from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Average wait time = 11718.04 us
Received 20 distinct NAKs for pass 1
Sending file...pass 2
Sending DONE 1.1
Got COMPLETE from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Average wait time = 11727.70 us
Received 0 distinct NAKs for pass 2
Transfer status:
Host: gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net  Status: Completed   time:  52.364 seconds    NAKs: 20
Host: gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net  Status: Lost connection
Total elapsed time: 52.364 seconds
Overall throughput: 113.24 KB/s
Finishing group
Sending DONE 1.1
Got COMPLETE from client gw.jc.lab.projectbismark.net
Late completions:
Sending DONE_CONF 2.1
Group complete
uftp: Finishing at Thu Jul 14 12:38:28 2011


uftpd -D /tmp/recv_dir
  • Wireless:

Host > Host

Router > Multiple Hosts: DOES NOT WORK!

/uftpd -D /home/matt/src/bismark_week/ -L works ; tail -f works

2011/07/14 11:30:28.195551: UFTP version 3.5.1 Copyright © 2001-2011 Dennis A. Bush
2011/07/14 11:30:28.196667: Loaded key with fingerprint 12:7F:6E:58:60:85:63:E4:64:71:25:FA:80:FC:53:F6:46:87:2E:B9

root@gw:~# uftp -D -L /tmp/1stlog /tmp/file.test
root@gw:~# du /tmp/file.test
12268 /tmp/file.test

Note: the 1stlog file is never created.

Experiment environment

Routers: Netgear WNDR3700V2 Running CeroWRT smoketest

Host A: Thinkpad X61s
Linux wontseeme 2.6.38-7.dmz.1-liquorix-amd64 #1 ZEN SMP PREEMPT Sun May 22 23:53:16 CDT 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Host B: Virtualized instance of Ubuntu 10.10 on Macbook Pro
Macbook: Processor 2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, Memory 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 running Mac OS X version 10.6.8
VM: Linux jupiter 2.6.35-30-generic #54-Ubuntu SMP Tue Jun 7 18:40:23 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux

Preliminary Results

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