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What is it?

netcast is a tool that allows one to transmit data from one source in the network to multiple sources, at full network speed, using multicasting. This is similar to broadcasting, only that multicasting may also work over network larger than one LAN. Simple multicast wouldn't do in many cases, when synchronisation is needed and netcast does simply that - enables transmission that is synchronised and does not require N times bandwith for N identical transfers. This should be of great use in situations such as installation of systems on multiple computers - you can just send a single disk image to all clients, and with netcast you can send it to all of them at one time, fast :)

Or at least, it will do all of that, when all the bugs are removed and all the missing features properly implemented.

For some theory behind all this, and also some other information, see here, for some more practical information, see Linux Multicasting HOWTO, and you can also check out the design of netcast.

What do you need?

A Unix system, with pthreads library, a c compiler, and some network to play with. Root access is not needed. Works on Linux and FreeBSD, on Intel architectures, and some users reported running it successfully on PPC, Alpha, and MIPS, and on systems like SunOS, IRIX and others, beside Linux.

However, all development is done on i386/linux, and no specific efforts are being taken to support other platforms, so your mileage may vary.

Where are the sources?

Sources are provided through the Sourceforge file services. The latest release is 0.2, and you can grab it here.

See README file for usage guide.

Need more information?

Please, use the Sourceforge project site , this web page sucks, but it's (hopefully) better than empty directory listing.

Who wrote all that crap, and what for?

Author (me) : Stanisław Pa¶ko [p88h] (

I am currently a student of Warsaw University, a freelance programmer and consultant, a teaching assistant at the aforementioned institution, and an opensource software developer. Some other irrelevant real-life related stuff omitted. Netcast (formerly known as mdist) used to be my university task project for TCP/IP networking. But, being a bit useful for real people (non geek), here it is for all to enjoy.


Netcast is distributed under the terms of BSD license. Please see the file LICENSE for details.

This license allows you to do almost anything with the software (unlike GPL).