Receive multicast packets on CentOS 7 (and other linux distros)

There are so many web pages and blogs post for multicast traffic under linux and how to enable it, but in most of them something always is missing and if you follow them probably you’ll end up with not working setup and you’ll have to search the Internet again – some do need tuning of the linux kernel variables not to drop packets, some need tuning the firewall to allow protocols.
Here we present a real working example of a server under CentOS 7, our server has two network ports:

  1. eno1 – local unicast traffic with local IP
  2. eno2 – multicast traffic

We have multicast TV streams, which we can use through our second network interface and we want to use ffmpeg to encode the video. We have “Multicast Group:port” for every stream, which is like “IP:PORT” and in our case the port is always the same 5000. Here are the steps you need to do if you want to receive these streams.

STEP 1) Set networking and make the configuration permanent.

In CentOS 7 the network of eno2, set a local IP, in fact it does not matter the exact IP, we used 10.10.10.0/24 local network.

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eno2

TYPE=Ethernet
BOOTPROTO=none
DEFROUTE=yes
IPV4_FAILURE_FATAL=no
IPV6INIT=yes
IPV6_AUTOCONF=yes
IPV6_DEFROUTE=yes
IPV6_FAILURE_FATAL=no
NAME=eno2
UUID=2481b907-5e6e-45f9-ab96-7091e4e7d6d1
ONBOOT=yes
HWADDR=0c:c4:7a:44:87:a5
IPADDR0=10.10.10.152
PREFIX0=24
IPV6_PEERDNS=yes
IPV6_PEERROUTES=yes
NM_CONTROLLED=no

The important lines are highlighted. Configure the network adapter on boot and set 10.10.10.152.
Second and very important add a static route for the multicast traffic for the network interface, which is supposed to have the multicast streams (in our case “eno2”). Use file:

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/route-eno2

224.0.0.0/4 dev eno2

STEP 2) Kernel variables tuning

[srv@local ~]# for i in /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/*/rp_filter ; do echo 0 > "$i";   done
[srv@local ~]# echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts

Turn off “Reverse Path Filtering” for all interfaces (rp_filter) and ping for the multicast address to work properly we need to disable icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts. By default kernel drops these packets so you need this tuning or your application will not receive a single udp packet.
You could save the above two lines in

/etc/rc.local

and do not forget to set proper access rights:

[srv@local ~]# chmod 755 /etc/rc.local

Or you can use

/etc/sysctl.conf

Add the following lines in it:

net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter=0
net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter=0
net.ipv4.conf.eno2.rp_filter=0
net.ipv4.icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts=0

STEP 3) Allow UDP traffic (and/or IGMP) if you have firewall

Here the port is the “Multicast Group:port” of the IP your application will join (look the example below)

  1. firewalld – the default with CentOS 7:
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --new-zone=multicast --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-interface=eno2 --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-protocol=igmp --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-protocol=icmp --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-source=224.0.0.0/4 --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-source=10.10.10.0/24 --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-port=5000/udp --permanent
    [srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --reload
    

    We make a new zone for the multicast streams and add our interface, the sources and the port we use. We added IGMP, because in some use cases it is needed (in our it could work without IGMP added)

  2. iptables – if you have disabled firewall and still you wanted to have a firewall:
    # allow multicast addresses
    [srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -p udp -d 5000 -j ACCEPT
    [srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -s 224.0.0.0/4 -j ACCEPT
    [srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -p igmp -d 224.0.0.0/4 -j ACCEPT
    [srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -p icmp --icmp-type 0 -j ACCEPT
    

    Probably it is a good idea to see if you have current rules (with “iptables -L -v -n” or even “iptables-save”) and to see if you should use “-A” (above) or “-I” to insert the rules above the DROP rule(s).

* Example with ffmpeg joining to a multicast group

[srv@local ~]# ffmpeg -i 'udp://239.100.10.5:5000'
ffmpeg version 2.8.6 Copyright (c) 2000-2016 the FFmpeg developers
  built with gcc 5.3.0 (Gentoo 5.3.0 p1.0, pie-0.6.5)
  configuration: --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib64 --shlibdir=/usr/lib64 --mandir=/usr/share/man --enable-shared --cc=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-gcc --cxx=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-g++ --ar=x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-ar --optflags='-march=native -O2 -msse3 -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe' --disable-static --enable-avfilter --enable-avresample --disable-stripping --enable-nonfree --enable-version3 --enable-nonfree --disable-indev=alsa --disable-indev=oss --disable-outdev=alsa --disable-outdev=oss --enable-version3 --enable-bzlib --disable-runtime-cpudetect --disable-debug --disable-doc --disable-gnutls --enable-gpl --enable-hardcoded-tables --enable-iconv --disable-lzma --enable-network --enable-openssl --enable-postproc --disable-libsmbclient --enable-ffplay --enable-sdl --disable-vaapi --disable-vdpau --enable-xlib --disable-libxcb --disable-libxcb-shm --disable-libxcb-xfixes --enable-zlib --disable-libcdio --disable-libiec61883 --disable-libdc1394 --enable-libcaca --disable-openal --disable-opengl --disable-libv4l2 --disable-libpulse --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libopencore-amrnb --disable-libfdk-aac --enable-libopenjpeg --disable-libbluray --disable-libcelt --disable-libgme --enable-libgsm --disable-libmodplug --disable-libopus --disable-libquvi --disable-librtmp --disable-libssh --disable-libschroedinger --disable-libspeex --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --disable-libzvbi --disable-libbs2b --disable-libflite --disable-frei0r --disable-libfribidi --enable-fontconfig --disable-ladspa --disable-libass --enable-libfreetype --disable-libsoxr --enable-pthreads --enable-libvo-aacenc --disable-libvo-amrwbenc --enable-libmp3lame --disable-libaacplus --enable-libfaac --disable-libsnappy --enable-libtheora --disable-libtwolame --disable-libwavpack --disable-libwebp --enable-libx264 --disable-libx265 --enable-libxvid --enable-x11grab --disable-amd3dnow --disable-amd3dnowext --disable-fma4 --disable-xop --cpu=host
  libavutil      54. 31.100 / 54. 31.100
  libavcodec     56. 60.100 / 56. 60.100
  libavformat    56. 40.101 / 56. 40.101
  libavdevice    56.  4.100 / 56.  4.100
  libavfilter     5. 40.101 /  5. 40.101
  libavresample   2.  1.  0 /  2.  1.  0
  libswscale      3.  1.101 /  3.  1.101
  libswresample   1.  2.101 /  1.  2.101
  libpostproc    53.  3.100 / 53.  3.100
[mpeg2video @ 0xf2fa80] Invalid frame dimensions 0x0.
    Last message repeated 10 times
Input #0, mpegts, from 'udp://239.100.10.5:5000':
  Duration: N/A, start: 87846.990933, bitrate: 5659 kb/s
  Program 5 
    Metadata:
      service_name    : ?TVtest
      service_provider: ?ss
    Stream #0:0[0x33]: Video: mpeg2video (Main) ([2][0][0][0] / 0x0002), yuv420p(tv), 720x576 [SAR 64:45 DAR 16:9], 5467 kb/s, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 90k tbn, 50 tbc
    Stream #0:1[0x34](bul): Audio: mp2 ([3][0][0][0] / 0x0003), 48000 Hz, stereo, s16p, 192 kb/s
At least one output file must be specified

As you can see to join the multicast group and ffmpeg to start encoding you use “udp://239.100.10.5:5000” for input stream parameter. Here ffmpeg joins the group and receives packets successfully.

* Generic example to receive UDP multicast stream

You may use the following example in any linux distro like Ubuntu, CentOS 7, Gentoo, OpenSuse and many others to receive muticast streams

[srv@local ~]# #ifconfig or ip - use one of them
[srv@local ~]# #ifconfig
[srv@local ~]# ifconfig eno1 10.10.10.152/24 up
[srv@local ~]# route add -net 224.0.0.0 netmask 240.0.0.0 eno2
[srv@local ~]# #or ip
[srv@local ~]# ip addr add 10.10.10.152/24 dev eno2
[srv@local ~]# ip link set eno2 up
[srv@local ~]# #allow multicast packets to the server
[srv@local ~]# for i in /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/*/rp_filter ; do echo 0 > "$i";   done
[srv@local ~]# echo "0" > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/icmp_echo_ignore_broadcasts
[srv@local ~]# #if you have firewall use the following for the iptables OR firewalld after that - use only one of them!
[srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -p udp -d 5000 -j ACCEPT
[srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -s 224.0.0.0/4 -j ACCEPT
[srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -p igmp -d 224.0.0.0/4 -j ACCEPT
[srv@local ~]# iptables -A INPUT -p icmp --icmp-type 0 -j ACCEPT
[srv@local ~]# #firewalld setup
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --new-zone=multicast --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-interface=eno2 --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-protocol=igmp --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-protocol=icmp --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-source=224.0.0.0/4 --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-source=10.10.10.0/24 --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=multicast --add-port=5000/udp --permanent
[srv@local ~]# firewall-cmd --reload

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