Installing Beacon v1.3

Beacon is a useful tool to help you debug your multicasting problems. It provides useful information regarding a particular multicasting group’s connection activity.


The following guide demonstrates how to configure your node for the ASIA-PACIFIC Grangenet beacon server. For UK nodes please use and other Global nodes, please use

  1. To obtain the software package, simply download the following file: files/beacon-1.3-42.i386_0.rpm

  2. Select "Save to disk" and hit "Ok". This will save the file to wherever you have set Firefox to download to. If you haven’t set it up then it will save to your desktop.

  3. Load up Terminal and switch to super user mode. You now need to install the package you just downloaded. To do this type rpm -ivh /home/ag/Desktop/beacon-1.3-42.i386_0.rpm. Where "ag" is your username. If you downloaded the file to another location change the directory location in the command.

  4. It will proceed to install the beacon server package. It will ask to continue at some point. Just hit "y" to continue. This should only take a minute.

  5. After installing beacon, the configuration file for beacon will require some changes to be made to work correctly with the Grangenet beacon server. This configuration file informs beacon where to look for the server, locations of files, contact details and various other types of information. Edit the file /etc/beacon.conf. The following lines within the configuration files are listed before that requires modification. You may also be required to uncomment any lines that are currently commented out.:

    GROUP =
    CONTACTNAME = Insert Your Name Here
    CONTACTINFO = Insert Your Phone No. Here CONTACTLOCATION = Insert Your Location Here
    NOTIFYEMAIL = Insert Your Email Address Here
    OUTPUTDIR = /var/lib/beacon

    You must also comment out the last line, STOPME.

    Now save and exit **beacon.conf**.

  6. You should now be able to run the beacon software. As super-user type ‘beacon’ in the terminal. It should now display some text and the last line will be “Go to to see this Beacon’s output’. If this isn’t the case then you have an error.

  7. To view the results, visit

  8. Your computer should appear on this webpage within a few minutes.

Running multiple instances of beacon

The following script can be used to start multiple instances of beacon.

# Start/stop/restart the multicast beacons
# Assume backgrounding has been enabled in configuration file


beacon_start() {
# DAST beacon
cd ${BEACON_HOME} && /usr/bin/beacon --outputdir ${BEACON_HOME} \
--group \

# Grangenet beacon
cd ${GRANGENET_HOME} && /usr/bin/beacon --outputdir ${GRANGENET_HOME} \
--group --port 10002 \

beacon_stop() {
cd ${BEACON_HOME} && kill -HUP `cat multicastbeacon.PID`
cd ${GRANGENET_HOME} && kill -HUP `cat multicastbeacon.PID`

beacon_restart() {
sleep 1

case "$1" in
echo "usage $0 start|stop|restart"

# End of beacon startup script

You will notice that the an instance of beacon will connect to both the "DAST beaconsever" and the "GRANGENET beaconserver". You could change the --outputdir, --group and --centralservername variable to which ever server you wish to connect to.

Special Thanks to Chris Willing (UQ) who orginally supplied the script file.


This ends this installation guide to beacon v1.3. For more information on beacon software, please visit this website.

beacon-1.3-42.i386.rpm107.92 KB

login or register to post comments