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Domain Socket versus Loopback Interface

gsalazargsalazar Member Gabriel SalazarOrganization: Hewlett-PackardProject: Remote Graphics Software
I work at HP on Remote Graphics Software. We have been using Ice for years, and have been very impressed with it!

We are looking at doing some IPC between a service and GUI process running on the same host. We currently use domain sockets, and must define our own protocol for this communication. We are looking at moving to Ice for these IPC mechanisms.

Is there a domain socket plugin for Ice? How hard might it be to write one? If we were to embark on such an endeavor, how much support might we get from Ice? Is there any more documentation on writing plugins than what comes with the pdf documenation?

Is it more secure to write to domain sockets than using TCP/IP or SSL over the loopback? Are there any security implications that we should consider when using the loopback interface? What would you recommend?

Does Ice provide any platform independent shared memory functionality? If not, do you have any plans to do so?

Any information/advice greatly appreciated,


  • marcmarc FloridaAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Marc LaukienOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: The Internet Communications Engine ZeroC Staff
    We don't have a Domain Socket plug-in and currently have no plans for writing such a plug-in. I don't see any advantages over using loopback. I also don't see any differences with respect to security.

    Writing a transport plug-in is not something that we can do as part of regular support. However, we can help you write such a plug-in as a consulting service. But again, I recommend to first try loopback.

    We also have no plans for a shared memory plug-in. The complexity of such a plug-in wouldn't justify the performance benefit IMO. (It would really only affect throughput anyway; there would be no latency improvements.)
  • gsalazargsalazar Member Gabriel SalazarOrganization: Hewlett-PackardProject: Remote Graphics Software
    loopback - firewalls

    Hi Marc, as previously stated, I work at HP on Remote Graphics Software. I have noticed that Ice opens up loopback sockets within the same process. I assume this is for some type of intraprocess communication. I am thinking of doing something similar, and I was curious if you have ever encountered any firewall issues while using the loopback interface... Would anyone ever block off access to ports on the loopback?
  • michimichi Member Michi HenningOrganization: Triodia TechnologiesProject: I have a passing interest in Ice :-) ✭✭✭
    Yes, the loopback interface is used internally in the implementation of the thread pool.

    I've never come across problems with the loopback interface. In fact, I don't see how a firewall could block it, seeing that packets to the loopback interface never leave the machine. The only way for a firewall to block access to the loopback interface would be if it runs collocated on the same machine--but I've never seen a firewall that did this.


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