terena logo
8 December 2011
GNU Gatekeeper becomes IPv6 compliant
Video conferencing continues to evolve with technological advances

The GNU Gatekeeper (GnuGK) is now fully IPv6 compliant. The corresponding code and documentation are freely available. These are the results of a project that was organised by TERENA and co-financed by seven national research and education network (NREN) organisations.

GnuGK is a full-featured H.323 gatekeeper, available freely under general public license. It forms the basis for a free IP telephony (VoIP) or video conferencing system. A proposal was made in mid-August 2011 by CESNET (Czech Republic) to make GnuGK IPv6 compliant. CESNET contacted TERENA to investigate whether there was sufficient interest within the community to share the development cost.

Earlier, eduCONF - a GN3 project activity dedicated to the development, creation and coordination of support tools for European higher education and research videoconferencing services - had conducted a survey to determine the level of interest in a pan-European VC platform. The results of this survey clearly showed that GnuGK usage is significant now and will be in future, and that there was also remarkable interest in IPv6.

Using the eduCONF contacts and its own channels, TERENA sought organisations willing to contribute to funding the development work. Seven NRENs reacted positively: AARNet (Australia), ARNES (Slovenia), CARNet (Croatia), CESNET (Czech Republic), GARR (Italy), HEAnet (Ireland), and UNINETT (Norway). Many other NRENs expressed support for the development action.

Jan Willamowius (GNU Gatekeeper Consulting) was contracted to develop the new version of the software, including coding, testing interoperability, creating beta versions for testing, and finally publishing the final work under GNU Public License version 2. The project was given the green light at the end of August and the final version was ready by mid-November, with no bugs being reported at that time.

The beneficial outcome of this new development means that GnuGK offers full traversal zone support, full IPv6 support (including IPv4-IPv6 proxying), RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) multiplexing, improved H.235 password authentication with neighbours, and a massive performance improvement when (re-)loading large numbers of gateway rewrites.

More Information

The GnuGk homepage is at www.gnugk.org

The GnuGK code repository is downloadable at http://openh323gk.cvs.sourceforge.net/openh323gk/openh323gk/.

The documentation is downloadable at http://www.gnugk.org/download/gnugk-manual-3.0.pdf.