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Documentation for Ice 3.5. The latest release is Ice 3.7. Refer to the space directory for other releases.

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This page provides important information for users of the Ice binary distributions on Linux platforms. You can obtain these distributions at the ZeroC web site.

On this page:

Overview of the Ice Binary Distributions for Linux

RPM Packages

ZeroC provides the following RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Amazon Linux:




Slice files and related documentation


C++ header files, libraries, and Slice compilers


Java run time JAR files


Slice compilers and Ant tasks for Java development


C++ run-time libraries


Mono run-time assemblies


Slice compiler and libraries for Mono development


PHP extension and run time files


Slice compiler for PHP development


Python extension and run time files


Slice compiler for Python development


Ruby extension and run time files


Slice compiler for Ruby development


Server executables and sample init.d scripts


Utilities necessary for administering an Ice installation

The Mono RPMs are currently available only for SuSE Enterprise Linux Server.

ZeroC also supplies RPMs for the following third-party packages:




Berkeley DB 5.3.21 C and C++ run time libraries


C++ development files for Berkeley DB 5.3.21


Berkeley DB 5.3.21 Java run time


Berkeley DB 5.3.21 command-line utilities


MCPP C++ preprocessor library

The db53-devel and the mcpp-devel RPMs are only necessary for building Ice from source.

DEB Packages

ZeroC provides the following DEB packages for Ubuntu 14.04:

iceMeta package that installs all run-time packages, servers and utilities
ice-devMeta package that installs all development packages


Slice files and related documentation
libice3.5++C++ run-time libraries
libice++-devC++ header files, libraries, and Slice compiler
libice3.5-javaJava run-time libraries
libice-java-devSlice compilers and Ant tasks for Java development
libice3.5-cilMono run-time assemblies
libice-cil-devSlice compiler and libraries for Mono development
libice3.5-phpPHP extension and run time files
libice-php-devSlice compiler for PHP development
libice3.5-pythonPython extension and run time files
libice-python-devSlice compiler for Python development


Ruby extension and run time files
libice-ruby-devSlice compiler for Ruby development
ice-utilsUtilities necessary for administering an Ice installation
iceboxIceBox server for C++
icebox-cilIceBox server for Mono
icegridIceGrid service
libicestorm3.5IceStorm service
glacier2Glacier2 service
icepatch2IcePatch2 service
libfreeze3.5++Freeze for C++ run-time libraries
libfreeze3.5-javaFreeze for Java run-time library
libfreeze++-devFreeze for C++ Slice compiler
libfreeze-java-devFreeze for Java Slice compiler

ZeroC also supplies the following third-party packages:




Berkeley DB 5.3.21 C run-time libraries


C development files for Berkeley DB 5.3.21

libdb5.3++Berkeley DB 5.3.21 C++ run-time libraries


C++ development files for Berkeley DB 5.3.21

libdb5.3-javaBerkeley DB 5.3.21 Java run-time libraries


Berkeley DB 5.3.21 command-line utilities

The libdb5.3-dev and libdb5.3++-dev packages are only necessary for building Ice from source.

Setting up your Linux environment to use Ice

After installing Ice, read the relevant language-specific sections below to learn how to configure your environment and start programming with Ice.


A C++ program needs to link with at least libIce and libIceUtil, so a typical link command would look like this:

$ CC -o myprogram myprogram.o -pthread -lIce -lIceUtil

Additional libraries are necessary if you are using an Ice service such as IceGrid or Glacier2.

Always use the -pthread option when compiling and linking your Ice applications.

The Linux binary distribution is not binary compatible with C++11 objects: you should not build your source files with -std=c++0x-std=gnu++0x-std=c++11-std=gnu++11-std=c++14, or -std=gnu++14. 

In order to use any of these options when compiling your source files, you need to first rebuild Ice C++ from sources in C++11 mode.


To use Ice for Java, you must add Ice.jar to your CLASSPATH, as shown below:

$ export CLASSPATH=/usr/share/java/Ice.jar:$CLASSPATH

If you intend to use Freeze for Java, you must include Freeze.jar and db-5.3.21.jar in your CLASSPATH along with Ice.jar:

$ export CLASSPATH=/usr/share/java/Freeze.jar:$CLASSPATH
$ export CLASSPATH=/usr/share/java/db-5.3.21.jar:$CLASSPATH

Classes for the other Ice services are provided in separate JAR files:

  • Glacier2.jar
  • IceBox.jar
  • IceGrid.jar
  • IcePatch2.jar
  • IceStorm.jar

If your application uses any of these services, add the appropriate JAR files to your CLASSPATH as shown above.

The JVM also requires that the directory containing Berkeley DB's native libraries be listed in java.library.path, therefore you must add this directory to your LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Assuming you are using ZeroC's distribution of Berkeley DB, the bash command is shown below:

$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH                 (RHEL, SLES, Amazon)
$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH  (Ubuntu)

On an x86_64 system with a 64-bit JVM, the 64-bit Berkeley DB libraries are installed in a different directory:

$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib64:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH                 (RHEL, SLES, Amazon)
$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH  (Ubuntu)

Ice for Java supports protocol compression using the bzip2 classes included with ant. Compression is automatically enabled if these classes are present in your CLASSPATH. You can either add ant.jar to your CLASSPATH, or download only the bzip2 classes from

Note that these classes are a pure Java implementation of the bzip2 algorithm and therefore add significant latency to Ice requests.

When using the Ice for Java SSL plugin (IceSSL), you may experience occasional hangs. The most likely reason is that your system's entropy pool is empty. If you have sufficient system privileges, you can solve this issue by editing the file


and changing it to use /dev/urandom instead of /dev/random. If you do not have permission to modify the security file, you can also use the
command-line option shown below:

$ java MyClass ...

On Linux systems with IPv6 enabled, you may experience occasional hangs the first time an Ice object adapter is activated within a JVM. A work-around is to disable IPv6 support by setting the Java property to true. For example:

$ java MyClass ...

For more information on this issue, refer to the relevant Java bug.

Eclipse Development

ZeroC has created a Slice2Java plug-in for Eclipse that automates the translation of your Slice files. If you use Eclipse, we strongly recommend using this plug-in for your own development.

The Slice2Java plug-in is required if you intend to build any of the Android projects included in the sample programs.

For installation instructions, please refer to the ZeroC web site. The manual provides more information about configuring the plug-in and using it in your projects.


Ice requires Android 2.3 or later. Aside from that, there are no other special requirements for using Ice in an Android application. We strongly recommend installing our Slice2Java plug-in for Eclipse to automate the compilation of your Slice definitions.


The Ice for Python run-time package installs the Ice extension and its associated Python files into the system packages directory. The installation also includes a .pth file that enables you to import the various Ice modules without requiring any additional configuration.


ZeroC's run-time package adds the .NET run-time libraries to the global assembly cache (GAC), so that no changes to your environment are necessary to locate the assemblies.

The instructions for running the demos assume that you have configured your kernel to automatically execute the Mono interpreter. Visit the Mono Project for a description of how to configure your kernel to register Mono's .exe files as non-native binaries. If you don't want to configure your kernel, you will need to run executables with mono. For example,

$ mono server.exe

Managed code

The main Ice for .NET assembly (Ice.dll) included in the distribution uses unmanaged code. If you require only managed code then you can download the Ice source distribution and build Ice for Mono in a purely managed version. Note that the managed version of Ice for Mono omits support for protocol compression.

You can download the source distribution at the ZeroC web site.


The Ice for Ruby run-time package installs the Ice extension and its associated Ruby files into the site_ruby directory. No additional configuration is necessary to use Ice in your Ruby programs.


The Ice extension for PHP is loaded automatically when the interpreter loads the contents of the file /etc/php.d/ice.ini (on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Amazon Linux) or /etc/php5/conf.d/ice.ini (on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and Ubuntu). This file contains the line shown below:

You can modify this file to include additional configuration directives.

At run time, the PHP interpreter requires the Ice shared libraries.

You can verify that the Ice extension is installed properly by examining the output of the php -m command, or by calling the phpinfo() function from a script.

Your application will also need to include at least some of the Ice for PHP run-time source files (installed in /usr/share/php on RHEL, Amazon Linux, and Ubuntu, and in /usr/share/php5 on SLES). This installation directory is included in PHP's default include path, which you can verify by executing the following command:

% php -i | grep include_path

If the installation directory is listed, no further action is necessary to make the run-time source files available to your application. Otherwise, you can modify the include_path setting in php.ini to add the installation directory:

include_path = /usr/share/php:...

Another option is to modify the include path from within your script prior to including any Ice run-time file:

ini_set('include_path', ini_get('include_path') . PATH_SEPARATOR . '/usr/share/php');
require 'Ice.php'; // Load the core Ice run time definitions.

SELinux Notes (for Red Hat Enterprise Linux users)

SELinux augments the traditional Unix permissions with a number of new features. In particular, SELinux can prevent the httpd daemon from opening network connections and reading files without the proper SELinux types.

If you suspect that your PHP application does not work due to SELinux restrictions, we recommend that you first try it with SELinux disabled. As root, run:

# setenforce 0

to disable SELinux until the next reboot of your computer.

If you want to run httpd with the Ice extension and SELinux enabled, you must do the following:

  1. Allow httpd to open network connections:

    # setsebool httpd_can_network_connect=1

    You can add the -P option to make this setting persistent across reboots.

  1. Make sure any .ice file used by your PHP scripts can be read by httpd. The enclosing directory also needs to be accessible. For example:

    # chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /opt/MyApp/slice

For more information on SELinux in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, refer to this Red Hat document.

Using the sample programs on Linux

Sample programs are provided in a separate archive, which can be downloaded from the ZeroC web site.

Startup scripts for IceGrid and Glacier2 services

The distributions include the following sample /etc/init.d scripts and associated configuration files:

  • /etc/init.d/icegridregistry and /etc/icegridregistry.conf
  • /etc/init.d/icegridnode and /etc/icegridnode.conf
  • /etc/init.d/glacier2router and /etc/glacier2router.conf

The installation also creates a user account and group for running these services (account ice and group ice), and data directories for icegridregistry and icegridnode (/var/lib/ice/icegrid/registry and /var/lib/ice/icegrid/node1).

By default, all these services are off at all runlevels. You need to manually switch on one or more runlevels, for example:

# On a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system, configure the icegridregistry
# to start at runlevel 3 and 5:
chkconfig --level 35 icegridregistry on

# On a SuSE Linux Enterprise Server system, configure the
# icegridregistry to start at runlevel 3 and 5:
chkconfig icegridregistry 35
# On an Ubuntu system, configure the icegridregistry to start at the
# default run levels:
sudo update-rc.d icegridregistry defaults

Before doing so, please review the script itself and its associated configuration file.

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