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Posted 2 Jul 2002

FiveLoaves v1.0

, 2 Jul 2002
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FiveLoaves is an Internet utility designed to meet the most common needs of internet users - primarily secure connectivity
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It's a Free Lunch. 100% unpatented, open-source freeware:


FiveLoaves is an Internet utility designed to meet the most common needs of internet users - primarily secure connectivity.  The simple case of User-to-User over the internet as well as the more complex Employee-to-Employer, and even the most complex - namely Business-to-Business.

Networking is Networking.  A home computer and an office computer require the same software solution to achieve connectivity.  The main difference arises in the placement of firewalls, and routing across multiple internal corporate networks - issues that often arise when connecting Employee-to-Employer, and nearly always arise when connecting Business-to-Business.

FiveLoaves primary purpose is secure connectivity.  In the cases of  Employee-to-Employer and Business-to-Business, this often means a Windows-to-Unix, or Unix-to-Windows, or often in the case of  Business-to-Business... Windows-to-Unix-to-Windows.  With this functionality implemented as the foundation of the application  - Five of the most basic needs of internet users have been implemented into an open source architecture that can be easily extended to provide additional future services -  An example of a software abstraction framework.  

  1. The ability to transfer files from one machine to another, like FTP - but securely - (did you know FTP is not secure?).  FTP just tosses everything on the same machine (a server) and cannot reach any internal machine (a peer), therefore FTP is Client-Server, this utility is Peer-to-Peer. Either end can initiate the connection so firewalls can be safely bypassed.  
  2. A Web Server (like Apache or IIS) it runs my site My site uses: static HTML, static images, static java script and an outsourced SSL web store.  There is no bridge to COM or Java from this web server.  Speed, Simplicity, and Security are the primary design objectives - what many people really NEED in a web server.  See step 7 of the setup instructions for details.
  3. The ability to control mouse and keyboard from remote (like PCAnywhere). but with the framework supplied connection routing, encryption, and compression enabled.  This service is based on a public software project called VNC, managed by AT&T.   I modified their protocol handshake, and statically linked their DLL's into this single 356kb(on Win32) executable.   Although VNC does work in Linux and Unix I did not get them linked into version 1.0, they're coming - with multi-port display support.
  4. Tunneling TCP data (like SSH or, but the tunnel can bounce across ANY number of points, AND gives the user full control over the entire connection route network and hardware.
  5. Circuit level TCP Proxy (like Proxy Server or Delegate), but with load balancing,  fail-over , and  firewall elusive technology.  Plus better performance and much higher connection limits than delegate.

Posted July 2, 2002 - "Microsoft responds!  On my machine with "auto-upgrade" turned on, this popped up.  The other half of the patch only works for their firewall.  The real challenge is this:  Microsoft - Can you stop anyone from invoking IE through COM and intercepting the 'passing' HTTP headers, modify the request then take over the response?  It's a simple dynamic proxy, is that your suggestion for a version 2 feature?.  Your lock was taken, and your chain link fence can't stop anybody either. (My Souvenirs)  Your next product will be this:  Encrypted and Proprietary communication between browser and firewall . Your GUI is nice and COM is cool, but it's so slippery that Nimda modified the guest user's privileges on my NT server.  That's pretty slippery.  Tagging is a popular sport these days.  You're it.  Enjoy your 4th of July weekend while you celebrate freedom.  Don't forget where it came from."

Some of this software will no longer work with a proprietary firewall.

Complete Setup Instructions can be found here

5Loaves is a network of tunnels.  The simplest connection-route is between two points. The first point is the user's own machine. This is the "tunnel entry point".  From there - a connection may bounce directly to the destination or to a machine that can reach the destination or to a machine that can be reached by the destination.. 

For example if you used the Remote Workstation Controller or File Transfer applications to connect to a machine called - then the information travels between the application and the tunnel entry point in the clear (the entry point is on the same machine as the application). Once the data is ready to leave your workstation it is encrypted and sent to the first and only destination - a machine called  On that machine the data is decrypted and forwarded to correct application.

Consider this connection-route:|MyOfficePCAddress

This time the data enters the tunnel on your machine (at home or elsewhere) and is encrypted with the password only know by a machine called MyOfficePCAddress. The data travels to the first machine called couldn't see the data if it wanted to because it's encrypted with a key that it does not know. There is a small delivery header that it can read. That header instructs to proxy this connection to another machine called MyOfficePCAddress. Since that machine is the last in the connection-route,  the data is decrypted and forwarded to the correct port on that machine.

This type of connection-route has no depth limits. For example here is a 3 point connection route:|MyOfficePCAddress|InternalSubNetMachine

This is just like the first example but it causes the connection to be bounced to a machine even deeper in the network called InternalSubNetMachine.  Each machine in the connection route must be running 5Loaves.

This all assumes your network admin is a wise and reasonable person who truly understands that properly used encryption is safe. Some network administrators won't want people to have that kind of remote access - so they will refuse to install 5Loaves on

Department managers are often wiser than the network administrators. They can outsource an internet server for as little as 200/month - or use their own broadband machine at home to run 5Loaves with the SwitchBoardServer option enabled. Suppose that machine has no public DNS so rather than a name it just has an IP address like    SEE YOUR IP ADDRESS

Now if you can't go through the firewall - just go around it. (actually through it from the other side)

You set MyOfficePCAddress to poll for a connection named MYOfficePCConnectionName on 

Now you can use a connection route like this from home:|~MYOfficePCConnectionName

This causes the client application (Remote Workstation Controller or File Transfer or other) to enter a tunnel on your own machine - encrypt with the data with the password for MyOfficePCAddress, but send the data to Now the connection will sit there until some machine comes to pickup a connection named MYOfficePCConnectionName. Then the connection will be bounced to that machine - which must know the secret key in order to decrypt the data.

If you have a very secure office network, you might have some machines that are not on the internet. You can access those machines too.  Suppose MyOfficePCAddress can reach a machine called InternalSubNetMachine, but that machine cannot route to the internet. Run 5Loaves on both machines and from home connect like this:|~MYOfficePCConnectionName|InternalSubNetMachine

This goes around the firewall to your office PC then bounces down into the secure corporate subnet - securely.

If you are the network admin - the office users will be grateful for the remote access.

If you're not the network admin - don't tell your network admin - he'll never know you're doing it.

If you're a developer, a tunneling system like this can really come in handy.  If you ever need to move a file securely from one place to another from your own application.... just run 5Loaves on both machines - generate the file, then send a command to 5Loaves that causes it to deliver the file (encrypted an compressed over the wire).   The source code has examples of this for both Java and C++,  it's a very simple process that can be achieved in almost any programming language in just a few lines of code.

If you're a C++ developer that needs to build a custom 'web service', 5Loaves is a 'service framework' that you could add your own services to with unmatched performance.    Mission critical applications, might even choose this framework over something like .NET that provides no portability, and many often unwanted features that become future security and administration liabilities.  If you need COM and support for many other COM based technologies, then this is not the tool you want.  

If you are a UNIX user, you may enjoy "remote root" telnet sessions that tunnel in as localhost connections.

Extra Credit Points 

  • 100% pure ANSI C++ - very portable

  • It compiles into a 472kb Binary in Solaris using Forte 7

  • It compiles into a 427kb Binary in Red Hat Linux 7.1 using gcc

  • 5Loaves is only 356kb (Win32 uncompressed) - well suited for embedded/handheld systems.

  • It runs as a service in Windows. (type 5LoavesSvc.exe -install) or (5LoavesSvc.exe -remove)

  • It loads NO (non-kernel) SO's or DLL's. (reduce failure points + more secure + easy upgrades)


  • This is "just out of the oven" (as of April 30, 2002) and keep in mind it's only version 1.0

  • I'm gathering the TODO list for version 2 - Feel free to contribute: 


  • It was heavily tested on 98 & 2K.  I verified all functionality in Linux. I only compiled it on Solaris.



This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Brian Aberle
Founder United Business Technologies
United States United States

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralA error happened when server run Pin
abc_pf12-Jun-03 17:51
memberabc_pf12-Jun-03 17:51 
GeneralRe: A error happened when server run Pin
Anonymous12-Jun-03 19:46
sussAnonymous12-Jun-03 19:46 
GeneralNot sure... Pin
Matt Newman10-Oct-02 12:23
memberMatt Newman10-Oct-02 12:23 
GeneralPC-PC Pin
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memberPaul Selormey3-Jul-02 22:53 

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