This directory contains documents describing the major protocols. There are literally hundreds of documents, so we have chosen the ones that seem most important. Internet standards are called RFC's. RFC stands for Request for Comment. A proposed standard is initially issued as a proposal, and given an RFC number. When it is finally accepted, it is added to Official Internet Protocols, but it is still referred to by the RFC number. We have also included two IEN's. (IEN's used to be a separate classification for more informal documents. This classification no longer exists -- RFC's are now used for all official Internet documents, and a mailing list is used for more informal reports.) The convention is that whenever an RFC is revised, the revised version gets a new number. This is fine for most purposes, but it causes problems with two documents: Assigned Numbers and Official Internet Protocols. These documents are being revised all the time, so the RFC number keeps changing. You will have to look in rfc- index.txt to find the number of the latest edition. Anyone who is seriously interested in TCP/IP should read the RFC describing IP (791). RFC 1009 is also useful. It is a specification for gateways to be used by NSFnet. As such, it contains an overview of a lot of the TCP/IP technology. You should probably also read the description of at least one of the application protocols, just to get a feel for the way things work. Mail is probably a good one (821/822). TCP (793) is of course a very basic specification. However the spec is fairly complex, so you should only read this when you have the time and patience to think about it carefully. Fortunately, the author of the major RFC's (Jon Postel) is a very good writer. The TCP RFC is far easier to read than you would expect, given the complexity of what it is describing. You can look at the other RFC's as you become curious about their subject matter.
Here is a list of the documents you are more likely to want:
rfc-index list of all RFC's rfc1065/6/7 Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). A protocol to get information from gateways and hosts, to monitor failures, and to reconfigure gateways and hosts remotely. This protocol will be the foundation for network management activities involving TCP/IP. RFC 1028 documents the Simple Gateway Monitoring Protocol (SGMP), which is an interim protocol on which SNMP is based. SGMP will be replaced by SNMP during 1988/89. rfc1064,1056,937 protocols for reading mail on PC's rfc1062 Assigned Numbers. If you are working with TCP/IP, you will probably want a hardcopy of this as a reference. It's not very exciting to read, but is essential. It lists all the offically defined well-known ports and lots of other things. rfc1059 Network Time Protocol. A protocol for synchronizing the time on all your machines. Also allows you to get time from one of the national time standards. rfc1058 Routing Information Protocol. Details of the most commonly-used routing protocol. rfc1057 RPC. A protocol for remote procedure calls. Sun's Network File System is based on this. The actual NFS protocol specification is currently available only from Sun. Sun supplies a public domain implementation of RPC. Aside from its use by NFS (whose implementation is not public domain), RPC has been used by a number of groups for building server/client systems such as remote database servers. See also rfc1014. rfc1042 IP encapsulation for IEEE 802 networks. This will be used for the IEEE token ring, broadband, etc. In principle it seems that this would cover Ethernet, since Ethernet is IEEE 802.3. However the normal encapsulation used on Ethernet is defined by rfc894. rfc1032/3/4/5 domains (the database used to go from host names to Internet address and back -- also used to handle UUCP these days). This includes protocol standards, as well as information directed at people who are going to have to set up a domain name server. Every site should have a copy of these documents. rfc1014 XDR: External Data Representation Standard. This is part of the specifications for Sun's RPC protocol (rfc 1057), which is the protocol underlying Sun's Network File System. rfc1013 X Window System Protocol, Version 11. Documents the most commonly used remote window system. rfc1012 list of all rfc's below 1000, with somewhat more information than rfc-index. rfc1011 Official Protocols. It's useful to scan this to see what tasks protocols have been built for. This defines which rfc's are actual standards, as opposed to requests for comments. rfc1009 NSFnet gateway specifications. A good overview of IP routing and gateway technology. rfc1001/2 netBIOS: networking for PC's rfc959 FTP (file transfer) rfc950 subnets rfc894 how IP is to be put on Ethernet, see also rfc825 rfc854/5 telnet - protocol for remote logins rfc826 ARP - protocol for finding out Ethernet addresses rfc821/2 mail rfc814 names and ports - general concepts behind well-known ports rfc793 TCP rfc792 ICMP rfc791 IP rfc768 UDP ien-116 old name server (still needed by several kinds of system) ien-48 the Catenet model, general description of the philosophy behind TCP/IPThe following documents are somewhat more specialized.
rfc1055 SLIP (IP for dialup lines) rfc1054 IP multicasting rfc1048 Bootp, a protocol often used to allow diskless systems to find their IP address. rfc813 window and acknowledgement strategies in TCP rfc815 datagram reassembly techniques rfc816 fault isolation and resolution techniques rfc817 modularity and efficiency in implementation rfc879 the maximum segment size option in TCP rfc896 congestion control rfc827,888,904,975,985 EGP and related issuesTo those of you who may be reading this document remotely instead of at Rutgers: The most important rfc's have been collected into a three-volume set, the DDN Protocol Handbook. It is available from the DDN Network Information Center, SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Avenue, Menlo Park, California 94025 (telephone: 800-235-3155). You should be able to get them via anonymous FTP from sri-nic.arpa. File names are:
rfc's: rfc:rfc-index.txt rfc:rfcxxx.txt IEN's: ien:ien-index.txt ien:ien-xxx.txtSites with access to UUCP but not FTP may be able to retreive them via UUCP from UUCP host rutgers. The file names would be
rfc's: /topaz/pub/pub/tcp-ip-docs/rfc-index.txt /topaz/pub/pub/tcp-ip-docs/rfcxxx.txt IEN's: /topaz/pub/pub/tcp-ip-docs/ien-index.txt /topaz/pub/pub/tcp-ip-docs/ien-xxx.txtNote that SRI-NIC has the entire set of rfc's and IEN's, but rutgers and topaz have only those specifically mentioned above.