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Hitchhikers guide to the Internet (RFC1118) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001928D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 20 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People



Status of this Memo

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 5% of the total text.

Network Working Group E. Krol

Request for Comments: 1118 University of Illinois Urbana

September 1989

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Internet

Status of this Memo

This RFC is being distributed to members of the Internet community in

order to make available some "hints" which will allow new network

participants to understand how the direction of the Internet is set,

how to acquire online information and how to be a good Internet

neighbor. While the information discussed may not be relevant to the

research problems of the Internet, it may be interesting to a number

of researchers and implementors. No standards are defined or

specified in this memo. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


The hitchhikers guide to the Internet is a very unevenly edited memo

and contains many passages which simply seemed to its editors like a

good idea at the time. It is an indispensable companion to all those

who are keen to make sense of life in an infinitely complex and

confusing Internet, for although it cannot hope to be useful or

informative on all matters, it does make the reassuring claim that

where it is inaccurate, it is at least definitively inaccurate. In

cases of major discrepancy it is always reality that's got it wrong.

And remember, DON'T PANIC. (Apologies to Douglas Adams.)

Purpose and Audience

This document assumes that one is familiar with the workings of a

non-connected simple IP network (e.g., a few 4.3 BSD systems on an

Ethernet not connected to anywhere else). Appendix A contains

remedial information to get one to this point. Its purpose is to get

that person, familiar with a simple net, versed in the "oral

tradition" of the Internet to the point that that net can be

connected to the Internet with little danger to either. It is not a

tutorial, it consists of pointers to other places, literature, and

hints which are not normally documented. Since the Internet is a

dynamic environment, changes to this document will be made regularly.

The author welcomes comments and suggestions. This is especially

true of terms for the glossary (definitions are not necessary).

What is the Internet?

In the beginning there was the ARPANET, a wide area experimental

network connecting hosts and terminal servers together. Procedures

were set up to regulate the allocation of addresses and to create

voluntary standards for the network. As local area networks became

more pervasive, many hosts became gateways to local networks. A

network layer to allow the interoperation of these networks was

developed and called Internet Protocol (IP). Over time other groups

created long haul IP based networks (NASA, NSF, states...). These

nets, too, interoperate because of IP. The collection of all of

these interoperating networks is the Internet.

A few groups pr...