Browse Prior Art Database

TCP port service Multiplexer (TCPMUX) (RFC1078) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001887D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 3K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

M. Lottor: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1078: DOI


This RFC proposes an Internet standard which can be used by future TCP services instead of using 'well-known ports'.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 60% of the total text.

Network Working Group M. Lottor Request For Comments: 1078 SRI-NIC November 1988

TCP Port Service Multiplexer (TCPMUX)

Status of this Memo

This RFC proposes an Internet standard which can be used by future TCP services instead of using ’well-known ports’. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


Ports are used in the TCP to name the ends of logical connections which carry long term conversations. For the purpose of providing services to unknown callers, a service contact port is defined. The contact port is sometimes called the "well-known port". Standard TCP services are assigned unique well-known port numbers in the range of 0-255. These ports are of limited number and are typically only assigned to official Internet protocols.

This RFC defines a protocol to contact multiple services on a single well-known TCP port using a service name instead of a well-known number. In addition, private protocols can make use of the service without needing an official TCP port assignment.

The Protocol

A TCP client connects to a foreign host on TCP port 1. It sends the service name followed by a carriage-return line-feed <CRLF>. The service name is never case sensitive. The server replies with a single character indicating positive ("+") or negative ("-") acknowledgment, immediately followed by an optional message of explanation, terminated with a <CRLF>. If the reply was positive, the selected protocol begins; otherwise the connection is closed.

Service Names

The name "HELP" is reserved. If received, the server will output a multi-line message and then close the co...