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Standard for the transmission of IP datagrams over NetBIOS networks (RFC1088) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001897D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 3 page(s) / 4K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

L.J. McLaughlin: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1088: DOI


This document specifies a standard method of encapsulating the Internet Protocol (IP) datagrams on NetBIOS networks.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 59% of the total text.

Network Working Group L. McLaughlin III Request for Comments: 1088 TWG February 1989

A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams over NetBIOS Networks

Status of this Memo

This document specifies a standard method of encapsulating the Internet Protocol [1] (IP) datagrams on NetBIOS [2] networks. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


The goal of this specification is to allow compatible and interoperable implementations for transmitting IP datagrams over NetBIOS networks.

NetBIOS is a standard which specifies a means of creating virtual circuits and of transmitting and receiving point-to-point, multicast, and broadcast datagrams. This specification uses only the datagram services.

Previous versions of this memo specified the use of the NetBIOS broadcast datagram services instead of the NetBIOS group name services to implement IP broadcasting. These versions are now obsolete.


NetBIOS networks may be used to support IP networks and subnets [3] of any class. By means of encapsulating IP datagrams within NetBIOS datagrams and assigning IP numbers to the hosts on a NetBIOS network, IP-based applications are supported on these hosts. The addition of a router capable of encapsulating IP packets within ordinary data- link protocols (such as 802.3 [4]) as well as within NetBIOS datagrams allows these NetBIOS hosts to communicate with the Internet at large.

Address Mappings

In general, NetBIOS names may be any series of 16 bytes, however, a few values are reserved or used by common networking packages. NetBIOS names for the IP applications on each host are chosen on the basis of the internet number of that host. Since NetBIOS names are a mapping of IP addresses, no physical address query mechanism (e.g., ARP [5]) is required.

McLaughlin [Page 1]

RFC 1088 IP over NetBIOS networks February 1989

For these internet protocol applications, IP.XX.XX.XX.XX is the NetBIOS name for any IP over NetBIOS host where XX represents the ascii hexadecimal representation of that byte of the internet address.

This addressing scheme allows for the multiplexing of standard datagram protocols over NetBIOS as well as easy visual confirmation of the correctness of a given packet’s address.

Broadcast and Multicast Addresses

Broadcast Internet addresses are represented by the NetBIOS group name IP.FF.FF.FF.FF. Currently, no attempt is made to provide support of IP multicast addresses using NetBIOS group names.

Maximum Transmission Unit

The maximum data size of a NetBIOS datagram, and therefore the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) for IP over NetBIOS networks, is 512 bytes. Therefore, any hosts communicating with a host on a NetBIOS network may be required to reassemble fragmented datagrams.


To support IP on a NetBIOS host for any given IP address the initialization code must:

1) Add IP.XX.XX.XX.XX t...