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Interfacing UNIX to Data Communications Networks

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian RandellORCiD



We propose an interface for use from within UNIX user programs for communicating over multiple and varied local and wide area networks. This interface aids the design of a distributed application program by hiding the actual communications protocols used over each network, and providing instead simple primitives for sending and receiving (possibly large) datagrams, using a simple standardised network addressing scheme based on a host number, port number pair. This interface has been designed principally for use by the Newcastle Connection, a software subsystem which is used to construct the UNIX United distributed system; however, this interface may well fulfil the needs of a large class of transaction-oriented applications of UNIX. Comparisons are made with various alternative approaches to network interfacing, including the Xerox Pup communications architecture, the "Clean and Simple" approach of University College, London, and the socket scheme developed for Berkeley UNIX.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Panzieri F, Randell B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Computing Laboratory Technical Report Series

Year: 1983

Pages: 42

Report Number: 190

Institution: Computing Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne