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Domain names: Implementation specification
RFC 883

Document type: RFC - Unknown (November 1983; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 1034, RFC 1035
Updated by RFC 973
Document stream: Legacy
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

Legacy State: (None)
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 883 (Unknown)
Responsible AD: (None)
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Network Working Group                                     P. Mockapetris
Request for Comments:  883                                           ISI
                                                           November 1983

            DOMAIN NAMES - IMPLEMENTATION and SPECIFICATION

        +-----------------------------------------------------+
        |                                                     |
        | This memo discusses the implementation of domain    |
        | name servers and resolvers, specifies the format of |
        | transactions, and discusses the use of domain names |
        | in the context of existing mail systems and other   |
        | network software.                                   |
        |                                                     |
        | This memo assumes that the reader is familiar with  |
        | RFC 882, "Domain Names - Concepts and Facilities"   |
        | which discusses the basic principles of domain      |
        | names and their use.                                |
        |                                                     |
        | The algorithms and internal data structures used in |
        | this memo are offered as suggestions rather than    |
        | requirements; implementers are free to design their |
        | own structures so long as the same external         |
        | behavior is achieved.                               |
        |                                                     |
        +-----------------------------------------------------+

   
   

           +-----------------------------------------------+
           |                                               |
           |             *****  WARNING  *****             |
           |                                               |
           | This RFC contains format specifications which |
           | are preliminary and are included for purposes |
           | of explanation only.  Do not attempt to use   |
           | this information for actual implementations.  |
           |                                               |
           +-----------------------------------------------+

Mockapetris                                                     [Page i]



RFC 883                                                    November 1983
                         Domain Names - Implementation and Specification

TABLE OF CONTENTS
   INTRODUCTION........................................................3
      Overview.........................................................3
      Implementation components........................................2
      Conventions......................................................6
      Design philosophy................................................8
   NAME SERVER TRANSACTIONS...........................................11
      Introduction....................................................11
      Query and response transport....................................11
      Overall message format..........................................13
      The contents of standard queries and responses..................15
      Standard query and response example.............................15
      The contents of inverse queries and responses...................17
      Inverse query and response example..............................18
      Completion queries and responses................................19
      Completion query and response example...........................22
      Recursive Name Service..........................................24
      Header section format...........................................26
      Question section format.........................................29
      Resource record format..........................................30
      Domain name representation and compression......................31
      Organization of the Shared database.............................33
      Query processing................................................36
      Inverse query processing........................................37
      Completion query processing.....................................38
   NAME SERVER MAINTENANCE............................................39
      Introduction....................................................39
      Conceptual model of maintenance operations......................39
      Name server data structures and top level logic.................41
      Name server file loading........................................43
      Name server file loading example................................45
      Name server remote zone transfer................................47
   RESOLVER ALGORITHMS................................................50
      Operations......................................................50
   DOMAIN SUPPORT FOR MAIL............................................52
      Introduction....................................................52
      Agent binding...................................................53

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