A Primer On Internet and TCP/IP Tools
RFC 1739

Document Type RFC - Informational (December 1994; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 2151
Was draft-kessler-primer (individual)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                         G. Kessler
Request for Comments: 1739                                    S. Shepard
Category: Informational                            Hill Associates, Inc.
                                                           December 1994

                 A Primer On Internet and TCP/IP Tools

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ..................................................  2
   2. A Beginner's Guide to TCP/IP-based Utilities and Applications .  2
   2.1. NSLOOKUP ....................................................  3
   2.2. PING ........................................................  5
   2.3. FINGER ......................................................  6
   2.4. TRACEROUTE ..................................................  7
   2.5. FTP ......................................................... 10
   2.6. TELNET ...................................................... 14
   2.7. User Database Lookup Tools .................................. 17
   2.7.1. WHOIS/NICNAME ............................................. 17
   2.7.2. KNOWBOT ................................................... 20
   2.7.3. NETFIND ................................................... 21
   2.8. Information Servers ......................................... 24
   2.8.1. ARCHIE .................................................... 24
   2.8.2. GOPHER .................................................... 27
   2.8.3. Other Information Servers ................................. 30
   2.9. Uniform Resource Locator Format ............................. 31
   3. Distribution Lists and Mailing Lists .......................... 32
   3.1. Internet Discussion Lists ................................... 33
   3.2. Usenet ...................................................... 33
   3.3. BITNET/EARN ................................................. 35
   4. Internet Documentation ........................................ 36
   4.1. Request for Comments (RFCs) ................................. 36
   4.2. Internet Standards .......................................... 38
   4.3. For Your Information Documents .............................. 39
   4.4. RARE Technical Reports ...................................... 40
   5. Perusing the Internet ......................................... 40
   6. Acronyms and Abbreviations .................................... 42
   7. Security Considerations ....................................... 43
   8. Acknowledgements .............................................. 43
   9. References .................................................... 43
   10. Authors' Addresses ........................................... 46

Kessler & Shepard                                               [Page 1]
RFC 1739           Primer on Internet & TCP/IP Tools       December 1994

1. Introduction

   This memo is an introductory guide to some of the TCP/IP and Internet
   tools and utilities that allow users to access the wide variety of
   information on the network, from determining if a particular host is
   up to viewing a multimedia thesis on foreign policy.  It also
   describes discussion lists accessible from the Internet, ways to
   obtain Internet documents, and resources that help users weave their
   way through the Internet.  This memo may be used as a tutorial for
   individual self-learning, a step-by-step laboratory manual for a
   course, or as the basis for a site's users manual.  It is intended as
   a basic guide only and will refer to other sources for more detailed
   information.

2. A Beginner's Guide to TCP/IP-based Utilities and Applications

   This section provides descriptions and detailed examples of several
   TCP/IP utilities and applications, including actual sessions using
   these utilities (with some extraneous information removed).  Each
   section below describes a single TCP/IP-based tool, it's application,
   and, in some cases, how it works.  The text description is followed
   by an actual sample session.

   The sample dialogues shown below were made using the Multinet TCP/IP
   software for VAX/VMS or DOS versions of FTP Software's PC/TCP.  While
   the examples below can be used as a guide to using and learning about
   the capabilities of these tools, the reader should understand that
   not all of these utilities may be found at all TCP/IP hosts nor in
   all commercial software packages.  Furthermore, the user interface
   for different packages will be different and the actual command line
   may appear differently than shown here; this will be particularly
   true for graphical user interfaces running over Windows, X-Windows,
   OS/2, or Macintosh systems.  The Internet has many exciting things to
   offer but standardized interfaces to the protocols is not yet one of
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