A Primer On Internet and TCP/IP Tools and Utilities
RFC 2151

Document Type RFC - Informational (June 1997; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1739
Also known as FYI 30
Was draft-rfced-info-kessler (individual)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                         G. Kessler
Request for Comments: 2151                                    S. Shepard
FYI: 30                                            Hill Associates, Inc.
Obsoletes: RFC 1739                                            June 1997
Category: Informational

          A Primer On Internet and TCP/IP Tools and Utilities

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.

Abstract

   This memo is an introductory guide to many of the most commonly-
   available TCP/IP and Internet tools and utilities. It also describes
   discussion lists accessible from the Internet, ways to obtain
   Internet and TCP/IP documents, and some resources that help users
   weave their way through the Internet.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................  2
   2. Nomenclature...................................................  2
   3. Finding Information About Internet Hosts and Domains...........  3
      3.1. NSLOOKUP..................................................  3
      3.2. Ping......................................................  6
      3.3. Finger....................................................  8
      3.4. Traceroute................................................  9
   4. The Two Fundamental Tools...................................... 12
      4.1. TELNET.................................................... 12
      4.2. FTP....................................................... 15
   5. User Database Lookup Tools..................................... 19
      5.1. WHOIS/NICNAME............................................. 19
      5.2. KNOWBOT................................................... 23
   6. Information Servers............................................ 24
      6.1. Archie.................................................... 24
      6.2. Gopher.................................................... 28
      6.3. VERONICA, JUGHEAD, and WAIS............................... 30
   7. The World Wide Web............................................. 31
      7.1. Uniform Resource Locators................................. 34
      7.2. User Directories on the Web............................... 35
      7.3. Other Service Accessible Via the Web...................... 36
   8. Discussion Lists and Newsgroups................................ 37
      8.1. Internet Discussion Lists................................. 37

Kessler &  Shepard           Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2151          Internet & TCP/IP Tools & Utilities          June 1997

      8.2. LISTSERV.................................................. 38
      8.3. Majordomo................................................. 38
      8.4. Usenet.................................................... 39
      8.5 Finding Discussion Lists and Newsgroups.................... 40
   9. Internet Documentation......................................... 41
      9.1. Request for Comments (RFCs)............................... 41
      9.2. Internet Standards........................................ 44
      9.3. For Your Information Documents............................ 45
      9.4. Best Current Practices.................................... 45
      9.5. RARE Technical Reports.................................... 46
   10. Perusing the Internet......................................... 46
   11. Acronyms and Abbreviations.................................... 48
   12. Security Considerations....................................... 49
   13. Acknowledgments............................................... 49
   14. References.................................................... 49
   15. Authors' Address.............................................. 51

1. Introduction

   This memo is an introductory guide to some of the most commonly-
   available 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 and TCP/IP documents, and some
   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. Nomenclature

   The following sections provide descriptions and detailed examples of
   several TCP/IP utilities and applications, including the reproduction
   of actual sessions using these utilities (with some extraneous
   information removed). Each section describes a single TCP/IP-based
   tool, it's application, and, in some cases, how it works. The text
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