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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols, Services and Applications (OSI Layers 5, 6 and 7)
      9  TCP/IP Key Applications and Application Protocols

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Internet Relay Chat Protocol (IRC)
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TCP/IP Host Name Utility (hostname)
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TCP/IP Administration and Troubleshooting Utilities and Protocols

The first two large subsections of the large section devoted to TCP/IP applications and application protocols discussed file and message transfer applications, and interactive and remote access applications, respectively. These are the classical applications that are most often employed by the users of TCP/IP internetworks. Since they are the means by which users communicate, they can be considered in some ways the “raison d’être” of TCP/IP and the Internet itself.

In contrast, this third subsection is a bit different. It doesn’t describe applications designed for end-users. Rather, it discusses a set of TCP/IP troubleshooting utilities and protocols, which are normally the province of internetwork administrators. Even though millions of people use TCP/IP every day without even knowing that these applications exist—much less how they work—they are critically important to those who maintain TCP/IP internetworks. Since many of you are studying TCP/IP so that you can implement and administer this technology, understanding how these applications work is well worth your time.

In this section I provide an overview description of a number of software utilities that are commonly employed to help set up, configure and maintain TCP/IP internetworks. These programs allow a network administrator to perform functions such as checking the identity of a host; verifying connectivity between two hosts; checking the path of routers between devices; examining the configuration of a computer; looking up a DNS domain name; and much more.

Note: The goal of this section is to provide explanations of the general purpose and function of troubleshooting utilities, so you will know how they can help you manage TCP/IP networks. As part of these descriptions, I demonstrate the typical syntax used to invoke each utility in both UNIX and Windows. While I have tried to be quite complete in these depictions, they are intended only to give you a better idea of what these programs can do—this section should not be considered a reference manual for these utilities. Due to variations in software implementations, please consult your operating system documentation for the details on exactly how each program should be used on your own network. On Windows systems, try “<program> /?” to see the syntax of the program; on UNIX/Linux try “man <program>”.


Background Information: Many of the software tools described in this section are designed to manage the operation of other TCP/IP protocols, such as the Internet Protocol, Domain Name System or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. To fully appreciate how these utilities work, you need to understand the basics of these and other key TCP/IP protocols. In particular, a number of the utilities discussed here communicate use ICMP messages, so I would recommend familiarity with ICMP before proceeding.


Quick navigation to subsections and regular topics in this section



Previous Topic/Section
Internet Relay Chat Protocol (IRC)
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TCP/IP Host Name Utility (hostname)
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005

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