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Programming IP Sockets on Linux, Part One

Programming IP Sockets on Linux, Part One - Programming IP...

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Programming IP Sockets on Linux, Part One by David Mertz, Ph.D. <[email protected]> Before you start (see also Part Two of this tutorial) About this tutorial IP sockets are the lowest level layer upon which high level internet protocols are built--every thing from HTTP, to SSL, to POP3, to Kerberos, to UDP-Time. To implement custom protocols, or to customize implementation of well-known protocols, a programmer needs a working knowledge of the basic socket infrastructure. A similar API is available in many languages; this tutorial focuses primarily on C programming, but it also uses Python as a representative higher-level language for examples. Readers of this tutorial will be introduced to the basics of programming custom network tools using the cross-platform Berkeley Sockets Interface. Almost all network tools in Linux and other Unix-based operating systems rely on this interface. Prerequisites This tutorial requires a minimal level of knowledge of C, and ideally of Python also (mostly for part two). However, readers who are not familiar with either programming language should be able to make it through with a bit of extra effort; most of the underlying concepts will apply equally to other programming languages, and calls will be quite similar in most high-level scripting languages like Ruby, Perl, TCL, etc. While this tutorial introduces the basic concepts behind IP (internet protocol) networks, it certainly does not hurt readers to have some prior acquaintance with the concept of network protocols and layers. About the author David Mertz is a writer, a programmer, and a teacher, who always endeavors to improve his communication to readers (and tutorial takers). He welcomes any comments, please direct them to <[email protected]> . David also wrote the book Text Processing in Python which readers can read online at http://gnosis.cx/TPiP/ Understanding IP Networks and Network Layers What is a network? What we usually call a computer network is composed of a number of "network layers" , each providing a different restriction and/or guarantee about the data at that layer. The protocols at each network layer generally have their own packet formats, headers, and layout. Programming IP Sockets on Linux, Part One http://gnosis.cx/publish/programming/sockets.html 1 of 12 3/4/09 7:10 AM
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The seven traditional layers of a network are divided into two groups: upper layers and lower layers. The sockets interface provides a uniform API to the lower layers of a network, and allows you to implement upper layers within your sockets application. Further, application data formats may themselves constitute further layers, e.g. SOAP is built on top of XML, and ebXML may itself utilize SOAP. In any case, anything past layer 4 is outside the scope of this tutorial. What do sockets do?
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Programming IP Sockets on Linux, Part One - Programming IP...

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