I want to know more about Linux must be one of my most enduring sentiments.
But I often find that I learn the most, or perhaps just feel the most satisfied with what I have learned, when I simply crack open the history books.
What's hiding in
/dev that I don't know about? Well, files. Everything is a file.
But what put those files there?
History put them where they are, and history dictated how they were written, yadda yadda yadda.
Historical Notes RFC 952 gave the original format for the host table, though it has since changed. Before the advent of DNS, the host table was the only way of resolving hostnames on the fledgling Internet. Indeed, this file could be created from the official host data base maintained at the Network Information Control Center (NIC), though local changes were often required to bring it up to date regarding unofficial aliases and/or unknown hosts. The NIC no longer maintains the hosts.txt files, though looking around at the time of writing (circa 2000), there are historical hosts.txt files on the WWW. I just found three, from 92, 94, and 95.
Great. So that gives me something to chew on. I want to know how Linux works, and in particular I want to know why Linux networking looks the way it does, so I'll just go read RFC 952.
But, oh, wait... It's really short. And there are hundreds of RFC documents. Hmm...
Before trying to tackle these, I have to know, did all of the Request for Comments (RFC) documents directly impact the design of Unix and Linux? Should I be trying to get my head around all of them, or just a subset?