Network Working Group A. McKenzie
Request for Comments: 495 BBN-NET
NIC #15371 1 May 1973
Categories: TELNET, Protocols
References: RFCs 318, 435; NIC 7104
TELNET Protocol Specification
Following much discussion of TELNET via the RFC series, an open meeting
was held at UCLA on 5 March to formulate a new specification for the
TELNET Protocol. Two attached documents (TELNET Protocol Specification,
NIC #15372, and TELNET Option Specifications, NIC #15373) report the
results of that meeting, which was attended by: Alex McKenzie, BBN-NET,
co-chairman; Jon Postel, UCLA-NMC, co-chairman; Bob Braden, UCLA-CCN;
Vint Cerf, Stanford University; Bernie Cosell, BBN-NET; Dave Crocker,
UCLA-NMC; Steve Crocker, ARPA; John Davidson, Univ. of Hawaii; Gary
Grossman, Univ. of Illinois; Bob Merryman, UCSD; Lou Nelson, UCLA-NMC;
Mike Padlipsky, MIT-MULTICS: Milt Reese, FNW; Bob Thomas, BBN-TENEX;
Steve Wolfe, UCLA-CCN.
The two attached specifications referenced above have been reviewed by
the meeting attendees, and should be viewed as the "official" TELNET
Protocol (subject to the implementation schedule given below).
Nevertheless, these documents are still subject to minor revisions and
any pertinent comments should be addressed to me at the NIC as AAM, or
by mail at:
Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.
50 Moulton Street
Cambridge, Ma. 02138
There are two key dates for a phasing in of the new protocol: the
date when sites should feel free to send the "new" form of TELNET
commands and special codes without expecting to receive "error"
responses, and the date when sites may remove the code which
processes the "old" form of TELNET commands. Between these two
dates, sites may gradually implement and test the "interpreter" for
the new commands. It was the sense of the meeting that appropriate
lead times to these two dates were about 60 and 260 days.
Accordingly, these two dates are hereby established as 1 July 1973
and 1 January 1974.
I have also attached specifications for TELNET options which allow
o binary transmission
o suppression of "Go Ahead"
o approximate message size
o use of a "timing mark"
o discussion of status
o extension of option code set
These specifications have been prepared by Dave Walden (BBN-NET) with
the help of Bernie Cosell, Ray Tomlinson (BBN-TENEX) and Bob Thomas;
by Jerry Burchfiel (BBN-TENEX); and by David Crocker (ULCA-NMC). It
appears that these options cover most of the capabilities of the
current version of TELNET, with the exception of "Hide Your Input."
Dave Walden has also promised to specify the following options in the
o NVT printer line width negotiation
o NVT printer page size negotiation
o negotiation of the mapping between the line terminator
character available on a physical terminal (e.g., LF,
CR, NL) and the NVT characters to be transmitted
(e.g., CR NUL, LF, CR LF).
Dave has also announced his intent to seek collaboration with
Gary Grossman, Bob Braden, and perhaps others in defining an
EBCDIC option. The announcement of intent to specify these
options should, of course, be seen as useful information rather
than as the granting of an "exclusive right" to Dave, or any
I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Bernie Cosell
in the preparation of the protocol specification.
[ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
[ into the online RFC archives by Gottfried Janik 4/98 ]