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RFC 0952

DoD Internet host table specification

Pages: 6
Obsoletes:  0810
Updated by:  1123

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Network Working Group                               K. Harrenstien (SRI)
Request for Comments: 952                                 M. Stahl (SRI)
                                                        E. Feinler (SRI)
Obsoletes:  RFC 810, 608                                    October 1985



   This RFC is the official specification of the format of the Internet
   Host Table.  This edition of the specification includes minor
   revisions to RFC-810 which brings it up to date. Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.


   The DoD Host Table is utilized by the DoD Hostname Server maintained
   by the DDN Network Information Center (NIC) on behalf of the Defense
   Communications Agency (DCA) [See RFC-953].


   A machine-translatable ASCII text version of the DoD Host Table is
   online in the file NETINFO:HOSTS.TXT on the SRI-NIC host.  It can be
   obtained via FTP from your local host by connecting to host
   SRI-NIC.ARPA ( or, logging in as user =
   ANONYMOUS, password = GUEST, and retrieving the file
   "NETINFO:HOSTS.TXT".  The same table may also be obtained via the NIC
   Hostname Server, as described in RFC-953.  The latter method is
   faster and easier, but requires a user program to make the necessary
   connection to the Name Server.


   1. A "name" (Net, Host, Gateway, or Domain name) is a text string up
   to 24 characters drawn from the alphabet (A-Z), digits (0-9), minus
   sign (-), and period (.).  Note that periods are only allowed when
   they serve to delimit components of "domain style names". (See
   RFC-921, "Domain Name System Implementation Schedule", for
   background).  No blank or space characters are permitted as part of a
   name. No distinction is made between upper and lower case.  The first
   character must be an alpha character.  The last character must not be
   a minus sign or period.  A host which serves as a GATEWAY should have
   "-GATEWAY" or "-GW" as part of its name.  Hosts which do not serve as
   Internet gateways should not use "-GATEWAY" and "-GW" as part of
   their names. A host which is a TAC should have "-TAC" as the last
   part of its host name, if it is a DoD host.  Single character names
   or nicknames are not allowed.

   2. Internet Addresses are 32-bit addresses [See RFC-796].  In the
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   host table described herein each address is represented by four
   decimal numbers separated by a period.  Each decimal number
   represents 1 octet.

   3. If the first bit of the first octet of the address is 0 (zero),
   then the next 7 bits of the first octet indicate the network number
   (Class A Address).  If the first two bits are 1,0 (one,zero), then
   the next 14 bits define the net number (Class B Address).  If the
   first 3 bits are 1,1,0 (one,one,zero), then the next 21 bits define
   the net number (Class C Address) [See RFC-943].

      This is depicted in the following diagram:

      |0|  NET <-7-> |         LOCAL ADDRESS <-24->               |

      |1 0|      NET  <-14->        |  LOCAL ADDRESS <-16->       |

      |1 1 0|            NET  <-21->               | LOCAL ADDRESS|

   4. The LOCAL ADDRESS portion of the internet address identifies a
   host within the network specified by the NET portion of the address.

   5. The ARPANET and MILNET are both Class A networks.  The NET portion
   is 10 decimal for ARPANET, 26 decimal for MILNET, and the LOCAL
   ADDRESS maps as follows: the second octet identifies the physical
   host, the third octet identifies the logical host, and the fourth
   identifies the Packet Switching Node (PSN), formerly known as an
   Interface Message Processor (IMP).

      |0|  10 or 26  |    HOST      | LOGICAL HOST |   PSN (IMP)  |

      (NOTE:  RFC-796 also describes the local address mappings for
      several other networks.)

   6. It is the responsibility of the users of this host table to
   translate it into whatever format is needed for their purposes.

   7. Names and addresses for DoD hosts and gateways will be negotiated
   and registered with the DDN PMO, and subsequently with the NIC,
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   before being used and before traffic is passed by a DoD host.  Names
   and addresses for domains and networks are to be registered with the
   DDN Network Information Center (HOSTMASTER@SRI-NIC.ARPA) or

   The NIC will attempt to keep similar information for non-DoD networks
   and hosts, if this information is provided, and as long as it is
   needed, i.e., until intercommunicating network name servers are in


   NET : : ARPANET :
             MOS : IP/GW,EGP :
   HOST : : SU-TAC.ARPA,SU-TAC : C/30 : TAC : TCP :


   ; (semicolon)   is used to denote the beginning of a comment.
                   Any text on a given line following a ';' is a
                   comment, and not part of the host table.

   NET             keyword introducing a network entry

   GATEWAY         keyword introducing a gateway entry

   HOST            keyword introducing a host entry

   DOMAIN          keyword introducing a domain entry

   :(colon)        is used as a field delimiter

   ::(2 colons)    indicates a null field

   ,(comma)        is used as a data element delimiter

   XXX/YYY         indicates protocol information of the type

      where TRANSPORT/SERVICE options are specified as

         "FOO/BAR"       both transport and service known
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         "FOO"           transport known; services not known

         "BAR"           service is known, transport not known

         NOTE:  See "Assigned Numbers" for specific options and acronyms
         for machine types, operating systems, and protocol/services.

   Each host table entry is an ASCII text string comprised of 6 fields,

      Field 1         KEYWORD indicating whether this entry pertains to
                      a NET, GATEWAY, HOST, or DOMAIN.  NET entries are
                      assigned and cannot have alternate addresses or
                      nicknames.  DOMAIN entries do not use fields 4, 5,
                      or 6.

      Field 2         Internet Address of Network, Gateway, or Host
                      followed by alternate addresses.  Addresses for a
                      Domain are those where a Domain Name Server exists
                      for that domain.

      Field 3         Official Name of Network, Gateway, Host, or Domain
                      (with optional nicknames, where permitted).

      Field 4         Machine Type

      Field 5         Operating System

      Field 6         Protocol List

   Fields 4, 5 and 6 are optional.  For a Domain they are not used.

   Fields 3-6, if included, pertain to the first address in Field 2.

   'Blanks' (spaces and tabs) are ignored between data elements or
   fields, but are disallowed within a data element.

   Each entry ends with a colon.

   The entries in the table are grouped by types in the order Domain,
   Net, Gateway, and Host.  Within each type the ordering is

   Note that although optional nicknames are allowed for hosts, they are
   discouraged, except in the case where host names have been changed
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   and both the new and the old names are maintained for a suitable
   period of time to effect a smooth transition.  Nicknames are not
   permitted for NET names.


   A. Parsing grammar

      <entry> ::= <keyword> ":" <addresses> ":" <names> [":" [<cputype>]
         [":" [<opsys>]  [":" [<protocol list>] ]]] ":"
      <addresses> ::= <address> *["," <address>]
      <address> ::= <octet> "." <octet> "." <octet> "." <octet>
      <octet> ::= <0 to 255 decimal>
      <names> ::= <netname> | <gatename> | <domainname> *[","
         | <official hostname> *["," <nicknames>]
      <netname>  ::= <name>
      <gatename> ::= <hname>
      <domainname> ::= <hname>
      <official hostname> ::= <hname>
      <nickname> ::= <hname>
      <protocol list> ::= <protocol spec> *["," <protocol spec>]
      <protocol spec> ::= <transport name> "/" <service name>
         | <raw protocol name>

   B. Lexical grammar

      <entry-field> ::= <entry-text> [<cr><lf> <blank> <entry-field>]
      <entry-text>  ::= <print-char> *<text>
      <blank> ::= <space-or-tab> [<blank>]
      <keyword> ::= NET | GATEWAY | HOST | DOMAIN
      <hname> ::= <name>*["."<name>]
      <name>  ::= <let>[*[<let-or-digit-or-hyphen>]<let-or-digit>]
      <cputype> ::= PDP-11/70 | DEC-1080 | C/30 | CDC-6400...etc.
      <opsys>   ::= ITS | MULTICS | TOPS20 | UNIX...etc.
      <transport name> ::= TCP | NCP | UDP | IP...etc.
      <service name> ::= TELNET | FTP | SMTP | MTP...etc.
      <raw protocol name> ::= <name>
      <comment> ::= ";" <text><cr><lf>
      <text>    ::= *[<print-char> | <blank>]
      <print-char>  ::= <any printing char (not space or tab)>


      1. Zero or more 'blanks' between separators " , : " are allowed.
      'Blanks' are spaces and tabs.
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      2. Continuation lines are lines that begin with at least one
      blank.  They may be used anywhere 'blanks' are legal to split an
      entry across lines.


   1. Feinler, E., Harrenstien, K., Su, Z. and White, V., "Official DoD
      Internet Host Table Specification", RFC-810, Network Information
      Center, SRI International, March 1982.

   2. Harrenstien, K., Stahl, M., and Feinler, E., "Hostname Server",
      RFC-953, Network Information Center, SRI International, October

   3. Kudlick, M. "Host Names Online", RFC-608, Network Information
      Center, SRI International, January 1973.

   4. Postel, J., "Internet Protocol", RFC-791, Information Sciences
      Institute, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey,
      September 1981.

   5. Postel, J., "Address Mappings", RFC-796, Information Sciences
      Institute, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey,
      September 1981.

   6. Postel, J., "Domain Name System Implementation Schedule", RFC-921,
      Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California,
      Marina del Rey, October 1984.

   7. Reynolds, J. and Postel, J., "Assigned Numbers", RFC-943,
      Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California,
      Marina del Rey, April 1985.