Access to computer networks for computer applications to communicate important data has changed from an expensive luxury to an absolute requirement of continuous necessity virtually overnight. While there have been numerous implementations of computer networks, the heart of the network revolution, the Internet, has but one protocol, TCP/IP. The protocol is in use all over the world and is used by nearly every computer system from Mac OS X and Novell Linux Desktop to Sun Solaris and IBM's AIX, even Microsoft's non-Unix Windows systems. And it's based on the implementation of TCP/IP originally developed for the Unix-based BSD operating system.
With the use of the Internet and all other networks growing at an incredible rate, it's necessary to provide networking tools and services to take advantage of today's quick computing bandwidth and computational power. This chapter examines these important tools and explores how the underlying TCP/IP protocols work while bringing together lessons from previous chapters on system automation and shell scripting to show how to manage or administrate network resources on a Unix system.
Mac OS X systems utilize TCP/IP for networking, and while TCP/IP is traditionally configured using GUI-based preference panes, all of the command-line utilities mentioned in this chapter work the well with Mac OS X as they do with other Unix systems.
TCP/IP actually refers to many different aspects of the protocol suite that provides methods ...