Chapter 12. Important Network Features

After successfully setting up IP and the resolver, you then must look at the services you want to provide over the network. This chapter covers the configuration of a few simple network applications, including the inetd server and the programs from the rlogin family. We’ll also deal briefly with the Remote Procedure Call interface, upon which services like the Network File System (NFS) and the Network Information System (NIS) are based. The configuration of NFS and NIS, however, is more complex and are described in separate chapters, as are electronic mail and network news.

Of course, we can’t cover all network applications in this book. If you want to install one that’s not discussed here, like talk, gopher, or http, please refer to the manual pages of the server for details.

The inetd Super Server

Programs that provide application services via the network are called network daemons. A daemon is a program that opens a port, most commonly a well-known service port, and waits for incoming connections on it. If one occurs, the daemon creates a child process that accepts the connection, while the parent continues to listen for further requests. This mechanism works well, but has a few disadvantages; at least one instance of every possible service you wish to provide must be active in memory at all times. In addition, the software routines that do the listening and port handling must be replicated in every network daemon.

To overcome these inefficiencies, ...

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