TCP/IP Protocol

TCP/IP (Comer 1988, 2001; RFC1180 1991) is the backbone of Internet. TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol. IP stands for Internet Protocol. Currently there are 2 versions of IPs, known as IPv4 © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018 and IPv6. IPv4 uses 32-bit address and IPv6 uses 128-bit address. The discussion here is based on IPv4, which is still the predominant version of IP in use. TCP/IP is organized in several layers, usually referred to as the TCP/IP stack. Figure 13.1 shows the TCP/IP layers, representative components in each layer and their functions.

At the top layer are applications which use TCP/IP. Application such as ssh for login to remote hosts, mail for exchanging e-mails, http for Web pages, etc. require reliable data transfer. Such applications typically use TCP in the transport layer. On the other hand, there are applications, e.g. the ping command, which is used to query other hosts, do not need reliability. Such applications may use UDP (RFC 768 1980; Comer 1988) in the transport layer for better efficiency. The transport layer is responsible for send/receive application data as packets to/from IP hosts. Data transfer at or above the transport layer between processes and hosts are only logical. Actual data transfer occurs in the internet (IP) and Link layers, which divide data packets into data frames for transmission across physical networks. Figure 13.2 shows the data flow paths in TCP/IP networks.

Source: Wang K.C. (2018), Systems Programming in Unix/Linux, Springer; 1st ed. 2018 edition.

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