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Re: n-hurd networking

From: Niels Möller
Subject: Re: n-hurd networking
Date: 07 Aug 2002 23:04:30 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

Hisham Kotry <etsh_cucu@yahoo.com> writes:

> What's are the options of providing a n-hurd with
> networking support?

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but I'm guessing you're
talking about a single machines running several pfinet servers,
for example because you're running several hurds on the same machine.

The current state of affairs, as I have understood it, is that it
works well as long as the pfinets don't share any hardware interfaces.
They could have two separate network cards, or one could talk to your
ethernet card and the other could talk ppp over your serial port (I
don't quite remember if ppp works, though).

To improve that, I think the way to go is to create a more intelligent
ip-over-ethernet translator. On one hand, it would talk to the
ethernet hardware, on the other it would send and receive ip-packets
with pfinet (preferably pfinet should not need to know if it's talking
to an ethernet or ppp). This interface may be similar to the bsd-style
tunnel-device involved in ppp, although I'm not really familiar with

The pfinet side of the interface should allow pfinet to assign
addresses to the interface, and pfinet will then get all ip packets
assigned to that address.

Then several pfinets should be able to access the same ethernet
device, register different ip-addresses, and everything will just
work. It should be possible to handle broadcast and multicast packets
as well as plain unicast.

Such a device would bring to important improvements: One can run
several hurds, with networking, even with only a single network card
in the machine. And it makes it easier to hack on pfinet, as one can
use one's hacked pfinet and a stable pfinet at the same time, with
just different ip addresses.

I don't know how hard it would be to write that ethernet<->ip
translator, but it looks like a very worthwhile project.


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