Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Berkeley Broadcast Address Form

The University of California at Berkeley developed and distributed an early implementation of TCP/IP protocols as a part of BSD UNIX.The BSD implementation contained a non-standard feature that has affected many subsequent implementations.Instead of using a host suffix of all ones to represent a directed broadcast address,the Berkeley implementation used a host suffix that contained all zeros.The address form is informally known as Berkeley Broadcast.Unfortunately,many computer manufacturers derived their early TCP/IP software from the Berkeley implementation,and a few sites still use Berkeley broadcast.Some implementations include a configuration parameter that can select between the TCP/IPTCP/IP standard and Berkeley form;many implementations are built to accept both standard and Berkeley broadcast address forms.

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