NETWORKS(5)               NetBSD Programmer's Manual               NETWORKS(5)

     networks - Internet Protocol network name data base

     The networks file is used as a local source to translate between Internet
     Protocol (IP) network addresses and network names (and vice versa).  It
     can be used in conjunction with the DNS, as controlled by

     While the networks file was originally intended to be an exhaustive list
     of all IP networks that the local host could communicate with, distribu-
     tion and update of such a list for the world-wide Internet (or, indeed,
     for any large "enterprise" network) has proven to be prohibitive, so the
     Domain Name System (DNS) is used instead, except as noted.

     For each IP network a single line should be present with the following
           name network [alias ...]

     These are:
           name     Official network name
           network  IP network number
           alias    Network alias

     Items are separated by any number of blanks and/or tab characters.  A
     ``#'' indicates the beginning of a comment; characters up to the end of
     the line are not interpreted by routines which search the file.

     Network number may be specified in the conventional dot (``.'') notation
     using the inet_network(3) routine from the IP address manipulation li-
     brary, inet(3).  Network names may contain "a" through "z", zero through
     nine, and dash.

     IP network numbers on the Internet are generally assigned to a site by
     its Internet Service Provider (ISP), who, in turn, get network address
     space assigned to them by one of the regional Internet Registries (e.g.
     ARIN, RIPE NCC, APNIC).  These registries, in turn, answer to the Inter-
     net Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

     If a site changes its ISP from one to another, it will generally be re-
     quired to change all its assigned IP addresses as part of the conversion;
     that is, return the previous network numbers to the previous ISP, and as-
     sign addresses to its hosts from IP network address space given by the
     new ISP.  Thus, it is best for a savvy network manager to configure his
     hosts for easy renumbering, to preserve his ability to easily change his
     ISP should the need arise.

     /etc/networks  The networks file resides in /etc.

     getnetent(3), nsswitch.conf(5), resolv.conf(5), hostname(7), dhclient(8),
     dhcpd(8), named(8)

     Classless IN-ADDR.ARPA delegation, RFC, 2317, March 1998.

     Address Allocation for Private Internets, RFC, 1918, February 1996.

     Network 10 Considered Harmful, RFC, 1627, July 1994.

     Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR): an Address Assignment and
     Aggregation Strategy, RFC, 1519, September 1993.

     DNS Encoding of Network Names and Other Types, RFC, 1101, April 1989.

     The networks file format appeared in 4.2BSD.

NetBSD 1.6                     November 17, 2000                             2

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