Re: [Autoconf] Closing summary on consensus-call forRFC5889modifications

"Charles E. Perkins" <> Thu, 26 August 2010 14:06 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 07:06:31 -0700
From: "Charles E. Perkins" <>
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To: Teco Boot <>
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Subject: Re: [Autoconf] Closing summary on consensus-call forRFC5889modifications
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Hello Teco,

I'd like to propose how we can distinguish routers
from hosts, as follows:

- If a node forwards packets as an intermediate node
   in a routing path, it is a "router".
- Otherwise, it is "host".

As one example, suppose network entity X runs
a routing protocol and exchanges routing tables.
Furthermore, suppose X drops every packet that
it receives unless the destination address is
X's IP address.

I do not call X a router.

Suppose instead that X forwards every other

I call X a defective router.

You might instead prefer to call X a router
if it exchanges routing tables with its
neighbors.  That is also workable, I think,
but less convenient and vulnerable to arguments
related to the use of SNMP.

Anyway, for all those who cannot tell the
difference between routers and hosts by
any definition whatsoever, I can't see how
it matters what terminology the proposed
RFC might use.

Charlie P.

On 8/26/2010 5:31 AM, Teco Boot wrote:
> Alex,
> You could take some time for research, on hosts having a routing table.
> Take a start with host requirements (RFC 1122):
> |  As an extra feature, a host IP layer MAY implement a table
> |  of "static routes".
> Teco
> Op 25 aug 2010, om 18:03 heeft Alexandru Petrescu het volgende geschreven:
>> Le 25/08/2010 15:21, Teco Boot a écrit :
>>> Alex,
>>> Your statement is not accurate. You say: "A router with [whatever]
>>> is a router to. Would someone doubt on that?
>> Right, a router is a router - always valid.
>> A "machine" with static routes is a router too.
>>> If you intended to say:
>>>> A node with static routes (no routing protocol messages) is a
>>>> router too.
>>> This is definitely not true. Every host may have static routes.
>> Right.  That's why I tend to accept that there are no Hosts in this
>> world and they're all routers, because they all execute longest prefix
>> match searches in their routing tables, they all have at least two
>> interfaces (lo is one), they all have entries in their routing tables.
>> They're all routers, Hosts don't exist.
>>> I call a node a router if it: - may forward packets; - may send
>>> routing protocol packets; - may send router advertisements.
>>> Reworded: a host - may not forward packets; - may not send routing
>>> protocol packets; - may not send router advertisements.
>> Ah "may" makes it impossible to really distinguish.
>>> I have device here on my desk. It is called a Wireless-N Home Router.
>>> I use it as WiFi AP, Ethernet switch and DHCP server. I don't use it
>>> for forwarding packets, because on the yellow marked port it does
>>> some nasty NAPT operations, which I can't use in my setup. Shall I
>>> bring it back to the shop, and ask for a Wireless-N Home Host?
>> HA haha!!  I doubt shop vendor understands "Host" because s/he never
>> sells Hosts to anyone!  S/he could sell Routers, Switches, Desktops,
>> Servers ; or it could Host your website if you wish.  But never sell you
>> a Host.  Who sells Hosts?
>>> It: - may forward packets, but I disabled it; - may send routing
>>> protocol packets, but I disabled it; - may send router
>>> advertisements, but I doubt if it supports IPv6.
>> But that Access Point does have routing table entries, does execute the
>> longest prefix match algorithm, hence it's a Router.
>>> By the way, if I use packet forwarding, NAPT and MAC NAT, it acts as
>>> a host on the Internet port.
>> In a sense.  What do you mean it "acts as a Host on the Internet port"?
>> What does NAPT does as algorithm, data structures, which a Router does
>> not, on the Internet port?
>>> Providers can't detect it is a router, it is all hidden. Powerful
>>> feature, for where providers don't allow routers connected to their
>>> networks.
>> Hmm...
>> I think also, as you say, that it is good to distinguish it based on
>> sending RA or NA: if it sends RA then it's a Router, otherwise it's a
>> Host; but disabling RAs on a Router doesn't make it a Host :-) - it
>> makes it an IPv4 Router (another Router :-)
>> Alex
>>> Teco
>>> Op 25 aug 2010, om 12:05 heeft Alexandru Petrescu het volgende
>>> geschreven:
>>>> Le 25/08/2010 10:41, Dearlove, Christopher (UK) a écrit :
>>>>> It's running the routing protocol, and not just listening to it,
>>>>> but engaging actively in it - sending necessary routing protocol
>>>>> messages. It's a router.
>>>> And a router doesn't necessarily have to run a dynamic routing
>>>> protocol.  A router with static routes (no routing protocol
>>>> messages) is a router too.
>>>> Alex
>>>> _______________________________________________ Autoconf mailing
>>>> list
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