Re: Reminder: WGLC Announcement for draft-ietf-tsvwg-iana-ports-08 - 26th November 2010

Eliot Lear <> Wed, 01 December 2010 12:48 UTC

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Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2010 13:50:18 +0100
From: Eliot Lear <>
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To: Lars Eggert <>
Subject: Re: Reminder: WGLC Announcement for draft-ietf-tsvwg-iana-ports-08 - 26th November 2010
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On 12/1/10 12:05 PM, Lars Eggert wrote:
> Hi,
> On 2010-12-1, at 12:36, Eliot Lear wrote:
>> As I recall, though, nobody really had a problem with dropping the
>> distinction.  It's only there in some UNIX flavors; and the only real
>> issue is on multi-user systems where the port could conceivably be
>> grabbed by someone.  Realistically, that's not a concern because if it's
>> important, there is something listening from start-up.
> "only some Unix flavors" is severely understating the issue. I just tried MacOS, FreeBSD and Ubuntu Linux, and none of them let user process bind to ports below 1024.

There are other varients that have either done away with the distinction
or provided a richer port interface.
> I agree with you that the reasons for having separate port ranges are bogus, but the *reality* is that it *matters* whether your port is above or below 1024 on many deployed systems. And hence it matters for applicants what number they get.

No it doesn't.  The nature of computing today is such that the
distinction is lost because most so-called privileged processes are
running either on single user machines where the user is the
administrator, or on servers where this sort of thing is coordinated.

The rule dates back to the days where one could expect 40 - 60 users on
a system.