Re: Quick NetBEUI question

Richard B. Johnson (
Tue, 28 Jul 1998 11:37:45 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 28 Jul 1998, Zachary Amsden wrote:
> >
> > > How is the NetBEUI support coming along? Will I be happy or do I
> > > have to continue making manual backups?
> >> It was removed altogether from the kernel a while back because the code
> >> that was there did not work and was so broken it was not likely to ever
> >> work. I think the general consensus was the protocol sucked so hard that
> >> it was not worth supporting.
> >> This seems a shame as Linux supports a lot of other things that suck but
> >> there you go.
> >>
> >You may still be able to do it in user space using a raw packet
> >socket, though.
> You wouldn't even need promiscuous mode. NetBEUI broadcasts everything.
> It has been banned on most college campuses because of the horrible
> traffic problems it causes. At CMU, if you run NetBEUI, even if not
> on purpose, your ethernet jack is disconnected within hours.

Yes. NetBEUI encapsulates NETBIOS (the original PC Network) into
TCP/IP Broadcast packets. This means that everybody on your LAN
gets all data from everybody "not_good(tm)". Everybody's machine
spends a large percentage of CPU time (like 99.99999 percent) reading
these packets and dumping them on the floor, except for the one
machine that is the intended receiver. NETBIOS, itself, was quite
all right and co-exists fine on the same wire. If your ledgecy machine
runs NETBIOS alone, you can write a NETBIOS emulator for the kernel
by using the IPX/SPX (Novell) hooks already present. They are quite

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.1.111 on an i586 machine (66.15 BogoMips).
Warning : It's hard to remain at the trailing edge of technology.

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