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Chaosnet resources

This describes various resources for the “global” Chaosnet. Other source of information include

Chaosnet implementations include

  • Chaosnet-over-UDP for the PDP10 emulator klh10, also in Python and Common Lisp by Joe Oswald
  • Chaosnet-over-TLS for the bridge program, see below
  • Chaosnet-over-Ethernet (standard) for klh10, the Lambda Lisp Machine emulator LambdaDelta (and real Lisp Machines), and 4.1 BSD
  • Chaosnet-over-unix-sockets for the CADR Lisp Machine emulator usim (see also here), and also in Python by Joe Oswald
  • Chaosnet encapsulated in IP (standard protocol), e.g for the PDP10 implementation PDP10/X by Dave Conroy
  • a bridge program for all of the above, which also includes a simple unix-sockets interface (different from the CADR/usim implementation).
  • soon(?), a Linux implementation by ams.

1. DNS

A DNS server for CHaosnet class data is available at Psilocybe.Update.UU.SE. It currently runs the following domains:

  • CH-ADDR.NET with Chaosnet address mappings
  • Chaosnet.NET (and aosnet.CH) with Chaosnet infrastructure stuff and “homeless” hosts
  • Update.UU.SE for Update computer club, Uppsala
  • Victor.SE for Björn Victor
  • NoCrew.ORG for Lars Brinkhoff
  • Cosmic.COM for Craig Lennox
  • Swenson.ORG for Eric Swenson
  • GEWT.NET for b4

and the root domain, so assumedly knows everything about Chaosnet.

Network names appear in CH-ADDR.NET, in the spirit of RFC 1101. They are at labels corresponding to the subnet address with zero host part, e.g. for subnet 1, for subnet 6, etc.

If you have a stable IP address, constantly running machine, which is publicly accessible on port 53, you can be a secondary nameserver. That would be helpful, as it improves redundancy and performance.

To make use of DNS in ITS, see dqdev - more work is needed to adapt more networking programs. To make use of DNS on an LMI Lambda or TI Explorer lisp machine, use my DNS resolver implementation (which also plays nicely with my DHCP implementation - but see here for possibly latest verisons).

In the Chaosnet bridge program, there is support for a DNS server over Chaosnet (by forwarding/recursion over UDP) so Chaos-only hosts can make use of it. This should allow non-IP hosts such as CADR systems to make use of DNS.

2. Routing

A Chaosnet bridge runs on (the IP, IPv6, and Chaos) host MX-11.aosnet.CH (also under the alias Router.aosnet.CH), accessible by Chaos-over-UDP or TLS on port 42042, or using IP protocol 16 (over IPv4 or IPv6), as Chaos host 3040.

The MX-11 bridge

  • routes packets between connected networks,
  • sends and processes routing (RUT) packets to connected networks (and CHUDP hosts), and
  • responds to the contact names STATUS, TIME, UPTIME and DUMP-ROUTING-TABLE, among others.

See MIT AI Memo 628 for details, except DUMP-ROUTING-TABLE which is implemented and used mainly by Lisp machines - see e.g. the TI Explorer code (search for “show routing data”).

2.1. Registering

To connect to the “global” Chaosnet, you need to register a compatible Chaosnet address. To connect using Chaos-over-UDP, you need a stable IP address and a compatible Chaosnet address, and if you connect directly to MX-11, I need to open the firewall there. To connect using Chaos-over-TLS, you do not need a stable IP address, but you do need a certificate issued by my Certificate Authority.

2.1.1. If you want to connect a single host

To get a compatible Chaosnet address, send an email to and tell me

  • the name of the host, including its domain (but do not just invent domains - see below),
  • what kind of host it is (ITS? Lambda/Explorer/Symbolics Lisp machine? cbridge?), and
  • on what IP it is (IPv4 or IPv6).

If you connect using Chaos-over-UDP, you should probably have an address on subnet 6 (range 3001-3377), at least if you have a reasonably stable host. (Ideally, run a cbridge and put your local hosts on a subnet behind it - see configuration examples below.)

In emergencies, you can list occupied addresses e.g. by host -c ch -l and pick a free one, but don't forget to tell Björn as soon as possible. And to keep things simple, pick one on net 6.

2.1.2. If you want to connect your local Chaos network

Set up a cbridge to handle your local network. Tell Björn the things as above for single hosts, and also ask Björn for a separate subnet to use (in emergencies, pick a random subnet between 17 and 171 octal - but don't forget to tell Björn!). Do NOT add all your local hosts to subnet 6, but only the cbridge. See configuration examples below.

To add DNS info, send Björn

  • the names of the hosts, including domains (but do not just invent domains - see below),
  • what kinds of hosts they are, and
  • their Chaosnet addresses on your subnet.

2.1.3. Dynamic Chaosnet address allocation

I'm thinking about this. The old WHO-AM-I and TI-WHO-AM-I protocols are not quite sufficient, and full-blown DHCP is a bit overkill.

3. If you don't have a domain

You can ask to get added to aosnet.CH.

4. Configuration examples

To configure your ITS running under klh10, use this in your klh10.ini:

devdef chaos ub3 ch11 addr=764140 br=6 vec=270 myaddr=NNNN chip=3040/

where NNNN is your Chaosnet address on net 6 (3001-3377). (You need to tell me about it so I can open the firewall.)

More might appear, also see here.

5. Subnets in use

The following subnets (in octal) are used/registered or special. See also AI:SYSHST;HSTNET >.

Note that while there are technically 255 subnets (excluding 0), only 172 (octal) nets fit in a routing table pkt, and the DUMP-ROUTING-TABLE protocol only lists subnets up to 172.

#1: @MIT: "Main campus Chaosnet"

Special: the TI-WHO-AM-I protocol broadcasts on that subnet to find out its address, and it is probably often default for old Real machines, e.g. Lispms. Currently used for the Chaos-over-Ethernet at Update, because the old Symbolics 3600 has address 401.

#6: @MIT: "Tech Square Chaosnet"

This is now for hosts connected to MX-11 by Chaosnet over UDP (CHUDP), IP (v4/v6) or over TLS, mainly ITS hosts and cbridge processes.

Special: Default subnet for LMI machines; 3412 used by LMI machines for “Amnesia” (hosts that don't know their address). Currently BVs home network, over Ethernet and Unix sockets.

#11: @MIT: "Tech Square LCS asynchronous line net"

Currently AMS' home network (AMS.AOSNET.CH).

#13: @MIT: "EE NETWORK 11 pseudo net"

Used by Eric Swenson for the home network.

#16: @MIT: "AI Lab Ethernet 16"

Used by SJ.GEWT.NET (and MX-11 bridges to it).

start.txt · Last modified: 2020-06-02 19:53 by victor