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Got to thinking the other day.  What are the world's most important RFC's (Request for Comment specifications)?

I decided to make a list.

While the following are not in any order, I tried to base them (mostly) on date.  While TCP came first, I still put the Internet Protocol on the top of the list.  Furthermore, I have listed Steve Deering's Simple IP under that - this is the specification that, of course, has become IPv6.

These are the most important RFC specifications that defined the Internet, certainly at the beginning, and have therefore changed the world we live in.

Most of these specifications have been since updated, and for the most part you will find the references for updates in the documents themselves.

The list is probably also an important reference for those in Networking and Security - especially newcomers.

  • Postel, Jon. “Internet Protocol.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, September 1981. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC0791.
  • Deering, Steve. “Simple Internet Protocol (SIP) Specification.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, November 10, 1992. https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-deering-sip-00.txt.
  • “DoD Standard Transmission Control Protocol.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, January 1980. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC0761.
  • Postel, Jon. “User Datagram Protocol.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, August 1980. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC0768.
  • Postel, Jon. “Assigned Numbers.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, September 1981. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC0790.
  • Postel, Jon. “Internet Control Message Protocol.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, September 1981. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC0792.
  • Partridge, Craig. “Mail Routing and the Domain System.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, January 1986. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC0974.
  • Nielsen, Henrik, Jeffrey Mogul, Larry M. Masinter, Roy T. Fielding, Jim Gettys, Paul J. Leach, and Tim Berners-Lee. “Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP/1.1.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, June 1999. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC2616.
  • Srisuresh, Pyda, and George Tsirtsis. “Network Address Translation - Protocol Translation (NAT-PT).” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, February 2000. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC2766.
  • Lougheed, K, and Yakov Rekhter. “Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, June 1989. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC1105.
  • Moy, John. “OSPF Specification.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, October 1989. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC1131.
  • Berners-Lee, Tim, and Daniel W. Connolly. “Hypertext Markup Language - 2.0.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, November 1995. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC1866.
  • Allen, Christopher, and Tim Dierks. “The TLS Protocol Version 1.0.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, January 1999. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC2246.
  • Droms, Ralph. “Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, October 1993. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC1531.
  • Moskowitz, Robert, Daniel Karrenberg, Yakov Rekhter, Eliot Lear, and Geert Jan de Groot. “Address Allocation for Private Internets.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, February 1996. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC1918.
  • Iyengar, Jana, and Martin Thomson. “QUIC: A UDP-Based Multiplexed and Secure Transport.” Request for Comments. Internet Engineering Task Force, May 2021. https://doi.org/10.17487/RFC9000.
Have I missed any?  What do you think I should add?  Comment below.

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