Network Working Group J. T. Korb
Request for Comments: 877 Purdue University
A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams
Public Data Networks
This RFC specifies a standard adopted by CSNET, the VAN gateway, and
other organizations for the transmission of IP datagrams over the
X.25-based public data networks.
An X.25 virtual circuit is opened on demand when a datagram arrives at
the network interface for transmission. A virtual circuit is closed
after some period of inactivity (the length of the period depends on
the cost associated with an open virtual circuit). A virtual circuit
may also be closed if the interface runs out of virtual circuits. An
algorithm for managing virtual circuits during peak demand is given
1.1 The first octet in the Call User Data Field (the first data octet
in the Call Request packet) is used for protocol demultiplexing.
The value hex CC (binary 11001100, decimal 204) is used to mean
1.2 IP datagrams are sent as X.25 "complete packet sequences". That is,
datagrams begin on packet boundaries and the M bit ("more data") is
used for datagrams that are larger than one packet. There are no
additional headers or other data in the packets.
1.3 Unless a larger packet size is negotiated, the maximum size of an
IP datagram transmitted over X.25 is 576 octets. If two sites
negotiate a large X.25 packet size (for example, 1024 octets), an
IP datagram of that size is allowed.
1.4 Either site may close a virtual circuit. If the virtual circuit is
closed or reset while a datagram is being transmitted, the datagram
2.1 Protocols above IP, such as TCP, do not affect this standard. In
particular, no attempt is made to open X.25 virtual circuits
corresponding to TCP connections.
Korb [Page 1]
RFC 877 September 1983
Transmission of IP Datagrams Over Public Data Networks
2.2 Features of X.25 not discussed in this document are not used.
For example, interrupt packets and the D bit (indicating
end-to-end significance) are not used.
2.3 Negotiable features (facilities) of X.25 are allowed. For
example, sites are free to negotiate larger packet and window
2.4 Some sites, such as CSNET sites, may attempt to open multiple
virtual circuits to a single site. Sites should attempt to
handle such incoming calls gracefully: transmit on the
additional circuits if possible and accept incoming datagrams
from them, but do not accept the CALL REQUEST, only to
immediately close the connection or ignore datagrams
transmitted on such circuits.
 Comer, D.E. and Korb, J.T., "CSNET Protocol Software: The
IP-to-X.25 Interface", SIGCOMM Symposium on Communications
Architectures and Protocols, March 1983.