[svlug] Linux streams: request for a clue

Dave Zarzycki dave at loki.sbay.org
Mon Apr 19 18:37:11 PDT 1999


On Sat, 17 Apr 1999, Karsten M. Self wrote:

> Can someone please provide me with a two paragraph explanation of what
> streams support is, what it buys the software developer, its current
> status in Linux, and/or a reference for more detailed descriptions and
> status.

There are two issues here:

What is STREAMS (without getting into a religious war)?

STREAMS is a highly modular API and design for networking stacks. For
proprietary operating systems such as Solaris, MacOS, and others, this
allows for third party developers to write networking "plug-ins" without
having access to the source code.

Because STREAMS is an API definition, it is relatively easy to port an
application that uses STREAMS to another OS that uses STREAMS.

Is there a STREAMS implementation for Linux?

Yes and no. Yes there is at least one implementation. No it is not in the
kernel. The linux kernel developers strongly feel that STREAMS will never
be a part of the standard kernel for religious reasons.

With the open the architecture of Linux, the need to provide abstractions
in the linux networking layer to allow for "plug-ins" becomes unnecessary.
You simply add the feature to the stack and submit a patch.

davez


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