Networking with the Printer Port

One of the strengths of Linux is its ability to serve both as engine for powerful number-crunchers and as effective support for minimal computer systems. The PLIP implementation is an outstanding resource in the latter realm, and this article shows its internals at the software level.
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My choice to discuss PLIP is motivated by the easy availability of such a network connection, and the do-it-yourself approach that might convince someone to build their own infrared Ethernet link. If you really are going to peek in the sources to learn how a network interface works, I'd suggest starting with loopback.c, which implements the o interface, and skeleton.c, which is quite detailed about the problems you'll encounter when building a network driver.

If you are more keen to use PLIP than to write device drivers, you can refer to the PLIP-HOWTO in any LDP mirror, and to /usr/doc/HOWTO in most Linux installations.

Alessandro is always wondering why laptops have a floppy drive instead of a second parallel port. He reads e-mail as, where you can bug him about Linux in general and device drivers in particular. He has written a book called Linux Device Frivers for O'Reilly and Associates.


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