Not all networking software is based on BSD sockets. System V UNIX systems and most commercial networking code use STREAMS. The LiS project was developed to make STREAMS available for Linux, with the aim of making Linux the best UNIX platform for developing, debugging and using STREAMS software.
STREAMS Works with Linux TCP/IP

The whole TCP/IP stack can be reused; thus, TCP/IP performance with STREAMS is a non-issue. LiS comes with an adapter driver that fits below standard Linux IP and interfaces off to STREAMS drivers using DLPI. Gcom uses this to interface their STREAMS-based Frame Relay and (soon) X.25.

Also, a contributed driver that will be distributed with LiS (sitting in Dave's inbox as of this writing) sits on top of any Linux MAC (mandatory access control) driver as a client and presents a DLPI interface above. Gcom will probably use this driver to interface its SNA (system network architecture) to the Linux token-ring driver.

LiS Licensing

LiS is licensed using the GNU Library Public License so that companies can port their existing SVR4 proprietary STREAMS drivers to LiS and use them in Linux without having to publish their source code. This is important if we are to encourage companies to support Linux with their “family jewels” products.

Final LiS Needs

It would help if support needed to run LiS could be included in the mainstream kernel. We are referring mainly to the new system calls and other small hooks, not to LiS itself. This support would make it easier for people to download LiS and install it without having to patch the kernel.


Graham Wheeler ( obtained his Ph.D. in computer network performance analysis at the University of Cape Town in 1996. He subsequently spent conciderable time developing STREAMS device drivers and modules for protocol translation to enable a number of financial institutions to connect to PayNet, a large electronic commerce payment clearing center. He is a founder and technical director of Citadel Data Security, specializing in Internet firewall and Virtual Private Network software development.

Francisco J. Ballesteros ( his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1998 at the Technical University of Madrid (Spain). He is currently teaching and doing research on distributed and adaptable operating systems at Carlos III University of Madrid in strong cooperation with the Systems Software Research Group of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Denis Froschauer was a significant contributor to LiS development during its early implementation stage.

David Grothe ( is president of Gcom, Inc. Gcom produces data communications protocol stacks for UNIX systems, including Linux. Mr. Grothe founded Gcom in 1979 after working for the company now known as Advanced Computer Communications (ACC) where he wrote his first implementation of X.25 in 1977. Prior to that, he was a professional programmer at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Any kernel network module work using Stream

Nhan's picture

Does any network module working in Linux kernel 2.4 use Stream? Could anyone show me an example about kernel network module using Stream for communication?

See strxnet.

Anonymous's picture

See strxnet.

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState