[ Previous | Next | Contents | Glossary | Home | Search ]
AIX Version 4.3 Communications Technical Reference, Volume 2

dlpi STREAMS Driver


Provides an interface to the data link provider.


The dlpi driver is a STREAMS-based pseudo-driver that provides a Data Link Provider Interface (DLPI) style 2 interface to the data link providers in the operating system.

The data link provider interface supports both the connectionless and connection-oriented modes of service, using the DL_UNITDATA_REQ and DL_UNITDATA_IND primitives. See Data Link Provider Interface Information in AIX Version 4.3 Communications Programming Concepts.

Refer to the "STREAMS Overview" in AIX Version 4.3 Communications Programming Concepts for related publications about the DLPI.

File System Name

Each provider supported by the dlpi driver has a unique name in the file system. The supported interfaces are:

Driver Name Interface
/dev/dlpi/en Ethernet
/dev/dlpi/et 802.3
/dev/dlpi/tr 802.5
/dev/dlpi/fi FDDI

Physical Point of Attachment

The PPA is used to identify one of several of the same type of interface in the system. It should be a nonnegative integer in the range 0 through 99.

The dlpi drivers use the network interface drivers to access the communication adapter drivers. For example, the /dev/dlpi/tr file uses the network interface driver if_tr (interface tr0, tr1, tr2, . . . ) to access the token-ring adapter driver. The PPA value used attaches the device open instance with the corresponding network interface. For example, opening to the /dev/dlpi/en device and then performing an attach with PPA value of 1 attaches this open instance to the network interface en1. Therefore, choosing a PPA value selects a network interface. The specific network interface should be active before a certain PPA value is used.

Examples of client and server dlpi programs are located in the /usr/samples/dlpi directory.


/dev/dlpi/* Contains names of supported protocols.
/usr/samples/dlpi Contains client and server dlpi sample programs.

Implementation Specifics

This driver is part of STREAMS Kernel Extensions.

Related Information

The ifconfig command, strload command.

Understanding STREAMS Drivers and Modules, Obtaining Copies of the DLPI and TPI Specification, Data Link Provider Interface Information, in AIX Version 4.3 Communications Programming Concepts.

[ Previous | Next | Contents | Glossary | Home | Search ]