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HP-UX System Administrator's Guide: Overview: HP-UX 11i Version 3 > Chapter 3 Major Components of HP-UX

Networking Services


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HP-UX provides a rich and robust set of networking services covering:

NOTE: Before you can use any of the networking services, you need to configure at least one network interface on your server. Use the nwmgr command to configure the interface. See the nwmgr(1M) manpage and “Configuring a Network Interface” for additional information.

Electronic Mail

Electronic mail (E-mail) systems generally have two functional layers:

  • A transport and routing layer

  • An E-mail client for reading, composing, and sending E-mail

For transporting and routing E-mail, HP-UX supports sendmail, a highly configurable and widely used E-mail transport service. For information on configuring sendmail on an HP-UX based server see the networking document: HP-UX Mailing Services Administrator’s Guide.

For reading, composing, and sending E-mail HP-UX offers the traditional UNIX E-mail clients:




Though not formally supported by HP, you can also use the following commonly used utilities for reading, composing, and sending electronic mail:


Mozilla is shipped with HP-UX as it is needed as a default browser for accessing the System Management Homepage. Mozilla includes a built-in E-mail client.


If you have installed and use the GNU Emacs editor, you can use its built in E-mail client, rmail.

Remote Logins / Terminal Emulation

From an HP-UX shell you can log into a remote system using any of the following protocols if they have been made available to you:


rlogin, a utility that runs on your local server, communicates with a daemon called rlogind on the remote server, if it is running, to allow you to log into the remote server if you have a valid account on that system.

IMPORTANT: The protocol supporting rlogin is not a secure protocol. Your login information, including passwords and other information you enter during your login session is sent over the network unencrypted! That information is at risk of being intercepted and misused.

ssh (Secure Shell) provides much more secure remote logins than does the rlogin protocol. It authenticates the remote server (and allows the remote server to authenticate your local server) by using public-key encryption. It uses encryption in all communications with the remote server during your login session.


As with rlogin, telnet generally uses unencrypted communications making your login sessions to remote servers vulnerable to interception. If you are working on a closed network, among servers and users you trust, telnet is available on HP-UX for your use. If secure communications between your local server and the remote server you are trying to login to are important, use ssh.

File Transfers

There are several protocols available on HP-UX to transfer files between computers. Depending on the protocol used, files can be transferred between HP-UX based systems, between an HP-UX based system and a Linux based system, or between an HP-UX based system and a Microsoft Windows based system. In addition to the following protocols, applications and custom programs can transfer files using inter process communication (via system calls):


FTP (file transfer protocol) is an open standard for transferring files between computers. HP-UX, Linux, and Microsoft Windows based computers all support ftp server and client software.

FTP is generally used in interactive mode. The user establishes a connection between their local system (the FTP client) and the remote system (running an FTP server). Once the connection is established, files can be transferred in either direction between the two computers, and the directory structure of either computer can be traversed (within the limits of the user’s access authority) to establish a source and a destination directory for file transfers.

IMPORTANT: FTP is generally an insecure protocol and files are transferred in the clear (unencrypted). Passwords to establish the connection between the two computers are also sent unencrypted making these transmissions vulnerable to interception and misuse.

sftp (the HP-UX command that implements the SSH file transfer protocol) uses ssh to provide more secure file transfers than does the ftp command. Files are encrypted during transfer and, with some SSH FTP clients, remote file system operations are available as well (for example, removing a file from a remote system).


rcp (remote copy) copies files between two computers.

One of the most notable rcp features is that it can copy an entire directory, traversing the tree as it recursively copies subdirectories and their contents.

Both computers can be remote, both can be the same system (for example, you can use rcp to copy files from one directory to another on your local system or on a remote system), or you can use rcp to copy files to or from a remote system from or to your local system.

rcp can use either a .rhosts file or the Kerberos authentication system for authenticating users.

RCP (like FTP) is generally insecure. For a more secure remote copy protocol, see SSH RCP.


scp (The HP-UX command that implements the secure shell remote copy protocol) uses ssh to securely copy files between two computers.


Primarily used to retrieve web pages for display, HTTP can be used to transfer files

Web Access

The HP-UX 11i version 3 operating system includes the Tomcat web server for use with web based subsystems such as the System Management Homepage. It is therefore also available for serving web pages that you create.

Remotely Mounted File Systems

HP-UX 11i version 3 implements several ways to share file systems and directories between multiple computers. These include:


NFS (Network File System) allows you to export file systems or directories from a server to a pre-defined set of servers which in turn will mount the exported file system so that users and processes of those servers can access the remotely mounted file systems as if they were local file systems.


Samba is an implementation of Microsoft’s SMB (Server Message Block) protocol (and other protocols) that allows for a directory and its sub-directories to be shared between multiple computers.

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