RFC 2347







Network Working Group                                          G. Malkin
Request for Commments: 2347                                 Bay Networks
Updates: 1350                                                  A. Harkin
Obsoletes: 1782                                      Hewlett Packard Co.
Category: Standards Track                                       May 1998


                         TFTP Option Extension

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   The Trivial File Transfer Protocol [1] is a simple, lock-step, file
   transfer protocol which allows a client to get or put a file onto a
   remote host.  This document describes a simple extension to TFTP to
   allow option negotiation prior to the file transfer.

Introduction

   The option negotiation mechanism proposed in this document is a
   backward-compatible extension to the TFTP protocol.  It allows file
   transfer options to be negotiated prior to the transfer using a
   mechanism which is consistent with TFTP's Request Packet format.  The
   mechanism is kept simple by enforcing a request-respond-acknowledge
   sequence, similar to the lock-step approach taken by TFTP itself.

   While the option negotiation mechanism is general purpose, in that
   many types of options may be negotiated, it was created to support
   the Blocksize option defined in [2].  Additional options are defined
   in [3].

Packet Formats

   TFTP options are appended to the Read Request and Write Request
   packets.  A new type of TFTP packet, the Option Acknowledgment
   (OACK), is used to acknowledge a client's option negotiation request.
   A new error code, 8, is hereby defined to indicate that a transfer



Malkin & Harkin             Standards Track                     [Page 1]

RFC 2347 TFTP Option Extension May 1998 should be terminated due to option negotiation. Options are appended to a TFTP Read Request or Write Request packet as follows: +-------+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+--> | opc |filename| 0 | mode | 0 | opt1 | 0 | value1 | 0 | < +-------+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+--> >-------+---+---~~---+---+ < optN | 0 | valueN | 0 | >-------+---+---~~---+---+ opc The opcode field contains either a 1, for Read Requests, or 2, for Write Requests, as defined in [1]. filename The name of the file to be read or written, as defined in [1]. This is a NULL-terminated field. mode The mode of the file transfer: "netascii", "octet", or "mail", as defined in [1]. This is a NULL-terminated field. opt1 The first option, in case-insensitive ASCII (e.g., blksize). This is a NULL-terminated field. value1 The value associated with the first option, in case- insensitive ASCII. This is a NULL-terminated field. optN, valueN The final option/value pair. Each NULL-terminated field is specified in case-insensitive ASCII. The options and values are all NULL-terminated, in keeping with the original request format. If multiple options are to be negotiated, they are appended to each other. The order in which options are specified is not significant. The maximum size of a request packet is 512 octets. The OACK packet has the following format: Malkin & Harkin Standards Track [Page 2]
RFC 2347 TFTP Option Extension May 1998 +-------+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+ | opc | opt1 | 0 | value1 | 0 | optN | 0 | valueN | 0 | +-------+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+---~~---+---+ opc The opcode field contains a 6, for Option Acknowledgment. opt1 The first option acknowledgment, copied from the original request. value1 The acknowledged value associated with the first option. If and how this value may differ from the original request is detailed in the specification for the option. optN, valueN The final option/value acknowledgment pair. Negotiation Protocol The client appends options at the end of the Read Request or Write request packet, as shown above. Any number of options may be specified; however, an option may only be specified once. The order of the options is not significant. If the server supports option negotiation, and it recognizes one or more of the options specified in the request packet, the server may respond with an Options Acknowledgment (OACK). Each option the server recognizes, and accepts the value for, is included in the OACK. Some options may allow alternate values to be proposed, but this is an option specific feature. The server must not include in the OACK any option which had not been specifically requested by the client; that is, only the client may initiate option negotiation. Options which the server does not support should be omitted from the OACK; they should not cause an ERROR packet to be generated. If the value of a supported option is invalid, the specification for that option will indicate whether the server should simply omit the option from the OACK, respond with an alternate value, or send an ERROR packet, with error code 8, to terminate the transfer. An option not acknowledged by the server must be ignored by the client and server as if it were never requested. If multiple options were requested, the client must use those options which were acknowledged by the server and must not use those options which were not acknowledged by the server. Malkin & Harkin Standards Track [Page 3]
RFC 2347 TFTP Option Extension May 1998 When the client appends options to the end of a Read Request packet, three possible responses may be returned by the server: OACK - acknowledge of Read Request and the options; DATA - acknowledge of Read Request, but not the options; ERROR - the request has been denied. When the client appends options to the end of a Write Request packet, three possible responses may be returned by the server: OACK - acknowledge of Write Request and the options; ACK - acknowledge of Write Request, but not the options; ERROR - the request has been denied. If a server implementation does not support option negotiation, it will likely ignore any options appended to the client's request. In this case, the server will return a DATA packet for a Read Request and an ACK packet for a Write Request establishing normal TFTP data transfer. In the event that a server returns an error for a request which carries an option, the client may attempt to repeat the request without appending any options. This implementation option would handle servers which consider extraneous data in the request packet to be erroneous. Depending on the original transfer request there are two ways for a client to confirm acceptance of a server's OACK. If the transfer was initiated with a Read Request, then an ACK (with the data block number set to 0) is sent by the client to confirm the values in the server's OACK packet. If the transfer was initiated with a Write Request, then the client begins the transfer with the first DATA packet, using the negotiated values. If the client rejects the OACK, then it sends an ERROR packet, with error code 8, to the server and the transfer is terminated. Once a client acknowledges an OACK, with an appropriate non-error response, that client has agreed to use only the options and values returned by the server. Remember that the server cannot request an option; it can only respond to them. If the client receives an OACK containing an unrequested option, it should respond with an ERROR packet, with error code 8, and terminate the transfer. Malkin & Harkin Standards Track [Page 4]
RFC 2347 TFTP Option Extension May 1998 Examples Read Request client server ------------------------------------------------------- |1|foofile|0|octet|0|blksize|0|1432|0| --> RRQ <-- |6|blksize|0|1432|0| OACK |4|0| --> ACK <-- |3|1| 1432 octets of data | DATA |4|1| --> ACK <-- |3|2| 1432 octets of data | DATA |4|2| --> ACK <-- |3|3|<1432 octets of data | DATA |4|3| --> ACK Write Request client server ------------------------------------------------------- |2|barfile|0|octet|0|blksize|0|2048|0| --> RRQ <-- |6|blksize|0|2048|0| OACK |3|1| 2048 octets of data | --> DATA <-- |4|1| ACK |3|2| 2048 octets of data | --> DATA <-- |4|2| ACK |3|3|<2048 octets of data | --> DATA <-- |4|3| ACK Security Considerations The basic TFTP protocol has no security mechanism. This is why it has no rename, delete, or file overwrite capabilities. This document does not add any security to TFTP; however, the specified extensions do not add any additional security risks. References [1] Sollins, K., "The TFTP Protocol (Revision 2)", STD 33, RFC 1350, October 1992. [2] Malkin, G., and A. Harkin, "TFTP Blocksize Option", RFC 2348, May 1998. [3] Malkin, G., and A. Harkin, "TFTP Timeout Interval and Transfer Size Options", RFC 2349, May 1998. Malkin & Harkin Standards Track [Page 5]
RFC 2347 TFTP Option Extension May 1998 Authors' Addresses Gary Scott Malkin Bay Networks 8 Federal Street Billerica, MA 01821 Phone: (978) 916-4237 EMail: gmalkin@baynetworks.com Art Harkin Internet Services Project Information Networks Division 19420 Homestead Road MS 43LN Cupertino, CA 95014 Phone: (408) 447-3755 EMail: ash@cup.hp.com Malkin & Harkin Standards Track [Page 6]
RFC 2347 TFTP Option Extension May 1998 Full Copyright Statement Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than English. The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Malkin & Harkin Standards Track [Page 7]

Back to RFC index