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Computer Networking - Principles, Protocols and Practice

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Computer Networking : Principles, Protocols and Practice (aka CNP3) is an ongoing effort to develop an open-source networking textbook that could be used for an in-depth undergraduate or graduate networking courses.

The textbook uses the top-down approach initially proposed by Jim Kurose and Keith Ross for their Computer Networks textbook published by Addison Wesley. CNP3 is distributed under a creative commons license.

Draft textbook

A first draft of the textbook is available. It contains five chapters :

  • The Introduction explains the importance of services in computer networks and the OSI and TCP/IP reference models.
  • The Application layer chapter explains the application layer and describes the operation of the Domain Name System, Internet email and the worldwide web
  • The Transport layer chapter provides first a detailed explanation of the mechanisms that are used to provide a reliable transport service above an unreliable network service. Then, it discusses in details the operations of the UDP and TCP protocols including the TCP congestion control scheme.
  • The Network layer chapter describes first the principles of the network layer, including link state routing and distance vector routing. Then, the operation of the RIP, OSPF and BGP protocols is discussed in details.
  • The Datalink layer and Local Area Networks describes first the basic principles of Local Area Networks with the main Medium Access Control algorithm. Then, the Ethernet and WiFi networks are explained in more details.


A set of slides with animations has been developed for CNP3. The slides were designed by using Apple's Keynote (version 2008). The slides have been exported in powerpoint and pdf formats for non-Keynote users.

How to contribute ?

Like any open-source project, the future of Computer Networking Principles, Protocols and Practice will depend on its contributors. The development of the textbook is managed through a trac platform at .

A stable release of the textbook will be issued at least once per year on this page and the development version will always be available from

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Page last modified on February 03, 2012