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Reading through the RFC's can result in finding very interesing and important topics that any sysadmin would deem useful. I also sometimes find it to be a good cure for insomnia reading through it, and some RFC's are just down right bogus (RFC 2795: Infinite Monkeys).

Just like in college, I know how to push through some of less exciting material by a good strong cup of joe. But I would like to know which RFC's are worth spending $5 on my triple venti caramel macchiato?

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closed as off topic by EEAA, SmallClanger, Chopper3, RobM, Khaled Jun 20 '12 at 7:09

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RFC 2795 was published on APRIL 1. There's dozens published on that day... they're all similar. – Chris S Jun 19 '12 at 13:49
That understood, but there's several others that didn't see the light of day in implementation or is simply not in use anymore (IP Classes: – hydroparadise Jun 19 '12 at 13:57
If you browse the HTML version you'll see that RFC 1466 was obsoleted by RFC 2050. Makes it easier to see the progression, like when CIDR replaced the Classes about 16 years ago. – Chris S Jun 19 '12 at 14:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Instead of trying to read all of the RFCs, as you have noted there are enough to make an encyclopedia out of them, might I suggest that you browse something more topic oriented like Wikipedia. When you run across a protocol or technology that you don't know about already, figure out which RFC is relevant and read it. It's also very interesting to read obsoleted RFCs and checkout what has changed over time.

If you're not already faimilar with the core protocols of the Internet, might I suggest you start there: IP and TCP, DNS, SMTP, IMAP, POP3, XMPP; routing protocols like RIP, OSPF, and ISIS; any many more...

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I think that I'm getting that RFC's is highly contextual and that there's a large volume of them. In otherwords, there's may not exactly be a list that could apply to EVERY sysadmin. – hydroparadise Jun 19 '12 at 14:14
There's over 6000 RFCs, most of which are serious, and average a dozen pages or longer... No there really isn't a "base set"; it's more along the lines of "if you need to know (more) about something, refer to the RFCs". – Chris S Jun 19 '12 at 14:16
I commend any sysadmin or networking pro that takes time to learn about the uses of RFCs, but they are not something you sit and read as such. RFCs are documents you refer to when you have a problem and believe that seeing the spec that something was supposed to be coded to meet might help. When you need to do this, the RFCs are very useful, but you need to do this less often than you probably think. – RobM Jun 19 '12 at 18:12

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