I assume a few things about the reader. First, the reader has a basic understanding (at least) of IP addressing and networking. If this is not the case, or the reader has some trouble following my networking examples, I have provided a section of links to IP layer tutorials and general introductory documentation in the appendix. Second, I assume the reader is comfortable with command line tools and the Linux, Unix, or BSD environments. Finally, I assume the reader has working network cards and a Linux OS. For assistance with Ethernet cards, the there exists a good Ethernet HOWTO.
The examples I give are intended as tutorial examples only. The user should understand and accept the ramifications of using these examples on his/her own machines. I recommend that before running any example on a production machine, the user test in a controlled environment. I accept no responsibility for damage, misconfiguration or loss of any kind as a result of referring to this documentation. Proceed with caution at your own risk.
This guide has been written primarily as a companion reference to IP networking on Ethernets. Although I do allude to other link layer types occasionally in this book, the focus has been IP as used in Ethernet. Ethernet is one of the most common networking devices supported under linux, and is practically ubiquitous.