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CHAOSnet, developed at MIT in the 1970s, was one of the earliest local area network implementations.

Symbolics, maker of the Lisp Machine, licensed the MIT CHAOSnet hardware and software implementation from the CADR[?] computer design. The Lisp Machine Lisp networking software supported transparent access to a wide variety of other machines -- as long as the other machines supported CHAOSnet.

The CHAOSnet protocol originally used its own hardware implementation over coaxial cable, and was later also implemented as a payload that could be carried over Ethernet.

CHAOSnet can be regarded as a precursor of both Ethernet and the Internet Protocol, and was supported by early versions of the BIND DNS server. The original GNU manifesto[?] stated the aim of supporting CHAOSnet.


  • David A. Moon. Chaosnet. A.I. Memo 628, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, June 1981.

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