IETF command-line tool: "ietf"

Members of the IETF community have a tendency towards using command-line interfaces in shell windows even when web-based tools are available. They also have a tendency to open many Internet Drafts and RFCs for skimming, and doing so from web-based tools is cumbersome. For such users, the "ietf" command-line tool may be of value.

Examples of use:

  • ietf rfc 3456 4567 -- opens RFC 3456 and RFC 4567 in the user's text editor
  • ietf rfcextra 3456 -- opens RFC 3456 and any RFCs that update or obsolete it in the user's text editor, and opens any errata on any of those in the user's browser
  • ietf tools 3456 4567 -- opens RFC 3456 and RFC 4567 in the IETF Tools web interface
  • ietf tracker 3456 4567 -- opens RFC 3456 and RFC 4567 in the IETF Datatracker web interface
  • ietf draft crocker -- opens all active drafts that have the string "crocker" in their filename, and lists all matching drafts that are expired, replaced by other drafts, and have become RFCs
  • ietf draftstatus crocker and ietf rfcstatus 3456 -- lists information from the IETF and RFC Editor databases
  • ietf auth48 draft-somename-someprot -- Opens all the AUTH48 files associated with the draft, assuming that that the draft is actually in AUTH48 status with the RFC Editor
  • ietf diff draft-somename-someprot -- Opens the HTML diff between the draft and its previous version
  • ietf tracker sipcore -- opens the SIPCORE WG page in the IETF datatracker
  • ietf mirror -- creates or updates a mirror of IETF repositories on the local computer
  • ietf -- starts a command-line shell with command history

There are many other commands in the "ietf" command-line tool; see the tool's help for a complete list.

The code comes in three parts:

  • ietf-- the tool itself, which is a Python script
  • ietf.config-- the configuration file, which must also be kept on your local system
  • ietf.README-- description of how to install the tool on your local system

There is an SVN repository for the project.

Questions and comments are welcome. Please send them to Paul Hoffman at