UUCP Definition

UUCP, an acronym for UNIX-to-UNIX Copy, is a protocol and program that enables computers running Unix-like operating systems to exchange commands and files over a direct serial connection or via modems and the public switched telephone network (i.e., conventional telephone lines).

In contrast to TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/Internet protocol), which is a routable protocol, UUCP provides a point-to-point transmission in which a user at one computer dials up and establishes a temporary, but dedicated, session with another computer. A routable protocol is one that allows messages to be routed through the best available paths by routers spread throughout the network.

UUCP was commonly employed for mail transfer in the days when computers were only connected in smaller networks, and before the availability of universal connectivity through the Internet and ubiquitous e-mail. For most file transfer applications, UUCP has been superseded by other protocols, such as FTP (file transfer protocol), SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) and NNTP (network news transfer protocol).

UUCPNET was the name for the totality of the informal network of computers connected through UUCP.

Created November 8, 2005.
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