About RFC Search

This page is about the RFC search page. Please report bugs to rfc-editor@rfc-editor.org.


RFC Number (or Subseries Number) – search by the RFC number or the subseries number (STD, BCP, FYI). Leading zeros are ignored. The prefix is optional. Examples:

  • 2119 – returns RFC 2119
  • std5 – returns the RFCs that make up STD 5
  • 5 – returns RFC 5, as well as the RFCs that make up STD 5, BCP 5, and FYI 5
  • bcp – returns the RFCs that have BCP numbers
  • std – returns the RFCs that have STD numbers
  • fyi – returns the RFCs that have FYI numbers
  • rfc0083, rfc83, rfc 83, 83 – each returns RFC 83

Title/Keyword – search by words in the title of the RFC or keywords of the RFC. The OR and AND operators can be used; they are not case sensitive. Quotation marks can be used for an exact phrase. Without quotes, a space between words indicates AND. Examples:

  • “optical network” – returns RFCs that contain “optical network” in the Title or Keywords
  • optical OR network – returns RFCs that contain optical OR network in the Title or Keywords
  • optical AND network – returns RFCs that contain optical AND network in the Title or Keywords
  • optical network – (same as above) returns RFCs that contain optical AND network in the Title or Keywords

Note: Using multiple ANDs or using multiple ORs is supported; however, combining AND, OR, and double quotes is not supported currently. Examples:

  • RTP AND audio AND ITU-T
  • RTP OR audio OR ITU-T
  • RTP AND (audio OR ITU-T): not supported.


Matches are always case-insensitive. The default is to search all RFCs and the STD, BCP, and FYI subseries for a match.


By default, the search results are displayed by RFC number (ascending). They can be ordered by RFC number (ascending or descending) or publication date (ascending or descending) by clicking the title of the column.

By default, the number of results shown is 25. Click ‘All’ to show all results.

The abstract and/or the keywords associated with each RFC entry can be displayed.

The results include the following fields:

  • Number – RFC number. includes subseries identifier, if any.
  • Files – the files that are available for the RFC.
  • Title – title of the RFC. displayed in gray if the document is obsolete.
  • Authors – names of the authors of the RFC.
  • Date – month and year of publication.
  • More Info – links to the info pages for related RFCs, if any. includes link to errata, if any.
  • Status – as defined by RFC 2026. includes “was published as” if the status has changed since publication. To see the list of all RFCs that have changed status since publication, click here.


  • Status – as defined by RFC 2026. Note: “Unknown” means the RFC was published before status was defined.
  • Publication Date
  • Stream – as defined by RFC 4844. Note: “Legacy” means the RFC was published before a formal source (e.g., working group or stream) existed or was recorded.
  • Area
  • WG Acronym – as listed on Active Working Groups and Concluded Working Groups. (To find IETF non-WG documents, enter “none”.)
  • Author (surname)
  • Abstract contains – The AND and OR operators and double quotes can be used as described above.


Search form

  • Add “AND” functionality in the Title/Keyword search. Example: ability to search for RFCs about SIP AND security. [Done Sept. 2013. See above for details.]
  • Change the way the forms work to decrease confusion about why there are 2 forms. [Done Sept. 2015.]
  • Improve design. With smaller window size, some of the left sidebar fields spill over to the right. [Done Sept. 2015.]
  • Add option to filter out obsoleted RFCs.
  • Add search options like whole-word and case-sensitive. (Note: All searches are case-insenstive.)
  • Add “This month” and “This year” for quick links under Publication Date. [Done Sept. 2013.]
  • Make Publication Date “smarter”. Details: ‘If you fill in a From date, it *requires* a To date to also be picked, rather than using “today”. Ditto with getting an error on filling in a To date with no From date and expecting it to use “the earliest date possible”.’


  • Link to the RFC in HTML on tools.ietf.org.
  • Link to the I-D history.
  • Link to the WG charter. (Note: It is 3 clicks away: click RFC number to go to info page, click WG acronym to go to the WG page, click Charter.)
  • Link to ‘Show related RFCs’. “(Examples: IPsec – 4301 etc., 4510, 5661, etc.)”
  • Return links to the updated/obsoleted RFCs as well.
  • Add an option to see which RFCs refer to a returned RFC normatively (or informatively, or both).
  • Add sort by Status (in addition to the existing sort by Number or Date).
  • View pages of results. (Note: Rather than pages of results, the choice was to be able to view 25 or more. Changed the options to simply view 25 or All.)


  • Make the color scheme less dark.
  • Add a “compact output” option which shows less detail and in particular reduces multi-line entries.
  • Widen the “Title” column. [Done Sept. 2013.]
  • Change all links to open within the current window instead of in a new window. (Note: For some users, target=”_blank” opens a new tab, not a new window; it has different effects depending on the browser and how the preferences are set.)
  • Make it more obvious that clicking on “Number” and “Date” will sort those columns. Underlining is not sufficient.

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