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dhcp is a program | daemon | service to help administer a network by automatically assigning IP addresses to computers on a (usually?) temporary basis.

If your computer is connected to the Internet but you do not have a static (permanent) IP address, your ISP is almost certainly using dhcp to assign an IP address to your computer temporarily while it is connected to the Internet.

Another use of dhcp is on a LAN:

  • if computers are connected and disconnected (laptops for example), dhcp can assign an IP address to them while they are connected, automatically
  • even if computers are not connected and disconnected, using dhcp can make the network administrator's job easier because he does not have to keep track of which computer has which address -- it can change at any time and the network can still work properly, mostly.

Mostly: One difficulty with a network using dhcp can occur when, for example, printers get new IP addresses each time the printer restarts or the dhcp server restarts -- if other computers are connecting to them by the numerical IP address, those other computers will have to change the IP address for that printer each time it changes in order to print. At some point it becomes logical to add a local DNS server which can:

  • allow printers to be referred to by human readable names (like LivingRoom.home)
  • automatically (?) recognize when a printer has a new IP address and associate that new address with the human readable name

Any computer connected to the Internet needs to use the DNS service to translate human readable names (www.google.com) to IP addresses. That computer must have a DNS client, but often uses a DNS server out on the Internet (often provided by your ISP). A LAN can operate with or without DHCP. If it connects to the Internet, the computers on it must have access to DNS servers. It might be advantageous to add a local DNS server to handle the problem of printers (or computers containing shared resources) changing their IP addresses.

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  • dhcpd -- DHCP server
  • dhcpd.conf -- DHCP server confiuration file
  • dhcpd.leases -- DHCP server lease file (database) format
  • dhcp-contrib -- Contributing to the Internet Software Consortium DHCP Distribution
  • dhcp-eval -- Conditional expressions that can be used in dhcpd.conf & dhclient.conf, including if/elsif/else, substring matching, concat, and, or, not, etc.
  • dhcp-options -- Standard options that can be sent to clients (domainname, smtp-server, etc.)
  • dhcrelay -- DHCP relay agent
  • dhclient -- DHCP client for Unix
  • dhclient.conf -- DHCP client configuration file
  • dhclient.leases -- DHCP client lease file (database) format
  • dhclient-script -- DHCP client network configuration script

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  • () RandyKramer - 31 Jul 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>

[[Main.RandyKramer#31 Jul 2002][]]

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Topic revision: r1 - 2002-07-31 - RandyKramer
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