Setting up a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server allows you to centrally manage the
addresses and other network information for client computers on your private network. With DHCP configured on your network, a client computer can simply indicate that it wants to use DHCP and the DHCP
server can provide its
- IP address,
- network mask,
- DNS server,
- NetBIOS server,
- router (gateway),
and additional information needed to communicate on the network.
With DHCP, you can greatly simplify initial network configuration that each client computer on your network needs to do. Later, as your network evolves, you can easily update that information, having changes automatically picked up by clients when they restart their network interfaces.
Assuming you have already set up the physical connections between your DHCP server and the client computers on your network (presumably an Ethernet LAN), the minimum you need to get the DHCP server
- A configured /etc/dhcpd.conf file
- A running dhcpd server daemon (which can be started at boot time)
After the DHCP server is running, it broadcasts its availability as a DHCP server to the LAN. A client simply boots up (with a Ethernet network interface turned on and DHCP identified as its method of getting network
addresses), and the information it needs to get up and running on the network is fed to it from the server. The following sections describe how to set up your /etc/dhcpd.conf file, start the DHCP server, and configure