Chapter 12. DHCP

People with a background in networking often overestimate the simplicity of adding a host to the network. Someone accustomed to configuring Internet access can bang out an IP, subnet mask, router, and DNS server in mere seconds, probably without thinking too much and maybe even weighing internal metrics (like lists of available IP addresses) on the fly in their head. For the end user, though the dazzling array of numbers and dots can be quite confusing. And this only covers basic network configuration options—in a modern, mature, network it’s likely that users also need to access several components of the infrastructure, from WINS servers to LDAP or NetInfo domains.

It’s probably no surprise that Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) fulfills these requirements quite well. Mac OS X Server employs Apple’s homegrown service bootpd to supply (among other things) DHCP services. This breaks slightly with Mac OS X Server’s tendency to leverage open source software. For the moment, at least, it’s necessary (or at least convenient) in order to provide NetBoot to Mac OS X clients.

Graphical Configuration

Apple’s graphical configuration mechanism for DHCP is in Server Admin, in the DHCP module. Like all Server Admin modules, DHCP defaults to a Status tab (seen in Figure 12-1) that illustrates the current state of the service. In this case, that’s limited to the number of clients, service start time (actually the time when xinetd’s bootps service was enabled), and the ...

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