Chapter 20. Configuring and Using DHCP Services


  • How DHCP operates

  • Configuring DHCP servers in YaST

  • Configuring DHCP servers manually

  • Using DHCP clients

  • Troubleshooting DHCP clients and servers

Modern networks are extremely complex with many clients attached to them. In all but the smallest environments, setting up individual static IP addresses locally on each networked computer or other device and then keeping track of all those addresses would be a massive administrative task.

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) dates from as far back as 1993. DHCP replaced RARP and BOOTP as the standard way to obtain an IP address on a network. DHCP is defined in RFC 2131.


The RFCs are a set of documents that define standards for networking protocols. RFC 2131 can be found at

DHCP allows a machine to obtain its IP address, netmask, nameserver addresses, gateway address, and other information at boot time from a server on the network, rather than storing network settings internally. It saves administrators from the nightmare of having to visit every individual machine to set up its network properties and then recording the physical location of each machine and its IP address. Anyone who has had to do this even for a very small network recognizes the value of DHCP.

DHCP: Mode of Operation

To enable devices to obtain an address by DHCP, a DHCP server must be running on the network. The server does not need to contain any pre-assigned mapping between ...

Get Open SUSE® 11.0 and SUSE® Linux® Enterprise Server Bible now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.