Chapter 14. DHCP Servers
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol that automatically assigns TCP/IP information to client machines. Each
DHCPclient connects to the centrally located
DHCPserver, which returns the network configuration (including the
IPaddress, gateway, and
DNSservers) of that client.
14.1. Why Use DHCP?
DHCPis useful for automatic configuration of client network interfaces. When configuring the client system, you can choose
DHCPinstead of specifying an
IPaddress, netmask, gateway, or
DNSservers. The client retrieves this information from the
DHCPis also useful if you want to change the
IPaddresses of a large number of systems. Instead of reconfiguring all the systems, you can just edit one configuration file on the server for the new set of
IPaddresses. If the
DNSservers for an organization changes, the changes happen on the
DHCPserver, not on the
DHCPclients. When you restart the network or reboot the clients, the changes go into effect.
If an organization has a functional
DHCPserver correctly connected to a network, laptops and other mobile computer users can move these devices from office to office.
Note that administrators of
DHCPservers, as well as any provisioning applications, should agree on the host name format used in an organization. See Section 6.1.1, “Recommended Naming Practices” for more information on the format of host names.