Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP
) is a network protocol that automatically assigns TCP/IP information to client machines. Each
client connects to the centrally located
server, which returns the network configuration (including the
address, gateway, and
servers) of that client.
DHCP is useful for automatic configuration of client network interfaces. When configuring the client system, you can choose
DHCP instead of specifying an
IP address, netmask, gateway, or
DNS servers. The client retrieves this information from the
DHCP is also useful if you want to change the
IP addresses 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
IP addresses. If the
DNS servers for an organization changes, the changes happen on the
DHCP server, not on the
DHCP clients. When you restart the network or reboot the clients, the changes go into effect.
If an organization has a functional
DHCP server correctly connected to a network, laptops and other mobile computer users can move these devices from office to office.
Note that administrators of
servers, as well as any provisioning applications, should agree on the host name format used in an organization. See Section 3.1.1, “Recommended Naming Practices”
for more information on the format of host names.