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DHCLIENT.CONF(5)	    BSD File Formats Manual	      DHCLIENT.CONF(5)

     dhclient.conf — DHCP client configuration file

     The dhclient.conf file contains configuration information for
     dhclient(8), the Internet Software Consortium DHCP Client.

     The dhclient.conf file is a free-form ASCII text file.  It is parsed by
     the recursive-descent parser built into dhclient(8).  The file may con‐
     tain extra tabs and newlines for formatting purposes.  Keywords in the
     file are case-insensitive.	 Comments may be placed anywhere within the
     file (except within quotes).  Comments begin with the ‘#’ character and
     end at the end of the line.

     The dhclient.conf file can be used to configure the behaviour of the
     client in a wide variety of ways: protocol timing, information requested
     from the server, information required of the server, defaults to use if
     the server does not provide certain information, values with which to
     override information provided by the server, or values to prepend or
     append to information provided by the server.  The configuration file can
     also be preinitialized with addresses to use on networks that do not have
     DHCP servers.

     The timing behaviour of the client need not be configured by the user.
     If no timing configuration is provided by the user, a fairly reasonable
     timing behaviour will be used by default - one which results in fairly
     timely updates without placing an inordinate load on the server.

     The following statements can be used to adjust the timing behaviour of
     the DHCP client if required, however:

     timeout time;
	     The timeout statement determines the amount of time that must
	     pass between the time that the client begins to try to determine
	     its address and the time that it decides that it is not going to
	     be able to contact a server.  By default, this timeout is sixty
	     seconds.  After the timeout has passed, if there are any static
	     leases defined in the configuration file, or any leases remaining
	     in the lease database that have not yet expired, the client will
	     loop through these leases attempting to validate them, and if it
	     finds one that appears to be valid, it will use that lease's
	     address.  If there are no valid static leases or unexpired leases
	     in the lease database, the client will restart the protocol after
	     the defined retry interval.

     retry time;
	     The retry statement determines the time that must pass after the
	     client has determined that there is no DHCP server present before
	     it tries again to contact a DHCP server.  By default, this is
	     five minutes.

     select-timeout time;
	     It is possible (some might say desirable) for there to be more
	     than one DHCP server serving any given network.  In this case, it
	     is possible that a client may be sent more than one offer in
	     response to its initial lease discovery message.  It may be that
	     one of these offers is preferable to the other (e.g., one offer
	     may have the address the client previously used, and the other
	     may not).

	     The select-timeout is the time after the client sends its first
	     lease discovery request at which it stops waiting for offers from
	     servers, assuming that it has received at least one such offer.
	     If no offers have been received by the time the select-timeout
	     has expired, the client will accept the first offer that arrives.

	     By default, the select-timeout is zero seconds - that is, the
	     client will take the first offer it sees.

     reboot time;
	     When the client is restarted, it first tries to reacquire the
	     last address it had.  This is called the INIT-REBOOT state.  If
	     it is still attached to the same network it was attached to when
	     it last ran, this is the quickest way to get started.  The reboot
	     statement sets the time that must elapse after the client first
	     tries to reacquire its old address before it gives up and tries
	     to discover a new address.	 By default, the reboot timeout is ten

     backoff-cutoff time;
	     The client uses an exponential backoff algorithm with some ran‐
	     domness, so that if many clients try to configure themselves at
	     the same time, they will not make their requests in lockstep.
	     The backoff-cutoff statement determines the maximum amount of
	     time that the client is allowed to back off.  It defaults to two

     initial-interval time;
	     The initial-interval statement sets the amount of time between
	     the first attempt to reach a server and the second attempt to
	     reach a server.  Each time a message is sent, the interval
	     between messages is incremented by twice the current interval
	     multiplied by a random number between zero and one.  If it is
	     greater than the backoff-cutoff amount, it is set to that amount.
	     It defaults to ten seconds.

     The DHCP protocol allows the client to request that the server send it
     specific information, and not send it other information that it is not
     prepared to accept.  The protocol also allows the client to reject offers
     from servers if they do not contain information the client needs, or if
     the information provided is not satisfactory.

     There is a variety of data contained in offers that DHCP servers send to
     DHCP clients.  The data that can be specifically requested is what are
     called DHCP Options.  DHCP Options are defined in dhcp-options(5).

     request [option] [, ... option];
	     The request statement causes the client to request that any
	     server responding to the client send the client its values for
	     the specified options.  Only the option names should be specified
	     in the request statement - not option parameters.

     require [option] [, ... option];
	     The require statement lists options that must be sent in order
	     for an offer to be accepted.  Offers that do not contain all the
	     listed options will be ignored.

     send { [option declaration] [, ... option declaration] }
	     The send statement causes the client to send the specified
	     options to the server with the specified values.  These are full
	     option declarations as described in dhcp-options(5).  Options
	     that are always sent in the DHCP protocol should not be specified
	     here, except that the client can specify a dhcp-lease-time option
	     other than the default requested lease time, which is two hours.
	     The other obvious use for this statement is to send information
	     to the server that will allow it to differentiate between this
	     client and other clients or kinds of clients.

     In some cases, a client may receive option data from the server which is
     not really appropriate for that client, or may not receive information
     that it needs, and for which a useful default value exists.  It may also
     receive information which is useful, but which needs to be supplemented
     with local information.  To handle these needs, several option modifiers
     are available.

     default { [option declaration] [, ... option declaration] }
	     If for some set of options the client should use the value sup‐
	     plied by the server, but needs to use some default value if no
	     value was supplied by the server, these values can be defined in
	     the default statement.

     supersede { [option declaration] [, ... option declaration] }
	     If for some set of options the client should always use its own
	     value rather than any value supplied by the server, these values
	     can be defined in the supersede statement.

     prepend { [option declaration] [, ... option declaration] }
	     If for some set of options the client should use a value you sup‐
	     ply, and then use the values supplied by the server, if any,
	     these values can be defined in the prepend statement.  The
	     prepend statement can only be used for options which allow more
	     than one value to be given.  This restriction is not enforced -
	     if violated, the results are unpredictable.

     append { [option declaration] [, ... option declaration] }
	     If for some set of options the client should first use the values
	     supplied by the server, if any, and then use values you supply,
	     these values can be defined in the append statement.  The append
	     statement can only be used for options which allow more than one
	     value to be given.	 This restriction is not enforced - if you
	     ignore it, the behaviour will be unpredictable.

     The lease declaration:

	   lease { lease-declaration [... lease-declaration] }

     The DHCP client may decide after some period of time (see PROTOCOL
     TIMING) that it is not going to succeed in contacting a server.  At that
     time, it consults its own database of old leases and tests each one that
     has not yet timed out by pinging the listed router for that lease to see
     if that lease could work.	It is possible to define one or more fixed
     leases in the client configuration file for networks where there is no
     DHCP or BOOTP service, so that the client can still automatically config‐
     ure its address.  This is done with the lease statement.

     NOTE: the lease statement is also used in the dhclient.leases file in
     order to record leases that have been received from DHCP servers.	Some
     of the syntax for leases as described below is only needed in the
     dhclient.leases file.  Such syntax is documented here for completeness.

     A lease statement consists of the lease keyword, followed by a left curly
     brace, followed by one or more lease declaration statements, followed by
     a right curly brace.  The following lease declarations are possible:

     bootp;  The bootp statement is used to indicate that the lease was
	     acquired using the BOOTP protocol rather than the DHCP protocol.
	     It is never necessary to specify this in the client configuration
	     file.  The client uses this syntax in its lease database file.

     interface "string";
	     The interface lease statement is used to indicate the interface
	     on which the lease is valid.  If set, this lease will only be
	     tried on a particular interface.  When the client receives a
	     lease from a server, it always records the interface number on
	     which it received that lease.  If predefined leases are specified
	     in the dhclient.conf file, the interface should also be speci‐
	     fied, although this is not required.

     fixed-address ip-address;
	     The fixed-address statement is used to set the IP address of a
	     particular lease.	This is required for all lease statements.
	     The IP address must be specified as a dotted quad (e.g.,

     filename "string";
	     The filename statement specifies the name of the boot filename to
	     use.  This is not used by the standard client configuration
	     script, but is included for completeness.

     server-name "string";
	     The server-name statement specifies the name of the boot server
	     name to use.  This is also not used by the standard client con‐
	     figuration script.

     option option-declaration;
	     The option statement is used to specify the value of an option
	     supplied by the server, or, in the case of predefined leases
	     declared in dhclient.conf, the value that the user wishes the
	     client configuration script to use if the predefined lease is

     script "script-name";
	     The script statement is used to specify the pathname of the DHCP
	     client configuration script.  This script is used by the DHCP
	     client to set each interface's initial configuration prior to
	     requesting an address, to test the address once it has been
	     offered, and to set the interface's final configuration once a
	     lease has been acquired.  If no lease is acquired, the script is
	     used to test predefined leases, if any, and also called once if
	     no valid lease can be identified.	For more information, see

     medium "media setup";
	     The medium statement can be used on systems where network inter‐
	     faces cannot automatically determine the type of network to which
	     they are connected.  The media setup string is a system-dependent
	     parameter which is passed to the DHCP client configuration script
	     when initializing the interface.  On UNIX and UNIX-like systems,
	     the argument is passed on the ifconfig(8) command line when con‐
	     figuring the interface.

	     The DHCP client automatically declares this parameter if it used
	     a media type (see the media statement) when configuring the
	     interface in order to obtain a lease.  This statement should be
	     used in predefined leases only if the network interface requires
	     media type configuration.

     renew date;

     rebind date;

     expire date;
	     The renew statement defines the time at which the DHCP client
	     should begin trying to contact its server to renew a lease that
	     it is using.  The rebind statement defines the time at which the
	     DHCP client should begin to try to contact any DHCP server in
	     order to renew its lease.	The expire statement defines the time
	     at which the DHCP client must stop using a lease if it has not
	     been able to contact a server in order to renew it.

     These declarations are automatically set in leases acquired by the DHCP
     client, but must also be configured in predefined leases - a predefined
     lease whose expiry time has passed will not be used by the DHCP client.

     Dates are specified as follows:

	   <weekday> <year>/<month>/<day><hour>:<minute>:<second>

     The weekday is present to make it easy for a human to tell when a lease
     expires - it is specified as a number from zero to six, with zero being
     Sunday.  When declaring a predefined lease, it can always be specified as
     zero.  The year is specified with the century, so it should generally be
     four digits except for really long leases.	 The month is specified as a
     number starting with 1 for January.  The day of the month is likewise
     specified starting with 1.	 The hour is a number between 0 and 23, the
     minute a number between 0 and 59, and the second also a number between 0
     and 59.

     alias { declarations ... }

     Some DHCP clients running TCP/IP roaming protocols may require that in
     addition to the lease they may acquire via DHCP, their interface also be
     configured with a predefined IP alias so that they can have a permanent
     IP address even while roaming.  The Internet Software Consortium DHCP
     client does not support roaming with fixed addresses directly, but in
     order to facilitate such experimentation, the DHCP client can be set up
     to configure an IP alias using the alias declaration.

     The alias declaration resembles a lease declaration, except that options
     other than the subnet-mask option are ignored by the standard client con‐
     figuration script, and expiry times are ignored.  A typical alias decla‐
     ration includes an interface declaration, a fixed-address declaration for
     the IP alias address, and a subnet-mask option declaration.  A medium
     statement should never be included in an alias declaration.

     reject ip-address;
	     The reject statement causes the DHCP client to reject offers from
	     servers who use the specified address as a server identifier.
	     This can be used to avoid being configured by rogue or misconfig‐
	     ured DHCP servers, although it should be a last resort - better
	     to track down the bad DHCP server and fix it.

     interface "name" { declarations ... }
	     A client with more than one network interface may require differ‐
	     ent behaviour depending on which interface is being configured.
	     All timing parameters and declarations other than lease and alias
	     declarations can be enclosed in an interface declaration, and
	     those parameters will then be used only for the interface that
	     matches the specified name.  Interfaces for which there is no
	     interface declaration will use the parameters declared outside of
	     any interface declaration, or the default settings.

     media "media setup" [, "media setup", ...];
	     The media statement defines one or more media configuration
	     parameters which may be tried while attempting to acquire an IP
	     address.  The DHCP client will cycle through each media setup
	     string on the list, configuring the interface using that setup
	     and attempting to boot, and then trying the next one.  This can
	     be used for network interfaces which are not capable of sensing
	     the media type unaided - whichever media type succeeds in getting
	     a request to the server and hearing the reply is probably right
	     (no guarantees).

	     The media setup is only used for the initial phase of address
	     acquisition (the DHCPDISCOVER and DHCPOFFER packets).  Once an
	     address has been acquired, the DHCP client will record it in its
	     lease database and will record the media type used to acquire the
	     address.  Whenever the client tries to renew the lease, it will
	     use that same media type.	The lease must expire before the
	     client will go back to cycling through media types.

     The following configuration file is used on a laptop which has an IP
     alias of, and has one interface, ep0 (a 3Com 3C589C).	Boot‐
     ing intervals have been shortened somewhat from the default, because the
     client is known to spend most of its time on networks with little DHCP
     activity.	The laptop does roam to multiple networks.

	   timeout 60;
	   retry 60;
	   reboot 10;
	   select-timeout 5;
	   initial-interval 2;

	   interface "ep0" {
	       send host-name "andare.fugue.com";
	       send dhcp-client-identifier 1:0:a0:24:ab:fb:9c;
	       send dhcp-lease-time 3600;
	       supersede domain-name "fugue.com rc.vix.com home.vix.com";
	       prepend domain-name-servers;
	       request subnet-mask, broadcast-address, time-offset, routers,
		       domain-name, domain-name-servers, host-name;
	       require subnet-mask, domain-name-servers;
	       script "/etc/dhclient-script";
	       media "media 10baseT/UTP", "media 10base2/BNC";

	   alias {
	     interface "ep0";
	     option subnet-mask;

     This is a very complicated dhclient.conf file - in general, yours should
     be much simpler.  In many cases, it is sufficient to just create an empty
     dhclient.conf file - the defaults are usually fine.

     dhclient.leases(5), dhcpd.conf(5), dhcp-options(5), dhclient(8), dhcpd(8)

     RFC 2132, RFC 2131.

     The dhclient(8) utility was written by Ted Lemon ⟨mellon@vix.com⟩ under a
     contract with Vixie Labs.

     The current implementation was reworked by Henning Brauer

BSD				January 1, 1997				   BSD

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