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7.2. Configuring a DHCP Server

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used to automatically send basic configuration data to computers and network devices. This centralizes network configuration control so that a change in the network layoutsuch as adding a nameserver or a gateway, or renumbering the networkdoes not require a visit to every computer in the network. DHCP also provides a convenient method of supplying network configuration information to visiting computers, such as the laptop of a visiting colleague.

When a DHCP client system boots, it effectively shouts a broadcast message to the network: "Does anyone know who I am?" The DHCP server replies, "I know you, you're..." and then proceeds to tell the client its IP address and some combination of other network configuration information, possibly including a hostname, nameserver, timeserver, gateway, and default domain. The information sent by the DHCP server is called a lease and is only valid for a set length of time. The client can renew the lease when it expires, in which case it can keep its identity, or, if it disappears from the network and fails to renew the lease, the IP address can be recycled by the DHCP server and assigned to another host.

Most home and small networks are connected to the Internet by a router or gateway device that includes DHCP service capability. However, you may prefer to use the Fedora DHCP server instead because it gives you more configuration options and control over the network configuration.


7.1.4. Where Can I Learn More? | Fedora Linux | 7.2.1. How Do I Do That?