Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
DHCLIENT-SCRIPT(8)	FreeBSD	System Manager's Manual	    DHCLIENT-SCRIPT(8)

     dhclient-script --	DHCP client network configuration script

     The DHCP client network configuration script is invoked from time to time
     by	dhclient(8).  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.

     In	general, customizations	specific to a particular computer should be
     done in the /etc/dhclient.conf file.

     When dhclient(8) needs to invoke the client configuration script, it sets
     up	a number of environment	variables and runs dhclient-script.  In	all
     cases, $reason is set to the name of the reason why the script has	been
     invoked.  The following reasons are currently defined: MEDIUM, PREINIT,

     MEDIUM    The DHCP	client is requesting that an interface's media type be
	       set.  The interface name	is passed in $interface, and the media
	       type is passed in $medium.

     PREINIT   The DHCP	client is requesting that an interface be configured
	       as required in order to send packets prior to receiving an
	       actual address.	This means configuring the interface with an
	       IP address of and a broadcast address of	 The interface name is passed in $interface,
	       and the media type in $medium.

	       If an IP	alias has been declared	in dhclient.conf(5), its
	       address will be passed in $alias_ip_address, and	that IP	alias
	       should be deleted from the interface, along with	any routes to

     ARPSEND   The DHCP	client is requesting that an address that has been
	       offered to it be	checked	to see if somebody else	is using it,
	       by sending an ARP request for that address.  It is not clear
	       how to implement	this, so no examples exist yet.	 The IP
	       address to check	is passed in $new_ip_address, and the inter-
	       face name is passed in $interface.

     ARPCHECK  The DHCP	client wants to	know if	a response to the ARP request
	       sent using ARPSEND has been received.  If one has, the script
	       should exit with	a nonzero status, indicating that the offered
	       address has already been	requested and should be	declined.  The
	       $new_ip_address and $interface variables	are set	as with

     BOUND     The DHCP	client has done	an initial binding to a	new address.
	       The new IP address is passed in $new_ip_address,	and the	inter-
	       face name is passed in $interface.  The media type is passed in
	       $medium.	 Any options acquired from the server are passed using
	       the option name described in dhcp-options(5), except that
	       dashes (`-') are	replaced by underscores	(`_') in order to make
	       valid shell variables, and the variable names start with
	       ``new_''.  So for example, the new subnet mask would be passed
	       in $new_subnet_mask.

	       When a binding has been completed, a lot	of network parameters
	       are likely to need to be	set up.	 A new /etc/resolv.conf	needs
	       to be created, using the	values of $new_domain_name and
	       $new_domain_name_servers	(which may list	more than one server,
	       separated by spaces).  A	default	route should be	set using
	       $new_routers, and static	routes may need	to be set up using

	       If an IP	alias has been declared, it must be set	up here.  The
	       alias IP	address	will be	written	as $alias_ip_address, and
	       other DHCP options that are set for the alias (e.g., subnet
	       mask) will be passed in variables named as described previously
	       except starting with ``$alias_''	instead	of ``$new_''.  Care
	       should be taken that the	alias IP address not be	used if	it is
	       identical to the	bound IP address ($new_ip_address), since the
	       other alias parameters may be incorrect in this case.

     RENEW     When a binding has been renewed,	the script is called as	in
	       BOUND, except that in addition to all the variables starting
	       with ``$new_'', there is	another	set of variables starting with
	       ``$old_''.  Persistent settings that may	have changed need to
	       be deleted - for	example, if a local route to the bound address
	       is being	configured, the	old local route	should be deleted.  If
	       the default route has changed, the old default route should be
	       deleted.	 If the	static routes have changed, the	old ones
	       should be deleted.  Otherwise, processing can be	done as	with

     REBIND    The DHCP	client has rebound to a	new DHCP server.  This can be
	       handled as with RENEW, except that if the IP address has
	       changed,	the ARP	table should be	cleared.

     REBOOT    The DHCP	client has successfully	reacquired its old address
	       after a reboot.	This can be processed as with BOUND.

     EXPIRE    The DHCP	client has failed to renew its lease or	acquire	a new
	       one, and	the lease has expired.	The IP address must be relin-
	       quished,	and all	related	parameters should be deleted, as in
	       RENEW and REBIND.

     FAIL      The DHCP	client has been	unable to contact any DHCP servers,
	       and any leases that have	been tested have not proved to be
	       valid.  The parameters from the last lease tested should	be
	       deconfigured.  This can be handled in the same way as EXPIRE.

     TIMEOUT   The DHCP	client has been	unable to contact any DHCP servers.
	       However,	an old lease has been identified, and its parameters
	       have been passed	in as with BOUND.  The client configuration
	       script should test these	parameters and,	if it has reason to
	       believe they are	valid, should exit with	a value	of zero.  If
	       not, it should exit with	a nonzero value.

     The usual way to test a lease is to set up	the network as with REBIND
     (since this may be	called to test more than one lease) and	then ping the
     first router defined in $routers.	If a response is received, the lease
     must be valid for the network to which the	interface is currently con-
     nected.  It would be more complete	to try to ping all of the routers
     listed in $new_routers, as	well as	those listed in	$new_static_routes,
     but current scripts do not	do this.

     dhclient.conf(5), dhclient.leases(5), dhclient(8),	dhcpd(8), dhcrelay(8)

     The original version of dhclient-script was written for the Internet
     Software Consortium by Ted	Lemon <> in cooperation	with
     Vixie Enterprises.

     The OpenBSD implementation	of dhclient-script was written by Kenneth R.
     Westerback	<>.

     If	more than one interface	is being used, there is	no obvious way to
     avoid clashes between server-supplied configuration parameters - for
     example, the stock	dhclient-script	rewrites /etc/resolv.conf.  If more
     than one interface	is being configured, /etc/resolv.conf will be repeat-
     edly initialized to the values provided by	one server, and	then the
     other.  Assuming the information provided by both servers is valid, this
     should not	cause any real problems, but it	could be confusing.

FreeBSD	9.2			January	1, 1997			   FreeBSD 9.2


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help