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DHCP cheat sheet... The essential points in 5 seconds.

What is the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DHCP?

Hosts use the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol DHCP to obtain an IP address in networks where IP addresses are dynamically configured. DHCP is used mostly in IPv4 networks.

How Does the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DHCP work?

DHCP is a very simple protocol. The call-flow to get an IP address with DHCP is as follows:
  1. The host sends a DHCP DISCOVER to the broadcast layer 2 (Ethernet) address: ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff.
  2. The DHCP server answers with a DHCP OFFER.
  3. The host replies with a DHCP REQUEST.
  4. The DHCP server confirms the address allocation with a DCHP ACK.
Typical DHCP call flow (Credit: Wikipedia)

What is the Layer of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DHCP in OSI model?

As DHCP is used to obtain an IP address, you can easily guess that DHCP runs on the data link layer (layer 2 of the OSI model).

If you want to learn more about the TCP/IP model, you should have a look at the reference book by A. Tanenbaum. It's very good. He's got a great way to explain things easily.

What is the equivalent of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DHCP for IPv6?

There is DHCPv6 :) It uses similar principles as the good old DHCP. It is defined in RFC 3315.


Where can I find the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, DHCP standard?

The IETF provides open standards called request for comments (RFC). If you want to have a look to the RFCs I have had the honor to co-author, have a look at my other publications.

The RFC for DHCP is just one click away.


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