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How to Install a DHCP Server in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a network protocol that enables a server to automatically assign an IP address and provide other related network configuration parameters to a client on a network, from a pre-defined IP pool.

There are a lot of use cases for the DHCP service. Let install and configure the DHCP services:

Step1: To Install DHCP server packages

# yum -y install dhcp

Step2: Copy the sample configuration file to /etc/dhcp directory DHCP server

# rpm -qd dhcp
# cp /usr/share/doc/dhcp-4.2.5/dhcpd.conf.example /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf 

Step3: To edit the /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf configuration file

# cat /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf
# DHCP Server Configuration file.
#   see /usr/share/doc/dhcp*/dhcpd.conf.example
#   see dhcpd.conf(5) man page

ddns-update-style interim;
default-lease-time 14400;
max-lease-time 14400;

# Specify Default Gateway
	option routers        ;
	option broadcast-address;
	option subnet-mask    ;
# Specify DNS server ip and additional DNS server IP address
	option domain-name-servers;
# Specify Domain Name
	option domain-name              "";
       option domain-search "","";

# Configuring subnet and IP address range
	subnet netmask {
     	pool {
# Static entries for servers
	 host bootstrap1 { hardware ethernet 52:54:00:95:32:cc; option host-name ""; fixed-address; }

# this will not give out addresses to hosts not listed above static entries
	#	deny unknown-clients;

# this will give out addresses to hosts not listed above static entries
		allow unknown-clients;

# this is PXE specific  
		filename "pxelinux.0";  

The man dhcpd.conf: command will help you to understand more on dhcpd.conf file that contains configuration information for dhcpd service.

Step4: To start the dhcpd service and make it start automatically on system reboot

# systemctl restart dhcpd
# systemctl is-active dhcpd

# systemctl enable dhcpd
# systemctl is-enabled dhcpd


1. If Firewalld service is running in the system, we need to open the firewall port in the system to accept the incoming request at the DHCP server.

# firewall-cmd --add-service=dhcp --permanent
# firewall-cmd --reload

2. If SELinux service is enabled with enforcing mode, and any issues in restarting the DHCP service due to file context.

# restorecon -v /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf
And man dhcpd.leases or tailf /var/lib/dhcpd/dhcpd.leases command to verify the DHCP client lease database.

Hope this post will help.

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