Setting up a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server enables you to centrally manage the addresses and other network information for client computers on your private network. With DHCP configured on your network, a client computer can simply indicate that it wants to use DHCP and the DHCP server can provide its IP address, network mask, DNS server, NetBIOS server, router (gateway), and other information needed to get up and running on the network.
With DHCP, you can greatly simplify the initial network configuration that each client computer on your network needs to do. Later, as your network evolves, you can easily update that information, having changes automatically picked up by clients when they restart their network interfaces.
Though this chapter focuses on the configuration of DHCP client and server services on your Fedora systems, your Fedora DHCP client can use the services of other network devices. For example, you might have a Cisco routing swtich, a DSL/Cable device with DHCP services, or even a Windows based DHCP server. Fedora’s DHCP client will not have trouble working with any standards-compliant DHCP server.