BOOTP

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Bootp is a protocol for the automatic network configuration of diskless clients. These days typically it's more modern successor DHCP is being used but there are still many servers and clients in use that only support the classic bootp protocol without the dhcp extensions, so we document it here anyway.

Bootpd sample configuration file

.default:\
        :hd=/usr/local/boot:\
        :ds=172.11.1.14:\
        :gw=172.11.1.14:\
        :sm=255.255.255.0:\
        :hn:ht=1:

tbird:ha=08000605705F:tc=.default:rp=/usr/people/indy:bf=vmbird:
terminus:ha=0000ad00e30a:tc=.default:rp=/usr/people/indy:bf=null:
indy:ha=08006908ae71:tc=.default:rp=/usr/people/indy:bf=vmindy:
origin:ha=080069053825:tc=.default:rp=/usr/people/indy:bf=vmbabe:sm=255.0.0.0
swarm:ha=00024cfe08da:tc=.default:rp=/usr/people/indy:bf=swamp:
malta:ha=080069059842:tc=.default:rp=/usr/people/indy:bf=vmlinux:

All entries start with a hostname followed by an arbitrary number of colon-separated parameters. Most parameters take a value following a =-sign. For readability it is possible to split long lines using a backslash as continuation character as in the .default line above. The remaining lines provide the configuration data for one client each. This are the parameter types and the argument they take:

  hd       Bootfile home directory
  ds       DNS server list
  gw       Gateway
  sm       Network mask
  hn       Send client hostname to client.  Doesn't take an argument
  ht       Hardware type of the network; 1 means ethernet and is almost certainly what you want.
           3 is the only other assigned, non-obsolete hardware type and means the
           Amateur Radio AX.25 protocol.
  ha       Hardware address, that is the ethernet MAC address or the AX.25 callsign and SSID.
  tc       table continuation, points to a similar entry, the current one is derived of.
  rp       The patch to the root filesystem on the NFS root server.
  bf       Bootfile, that is the kernel image to boot.

See also