Solaris DHCP Administration Guide

Selecting the Tool for Configuring DHCP

After you have gathered information and made decisions as outlined in the previous sections, you are ready to configure a DHCP server. You can use the graphical DHCP Manager or the command-line utility dhcpconfig to configure a server. DHCP Manager lets you select options and enter data that is then used to create the dhcptab and network tables used by the DHCP server. The dhcpconfig utility supports an interactive mode that prompts you for information, but relies on system and network files for additional data used to create the dhcptab and network tables. The noninteractive mode of dhcpconfig requires you to use command-line options to specify data. Note that the interactive version of dhcpconfig is scheduled for removal in a future Solaris release.

DHCP Manager Features

DHCP Manager, a Java-based graphical tool, provides a DHCP Configuration Wizard, which starts automatically the first time you run DHCP Manager on a system that is not configured as a DHCP server. The DHCP Configuration Wizard provides a series of dialog boxes that prompt you for the essential information required to configure a server: data store format, lease policy, DNS/NIS/NIS+ servers and domains, and router addresses. Some of the information is obtained by the wizard from system files, and you only need to confirm that the information is correct, or correct it if necessary.

When you progress through the dialog boxes and approve the information, and the DHCP server daemon starts on the server system, you are prompted to start the Add Addresses Wizard to configure IP addresses for the network. Only the server's network is configured for DHCP initially, and other server options are given default values. You can run DHCP Manager again after the initial configuration is complete to add networks and modify other server options.

dhcpconfig Features

In interactive mode, the dhcpconfig utility prompts you for information and then adds macros to the dhcptab and creates DHCP network tables. It prompts you for server startup options such as the interval for reading the dhcptab, the timeout value for DHCP service offers, and so on. It obtains other information from the system files discussed in Updating System Files and Netmask Tables. You cannot view the information it obtains from system files, so it is important that the system files be updated before you run dhcpconfig in interactive mode.

Note –

The interactive mode is scheduled to be removed in a future Solaris release. DHCP Manager is the recommended tool for interactive use.

In noninteractive mode, the dhcpconfig command supports a list of options that allow you to configure and unconfigure a DHCP server, as well as convert to a new data store and import/export data to and from other DHCP servers. The command can be used in scripts. Please see the dhcpconfig man page for more information.

Comparison of DHCP Manager and dhcpconfig

The following table summarizes the differences between the two server configuration tools.

Table 2–4 Comparison of DHCP Manager and the dhcpconfig Command


DHCP Manager 

dhcpconfig Interactive

dhcpconfig With Options

Network information gathered from system. 

Allows you to view the information gathered from system files, and change it if needed. 

You cannot see what information dhcpconfig is gathering. You must look at the dhcptab and network tables after they are created.

You specify the network information with command-line options. 

Configuration experience for user. 

Speeds the configuration process by omitting prompts for nonessential server options by using default values for them. Allows you to change nonessential options after initial configuration. 

Prompts for all server options during configuration process. To change the options later, you must use dhtadm and pntadm commands.

Fastest configuration process, but user must specify values for many options. 

The next chapter includes procedures you can use to configure your server with both DHCP Manager and the dhcpconfig utility.