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Section: Maintenance Commands (8)
Index Return to Main Contents

BSD mandoc


dhcpcd - a DHCP client  


[-146ABbDdEGgHJKLMNPpqTV ] [-C , --nohook hook ] [-c , --script script ] [-e , --env value ] [-F , --fqdn FQDN ] [-f , --config file ] [-h , --hostname hostname ] [-I , --clientid clientid ] [-i , --vendorclassid vendorclassid ] [-j , --logfile logfile ] [-l , --leasetime seconds ] [-m , --metric metric ] [-O , --nooption option ] [-o , --option option ] [-Q , --require option ] [-r , --request address ] [-S , --static value ] [-s , --inform address [/cidr ] ] [--inform6 ] [-t , --timeout seconds ] [-u , --userclass class ] [-v , --vendor code , value ] [-W , --whitelist address [/cidr ] ] [-w ] [--waitip [4 | 6] ] [-y , --reboot seconds ] [-X , --blacklist address [/cidr ] ] [-Z , --denyinterfaces pattern ] [-z , --allowinterfaces pattern ] [--inactive ] [interface] [...]
-n , --rebind [interface]
-k , --release [interface]
-U, --dumplease interface
-x , --exit [interface]  


is an implementation of the DHCP client specified in RFC 2131 gets the host information Po IP address, routes, etc Pc from a DHCP server and configures the network interface of the machine on which it is running. then runs the configuration script which writes DNS information to resolvconf(8), if available, otherwise directly to /etc/resolv.conf If the hostname is currently blank, (null) or localhost, or force_hostname is YES or TRUE or 1 then sets the hostname to the one supplied by the DHCP server. then daemonises and waits for the lease renewal time to lapse. It will then attempt to renew its lease and reconfigure if the new lease changes when the lease beings to expire or the DHCP server sends message to renew early.

If any interface reports a working carrier then will try and obtain a lease before forking to the background, otherwise it will fork right away. This behaviour can be modified with the -b , --background and -w , --waitip options.

is also an implementation of the BOOTP client specified in RFC 951

is also an implementation of the IPv6 Router Solicitor as specified in RFC 4861 and RFC 6106

is also an implementation of the IPv6 Privacy Extensions to AutoConf as specified in RFC 4941 This feature needs to be enabled in the kernel and will start using it.

is also an implementation of the DHCPv6 client as specified in RFC 3315 By default, only starts DHCPv6 when instructed to do so by an IPV6 Router Advertisement. If no Identity Association is configured, then a Non-temporary Address is requested.  

Local Link configuration

If failed to obtain a lease, it probes for a valid IPv4LL address Po aka ZeroConf, aka APIPA Pc . Once obtained it restarts the process of looking for a DHCP server to get a proper address.

When using IPv4LL, nearly always succeeds and returns an exit code of 0. In the rare case it fails, it normally means that there is a reverse ARP proxy installed which always defeats IPv4LL probing. To disable this behaviour, you can use the -L , --noipv4ll option.  

Multiple interfaces

If a list of interfaces are given on the command line, then only works with those interfaces, otherwise discovers available Ethernet interfaces that can be configured. When not limited to one interface on the command line, it is running in Master mode. The dhcpcd-ui project expects dhcpcd to be running this way.

If a single interface is given then only works for that interface and runs as a separate instance to other processes. -w , --waitip option is enabled in this instance to maintain compatibility with older versions. Using a single interface also affects the -k -N -n and -x options where the same interface will need to be specified as a lack of an interafce will imply Master mode which this is not. To force starting in Master mode with only one interface, the -M , --master option can be used.

Interfaces are preferred by carrier, DHCP lease/IPv4LL and then lowest metric. For systems that support route metrics, each route will be tagged with the metric, otherwise changes the routes to use the interface with the same route and the lowest metric. See options below for controlling which interfaces we allow and deny through the use of patterns.  

Hooking into events

runs /lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-run-hooks or the script specified by the -c , --script option. This script runs each script found in /lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-hooks in a lexical order. The default installation supplies the scripts 01-test 02-dump 20-resolv.conf and 30-hostname You can disable each script by using the -C , --nohook option. See dhcpcd-run-hooks8 for details on how these scripts work. currently ignores the exit code of the script.

More scripts are supplied in /usr/share/dhcpcd/hooks and need to be copied to /lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-hooks if you intend to use them. For example, you could install 10-wpa_supplicant so that can ensure that wpa_supplicant8 is always running on a hot-plugged wireless interface.  

Fine tuning

You can fine-tune the behaviour of with the following options:

-b , --background
Background immediately. This is useful for startup scripts which don't disable link messages for carrier status.
-c , --script script
Use this script instead of the default /lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-run-hooks
-D , --duid
Generate an RFC 4361 compliant clientid. This requires persistent storage and not all DHCP servers work with it so it is not enabled by default. generates the DUID and stores it in /etc/dhcpcd.duid This file should not be copied to other hosts.
-d , --debug
Echo debug messages to the stderr and syslog.
-E , --lastlease
If cannot obtain a lease, then try to use the last lease acquired for the interface.
Same as the above, but he lease will be retained even if it expires. will give it up if any other host tries to claim it for their own via ARP. This is does violate RFC2131 section 3.7 which states the lease should be dropped once it has expired.
-e , --env value
Push value to the environment for use in dhcpcd-run-hooks8. For example, you can force the hostname hook to always set the hostname with -e force_hostname=YES
-g , --reconfigure
will re-apply IP address, routing and run dhcpcd-run-hooks8 for each interface. This is useful so that a 3rd party such as PPP or VPN can change the routing table and / or DNS, etc and then instruct to put things back afterwards. does not read a new configuration when this happens - you should rebind if you need that functionality.
-F , --fqdn fqdn
Requests that the DHCP server updates DNS using FQDN instead of just a hostname. Valid values for fqdn are disable, none, ptr and both. itself never does any DNS updates. encodes the FQDN hostname as specified in RFC1035
-f , --config file
Specify a config to load instead of /etc/dhcpcd.conf always processes the config file before any command line options.
-h , --hostname hostname
Sends hostname to the DHCP server so it can be registered in DNS. If hostname is an empty string then the current system hostname is sent. If hostname is a FQDN (ie, contains a .) then it will be encoded as such.
-I , --clientid clientid
Send the clientid If the string is of the format 01:02:03 then it is encoded as hex. For interfaces whose hardware address is longer than 8 bytes, or if the clientid is an empty string then sends a default clientid of the hardware family and the hardware address.
-i , --vendorclassid vendorclassid
Override the DHCPv4 vendorclassid field sent. The default is dhcpcd-<version>:<os>:<machine>:<platform>. For example If not set then none is sent. Some badly configured DHCP servers reject unknown vendorclassids. To work around it, try and impersonate Windows by using the MSFT vendorclassid.
-j , --logfile logfile
Writes to the specified logfile rather than syslog(3). The logfile is truncated when opened and is reopened when receives the SIGUSR2 signal.
-k , --release [interface ]
This causes an existing process running on the interface to release its lease and de-configure the interface regardless of the -p , --persistent option. If no interface is specified then this applies to all interfaces in Master mode. If no interfaces are left running, will exit.
-l , --leasetime seconds
Request a specific lease time in seconds By default does not request any lease time and leaves it in the hands of the DHCP server.
-M , --master
Start in Master mode even if only one interface specified on the command line. See the Multiple Interfaces section above.
-m , --metric metric
Metrics are used to prefer an interface over another one, lowest wins. will supply a default metic of 200 + if_nametoindex3. An extra 100 will be added for wireless interfaces.
-n , --rebind [interface ]
Notifies to reload its configuration and rebind the specified interface If no interface is specified then this applies to all interfaces in Master mode. If is not running, then it starts up as normal. This may also cause wpa_supplicant8 to reload its configuration for each interface as well if the relevant hook script has been installed.
-N , --renew [interface ]
Notifies to renew existing addresses on the specified interface If no interface is specified then this applies to all interfaces in Master mode. If is not running, then it starts up as normal. Unlike the -n , --rebind option above, the configuration for is not reloaded.
-o , --option option
Request the DHCP option variable for use in /lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-run-hooks
-p , --persistent
normally de-configures the interface and configuration when it exits. Sometimes, this isn't desirable if, for example, you have root mounted over NFS or SSH clients connect to this host and they need to be notified of the host shutting down. You can use this option to stop this from happening.
-r , --request [address ]
Request the address in the DHCP DISCOVER message. There is no guarantee this is the address the DHCP server will actually give. If no address is given then the first address currently assigned to the interface is used.
-s , --inform [address [/cidr ] ]
Behaves like -r , --request as above, but sends a DHCP INFORM instead of DISCOVER/REQUEST. This does not get a lease as such, just notifies the DHCP server of the address in use. You should also include the optional cidr network number in case the address is not already configured on the interface. remains running and pretends it has an infinite lease. will not de-configure the interface when it exits. If fails to contact a DHCP server then it returns a failure instead of falling back on IPv4LL.
Performs a DHCPv6 Information Request. No address is requested or specified, but all other DHCPv6 options are allowed. This is normally performed automatically when the IPv6 Router Advertises that the client should perform this operation. This option is only needed when is not processing IPv6RA messages and the need for DHCPv6 Information Request exists.
-S, --static value
Configures a static DHCP value If you set ip_address then will not attempt to obtain a lease and just use the value for the address with an infinite lease time.

Here is an example which configures a static address, routes and dns.

You cannot presently set static DHCPv6 values. Use the -e , --env option instead.

-t , --timeout seconds
Timeout after seconds instead of the default 30. A setting of 0 seconds causes to wait forever to get a lease. If is working on a single interface then will exit when a timeout occurs, otherwise will fork into the background.
-u , --userclass class
Tags the DHCPv4 message with the userclass class DHCP servers use this to give members of the class DHCP options other than the default, without having to know things like hardware address or hostname.
-v , --vendor code , value
Add an encapsulated vendor option. code should be between 1 and 254 inclusive. To add a raw vendor string, omit code but keep the comma. Examples.

Set the vendor option 01 with an IP address. Set the vendor option 02 with a hex code. Set the vendor option 03 with an IP address as a string. Set un-encapsulated vendor option to hello world.

Display both program version and copyright information. then exits before doing any configuration.
Wait for an address to be assigned before forking to the background. Does not take an argument, unlike the below option. -fl waitip option.
--waitip [4 | 6]
Wait for an address to be assigned before forking to the background. 4 means wait for an IPv4 address to be assigned. 6 means wait for an IPv6 address to be assigned. If no argument is given, will wait for any address protocol to be assigned. It is possible to wait for more than one address protocol and will only fork to the background when all waiting conditions are satisfied.
-x , --exit [interface ]
This will signal an existing process running on the interface to exit. If no interface is specified, then the above is applied to all interfaces in Master mode. See the -p , --persistent option to control configuration persistence on exit, which is enabled by default in dhcpcd.conf5. then waits until this process has exited.
-y , --reboot seconds
Allow reboot seconds before moving to the discover phase if we have an old lease to use. Allow reboot seconds before starting fallback states from the discover phase. IPv4LL is started when the first reboot timeout is reached. The default is 5 seconds. A setting of 0 seconds causes to skip the reboot phase and go straight into discover. This has no effect on DHCPv6 other than skipping the reboot phase.


Restricting behaviour

will try to do as much as it can by default. However, there are sometimes situations where you don't want the things to be configured exactly how the the DHCP server wants. Here are some options that deal with turning these bits off.

-1 , --oneshot
Exit after configuring an interface. Use the -w , --waitip option to specify which protocol(s) to configure before exiting.
-4 , --ipv4only
Configure IPv4 only.
-6 , --ipv6only
Configure IPv6 only.
-A , --noarp
Don't request or claim the address by ARP. This also disables IPv4LL.
-B , --nobackground
Don't run in the background when we acquire a lease. This is mainly useful for running under the control of another process, such as a debugger or a network manager.
-C , --nohook script
Don't run this hook script. Matches full name, or prefixed with 2 numbers optionally ending with .sh

So to stop from touching your DNS settings you would do:-

-G , --nogateway
Don't set any default routes.
-H , --xidhwaddr
Use the last four bytes of the hardware address as the DHCP xid instead of a randomly generated number.
-J , --broadcast
Instructs the DHCP server to broadcast replies back to the client. Normally this is only set for non Ethernet interfaces, such as FireWire and InfiniBand. In most instances, will set this automatically.
-K , --nolink
Don't receive link messages for carrier status. You should only have to use this with buggy device drivers or running through a network manager.
-L , --noipv4ll
Don't use IPv4LL (aka APIPA, aka Bonjour, aka ZeroConf).
-O , --nooption option
Removes the option from the DHCP message before processing.
-P , --printpidfile
Print the pidfile will use based on commmand-line arguments to stdout.
-Q , --require option
Requires the option to be present in all DHCP messages, otherwise the message is ignored. To enforce that only responds to DHCP servers and not BOOTP servers, you can -Q dhcp_message_type
-q , --quiet
Quiet on the command line, only warnings and errors will be displayed. The messages are still logged though.
-T, --test
On receipt of DHCP messages just call /lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-run-hooks with the reason of TEST which echos the DHCP variables found in the message to the console. The interface configuration isn't touched and neither are any configuration files. The rapid_commit option is not sent in TEST mode so that the server does not lease an address. To test INFORM the interface needs to be configured with the desired address before starting .
-U, --dumplease interface
Dumps the last lease for the interface to stdout. If omitted, standard input is used to read a DHCP wire formatted message. Use the -4 or -6 flags to specify an address family.
-V, --variables
Display a list of option codes, the associated variable and encoding for use in dhcpcd-run-hooks8. Variables are prefixed with new_ and old_ unless the option number is -. Variables without an option are part of the DHCP message and cannot be directly requested.
-W, --whitelist address [/cidr]
Only accept packets from address [/cidr] -X, --blacklist is ignored if -W, --whitelist is set.
-X, --blacklist address [/cidr ]
Ignore all packets from address [/cidr ]
-Z , --denyinterfaces pattern
When discovering interfaces, the interface name must not match pattern which is a space or comma separated list of patterns passed to fnmatch(3).
-z , --allowinterfaces pattern
When discovering interfaces, the interface name must match pattern which is a space or comma separated list of patterns passed to fnmatch(3). If the same interface is matched in -Z , --denyinterfaces then it is still denied.
Don't start any interfaces other than those specified on the command line. This allows to be started in Master mode and then wait for subsequent commands to start each interface as required.
Don't load any /dev management modules.



Some interfaces require configuration by 3rd parties, such as PPP or VPN. When an interface configuration in is marked as STATIC or INFORM without an address then will monitor the interface until an address is added or removed from it and act accordingly. For point to point interfaces (like PPP), a default route to its destination is automatically added to the configuration. If the point to point interface is configured for INFORM, then unicasts INFORM to the destination, otherwise it defaults to STATIC.  


requires a Berkley Packet Filter, or BPF device on BSD based systems and a Linux Socket Filter, or LPF device on Linux based systems for all IPv4 configuration.

If restricting to a single interface and optionally address family via the command-line then all further calls to to rebind, reconfigure or exit need to include the same restrictive flags so that knows which process to signal.  


Configuration file for dhcpcd. If you always use the same options, put them here.
Text file that holds the DUID used to identify the host.
Text file that holds a secret key known only to the host.
Bourne shell script that is run to configure or de-configure an interface.
/dev management modules.
A directory containing bourne shell scripts that are run by the above script. Each script can be disabled by using the -C , --nohook option described above.
/var/lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd- interface -ssid .lease
The actual DHCP message sent by the server. We use this when reading the last lease and use the files mtime as when it was issued.
/var/lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd- interface -ssid .lease6
The actual DHCPv6 message sent by the server. We use this when reading the last lease and use the files mtime as when it was issued.
Stores the monotonic counter used in the replay field in Authentication Options.
Stores the PID of running on all interfaces.
/run/dhcpcd- interface .pid
Stores the PID of running on the interface
Control socket to the master daemon.
Unpriviledged socket to the master daemon, only allows state retrieval.
/run/dhcpcd- interface .sock
Control socket to per interface daemon.



fnmatch(3), if_nametoindex3, dhcpcd.conf5, resolv.conf5, dhcpcd-run-hooks8, resolvconf(8)  


RFC 951, RFC 1534, RFC 2104, RFC 2131, RFC 2132, RFC 2563, RFC 2855, RFC 3004, RFC 3118, RFC 3203, RFC 3315, RFC 3361, RFC 3633, RFC 3396, RFC 3397, RFC 3442, RFC 3495, RFC 3925, RFC 3927, RFC 4039, RFC 4075, RFC 4242, RFC 4361, RFC 4390, RFC 4702, RFC 4074, RFC 4861, RFC 4833, RFC 4941, RFC 5227, RFC 5942, RFC 5969, RFC 6106, RFC 6334, RFC 6603, RFC 6704, RFC 7217, RFC 7550.  


An Roy Marples Aq Mt  


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Local Link configuration
Multiple interfaces
Hooking into events
Fine tuning
Restricting behaviour

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