DHCP, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (Dynamic Host Configuration) is a protocol for TCP / IP service that offers dynamic configuration of terminals, with the granting of host IP addresses and other configuration parameters for network clients. This protocol is the successor of BOOTP which, although simpler, has been limited to current requirements. DHCP emerged as a standard in October 1993. RFC 2131 contains the most current specifications (March 1997).
Briefly, the DHCP operates as follows:
- A client sends a UDP packet broadcast (for all machines) with a DHCP request.
- The DHCP servers that capture this package will respond (if the client falls within a range of criteria) with a package which will include configurations with at least one IP address, network mask and other optional data, such as gateway, DNS servers, etc..