I aim to have an ethernet switch on my MacBook ethernet port from which I will have several Raspberry Pi's connected getting their IP via DHCP, each will have a VNC server running on them for remote access and I want my internet to be shared to them from my MacBook's WiFi connection.

In order to do this I have made use of OSX's inbuilt DHCP server as follows:

  • Edited bootpd.plist in /etc/, this configures the DHCP server for the network

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
  • Edited/created bootptab in /etc/, this assigns static IP's to the Raspberry Pi's

# hostname      hwtype  hwaddr              ipaddr          bootfile
Raspi1          1       aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:f1
Raspi2          1       aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:f2
Raspi3          1       aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:f3
Raspi4          1       aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:f4
  • Run/Stop the DHCP server using the following commands, created an alias in my ~/.bash_profile:
alias dhcp-start='sudo /bin/launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/bootps.plist'
alias dhcp-stop='sudo /bin/launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/bootps.plist'

Great I'm able to connect to each Pi remotely, but I have the following problems:

  1. Unable to connect to internet from each Pi, given I have shared the internet connection from WiFi to the ethernet port within OSX's sharing menu:

    Internet Sharing in OSX

  2. Upon reset of the MacBook the bootpd.plist file is being deleted

Any help in solving the above two issues appreciated!

  • I don't see any evidence that you actually set up Internet sharing. Did you? Jul 30, 2013 at 22:09
  • @DavidSchwartz - Yes I did, I've added a screenshot to show this now
    – tekiwibird
    Jul 30, 2013 at 23:58
  • how would you configure the ethernet connection in Preferences/Network ?
    – toine
    Aug 5, 2014 at 22:10
  • Lock the bootd.plist? Apr 28, 2018 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


As I understand it, your Internet sharing might be interfering with your bootd configuration, specially given that you're assigning static addresses to the Raspberry πs.

Once you have the dhcp server running, you can create routes for them. If your wifi is on en1, and we assume your gateway for en1 is, you could do something like

sudo route add

which will cause packets coming from to to go through your wifi's gateway.

See, for instance, Add a permanent static route to Mac OS X on how to automate it.

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