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IP Address Lease Process

DHCP is a service that responds to client requests. When a DHCP client boots up on a network for the first time, it initiates a four-step process:

  1. The client broadcasts a request for an IP address on UDP port 67. This request is known as a DHCP Discovery broadcast.

  2. Any DHCP servers on the local subnet respond to the client with a direct DHCP Offer. If there are no local DHCP servers, but a relay agent has forwarded the client's broadcast to a remote DHCP server, that server responds with a DHCP Offer.

  3. The client takes the first offer it gets and responds with another broadcast (known as a DHCP Request). This request confirms the IP address it received. A relay agent forwards this broadcast as needed. A server whose offer was not accepted puts the IP address it offered back in its address pool.

  4. The DHCP server whose offer was accepted responds with a DHCP Acknowledgment message that includes a lease duration and any other configuration information that the server has been set up to give. When the client receives this acknowledgment, it then binds the new address to its IP stack and proceeds to use it.


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