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A few simple questions for a total beginner:

1)Why use DHCP? I am running a small home-network: 1 desktop computer and twp lap-tops. What is the big advantage in DHCP for me? What configurations does it save me from doing?

2)I read here the following paragraph:

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network service that
enables host computers to be automatically assigned settings from a server
opposed to manually configuring each network host

Who provides that service? Is it my ISP, a local program or a local hardware (like my router)?

Also, what configuration files will be edited as a result of using DHCP?

Thanks!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Why use DHCP?

It's the standard way of running a network. Any computer that you bring into your network will run as soon as it connects to it (either wire or wireless). Your computer will also automatically connect to most networks.

You should use DHCP as the default way to configure a network, unless you have some specific needs. Even in a medium or big size network, most of the machines are given their settings by DHCP, usually only a handful of machines have static IPs: servers, routers, printers (in my office), etc...

Who provides that service? Is it my ISP, a local program or a local hardware (like my router)?

In a normal small office or home network it is the router who takes care of DHCP.

Also, what configuration files will be edited as a result of using DHCP?

As it is the default configuration of Ubuntu, usually you don't need to do any configuration or change anything.

AFAIK, the only file that is changed automatically while you are using DHCP is /etc/resolv.conf (it list yours dns servers), all the rest of the configuration is keep in memory.

The wikippedia entry has lots of extra info.

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Very educating, thanks! When I install other distors liks arch-linux, I need to download a dhcpcd application. Does that app simply communicates with my router? Also, where can I configure DHCP? I entred my router's ip but haven't seen anywhere I can control it... –  yotamoo Oct 6 '11 at 14:32
    
dhcpcd is a dhcp client, it's installed by default by Ubuntu (not exactly dhcpcd, but isc-dhcp-client) and yes it communicates with your router or any other dchp server that it can find in your network. About your router... I can't help you, as every router is somewhat different. Here is a screenshot of a very simple DHCP configuration screen: mindspacesolutions.com/assets/images/… –  Javier Rivera Oct 6 '11 at 15:03
    
Thanks a lot Javier! –  yotamoo Oct 6 '11 at 16:10

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