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(!) Discussion


See introduction of DHCP_Server.


There are different DHCP client packages around. The default for Debian seems to be dhcp-client (virtual package!). It is probably installed already, as you can check within aptitude. But to be sure you can run as root

aptitude install dhcp-client

Note that the traditional DHCP client, isc-dhcp-client, is now EOL and the dhcp-client virtual package doesn't provide many alternatives. Here is a set of DHCP clients that might work as an alternative:

Note that ifupdown can use udhcpc if available.

Users of systemd-networkd (systemd) or NetworkManager do not need to worry about that deprecation since they include their own DHCP clients.


Basic configuration

For a basic configuration you have to edit the file /etc/network/interfaces, which defines the interfaces of your computer. If you want to use eth0 as the interface to be configured through DHCP during boot up, add/edit the eth0-entry

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

The different keywords have the following meaning:

auto: the interface should be configured during boot time.

inet: interface uses TCP/IP networking.

dhcp: the interface can be configured through DHCP.

That is all.

To change the system to use a static IP address (not dhcp), change the /etc/network/interfaces file to something like:

iface eth0 inet static

Advanced configuration

Consult the man pages of interfaces(5) (man interfaces) and dhclient(8) for more advanced options.