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Introduction

See introduction of DHCP_Server.

Installation

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

aptitude install dhcp-client

Configuration

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
    address 192.168.12.2
    netmask 255.255.255.0
    gateway 192.168.12.254

Advanced configuration

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