no Working leases on persistant database

Jeffrey Hutzelman jhutz at
Mon Jan 14 23:47:53 UTC 2008

--On Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:30:50 AM +0100 stephane lepain 
<s.lepain at> wrote:

> Hi Guys,
> I am new to DHCP. I have just set up my dhcp server on my network and
> when I start up my dhcp server, I get this error message  "no working
> leases on persistent database". I dont understand that message because
> the server is actually working fine. The problem is that it takes for
> ever for the sever to start itself because of that message.

That message is one printed by the DHCP _client_, not the server.  It 
indicates that the client doesn't have any existing unexpired leases to 
fall back on after having failed to get a response from any DHCP server. 
The more interesting message is the one you should have seen a line or two 
above, "No DHCPOFFERS received.", which indicates that your client did not 
receive offers from any server.

Usually this happens when you are not connected to the network, are not 
eligible to receive a lease, or when the DHCP server is in fact _not_ 
working fine.  You can often determine more by looking at the DHCP server 
log and/or a packet trace.

Since in this case you say you are getting this message when you "start up 
your DHCP server", I assume you mean when you try to boot the machine on 
which the DHCP server runs.  If that machine is configured to use DHCP to 
obtain its address, then this is not surprising -- at the time the network 
starts, the DHCP server is not yet running, and so cannot provide an 
address to the machine it runs on.

Generally, the machine on which a DHCP server runs should be one of the few 
machines on your network which does _not_ use DHCP to obtain its 
configuration.  In most cases, such machines must be statically configured.

-- Jeffrey T. Hutzelman (N3NHS) <jhutz+ at>
   Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

More information about the dhcp-users mailing list