BOOTP and option 52

Dwight Tovey dwight at
Tue Mar 4 19:18:22 UTC 2008

If I'm reading the RFCs correctly, option 52 (Option Overload) is specific
to DHCP and shouldn't be used in BOOTREPLY messages.  Since this options
tells the client that the 'sname' and/or 'file' fields are being
overloaded by using them to carry DHCP options, it makes sense that it
shouldn't be used in BOOTREPLY messages.  However, if I have the ISC DHCP
server (V3.0.6 on Fedora 8) configured to allow BOOTP requests, I'm seeing
the server use option 52 and placing the domain name (option 15) into the
'file' field.  Our BOOTP client doesn't know how to handle that.

Am I completely missing something?  Should the client know how to dig
option information out of the 'file' and 'sname' fields?  Is there a way
to tell the DHCP server to not use option 52?  BTW: the test domain name
that I'm using is only 7 bytes, so there really isn't any reason for the
server to use option 52 at all.

Am I completely missing something?


Dwight Tovey
dwight at
Eagles may soar, but weasles don't get sucked into jet engines.

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