Editing dhcpd.conf without corrupting leases

David W. Hankins David_Hankins at isc.org
Tue Apr 14 16:51:53 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 09:03:14AM +0200, Tom Schmitt wrote:
> If OMAPI is on a longterm plan for phasout, what is the lonterm plan what should do the job OMAPI is doing?

There's a team deciding on the specifics, so I don't want to give the
impression these specific ideas I had are final (they'll go through
the 'requirements mill' and probably come out different).

But initially I'd imagined using dBus as a configuration backplane for
the client and server both.  It makes natural sense to get tighter
integration with NetworkManager in the client, and once you've done
that, you may as well use the same mechanism to "attach" an upstream
facing dhclient with a downstream facing dhcpd (so dhcpd can source
some elements of configuration from dhclient).

Depending on who you ask, the user-interface in this case looks a lot
more like 'rndc', "cisco-like" CLI, or a web page.  A lot less like
"vi config-file".  The machine interface looks a lot more like XML.

The overall plan is to approach something a great deal more like a
"configuration backplane" than a "config file you reload."

It's strange to think that dhcpd would start, but not do anything
useful, without a config file.  But that's the idea.  It doesn't
become useful until its operator or cluster-management-daemon spits
pre-digested configuration down its throat, not entirely unlike a baby
bird waiting for its first meal.

It is a completely different way of thinking, and it is not surprising
that it is a little daunting.

> So if you plan to remove OMAIP on a long term, what is the way this should be done in the future?

We wouldn't take OMAPI (or dhcpd.conf) out until the replacement was
feature complete, and there were tools to migrate.

In the meantime, I have to admit that we're doing little more than
maintaining what we have when it comes to OMAPI.

Maybe I shouldn't also admit that we'd like to get out of the
"scripting language" business in dhcpd.conf, and replace those
elements of dynamic runtime configuration with some kind of
(proper) embedded language.


David W. Hankins	"If you don't do it right the first time,
Software Engineer		     you'll just have to do it again."
Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.		-- Jack T. Hankins
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