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I noticed on the Windows DHCP service there's an option to add SMTP servers to the information provided to DHCP clients. I've never heard of this before, but it sounds useful, especially for when our ISP's SMTP server experiences problems. How would I get, e.g., Thunderbird to get its SMTP settings via DHCP?

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I don't believe any tools exist to currently do this.

If you where interested in developing software I believe you would have to write a program that interacts with the DHCP client via the DHCP Client API on Windows. Your program would have to request the SMTP settings and then do whatever was necessary to reconfigure your Mail client. Reconfiguring Thunderbird would just require tweaking the right configuration file.

On the Linux side you would need to update your dhclient.conf to request the SMTP settings and then write a hook script that accepts the settings and then uses them to update right configuration files.

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Well, any hope of automatic failover is doomed to be dashed. If something major changes in the AD (like trying to fail over a mailserver) you can have significant problems as the DCs try to update all the clients...It doesn't happen in a sane manner, and it's often better to restart services after you make any significant change, than to let them try and propagate it.

Additionally, this sort of thing is windows-centric. It's nice when you have an outlook setup, and all you have to do is log on to the domain, kick up outlook, and tell it to use the exchange server, and you're done, but that sort of integration is really only windows playing with windows.

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Re: Windows-centric, I'm not sure that's true: – Kev Mar 2 '10 at 18:03
RFC 2132 is anything but windows-centric. – quadruplebucky Mar 2 '10 at 18:05
The option in question is not windows-centric, it is covered in RFC2132. It is also still listed by IANA ( Honestly, it is likely to be far easier to setup and use on a *nix host vs Windows. – Zoredache Mar 2 '10 at 18:09
@Zoredache I would love to see a working example of this on *NIX (not being facetious - I really want to see it in production somewhere so I can steal it!). While this is well documented in RFC2132 and the ISC DHCPd docs I've never seen it done in practice... – voretaq7 Mar 2 '10 at 18:54
@Kev - there's no "centralised" way of doing that. You could write your own email client that supported it if you want, but its not "common" email client functionality. I suppose some unholy system like lettuce goats probably supports it, because that's the sort of thing you'd expect from goats, but there isn't like some registry key or windows control panel tickbox that every windows email client there is will harken to. – RobM Mar 2 '10 at 21:24

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