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Is there a simple ping-like command to test whether a DHCP service is running on a network? ...on Linux

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8 Answers 8

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Even if you don't use a Nagios monitoring server, you can grep the check_dhcp binary or compile it from source and use the check to test a DHCP-Server. E.g.

./check_dhcp -v -s <dhcp_server_address> -r <expected_ip_address> -m <mac_address_touse>
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why not just make a dhcp request ?


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Probably because that will make your system use the IP assigned by the DHCP server which is not what one wants when e.g. trying to find out if there are rogue DHCP servers in his network. – ThiefMaster Jun 9 '12 at 18:54
-n option helps here? – akostadinov Jan 24 '13 at 22:20

There is a program called dhcpping

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On Debian-Ubuntu systems:

dhcpd -f

gives good feedback and tests the configuration.

On RH systems try:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/dhcpd configtest
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if you use nagios you could monitor it with check_dhcp

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or you can try dhcpcd in test mode:

dhcpcd -T eth0

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I wrote a DHCP test client program a while ago, works on Windows and POSIX:

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dhcpdump is good for sniffing and displaying DHCP packets on the network.


# dhcpdump -i eth0

  TIME: 2015-11-27 11:41:37.379
    IP: (0:11:b9:5:0:b8) > (ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff)
 HTYPE: 1 (Ethernet)
  HLEN: 6
  HOPS: 0
   XID: abce9327
  SECS: 0
CHADDR: 00:11:b9:05:00:b8:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00
OPTION:  53 (  1) DHCP message type         1 (DHCPDISCOVER)
OPTION:  57 (  2) Maximum DHCP message size 576
OPTION:  55 (  4) Parameter Request List      1 (Subnet mask)
                          3 (Routers)
                         28 (Broadcast address)
                          6 (DNS server)


You can use it in conjunction with another tool to do DHCP requests, or just use it to watch PCs/devices query DHCP.

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