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On my workstation I noticed that my network utilization is high and constant even though I don't have any downloads currently going. I fire up iftop and see the following entry at the top:

255.255.255.255:bootps     =>  * :bootpc                    0b      0b      0b
                           <=                             133Kb   162Kb   163Kb

The actual download speeds vary between 70Kb to 170Kb or more. bootps is port 67, bootpc is port 68.

I have no idea what this might be. Has anyone seen this before? Is some system on this LAN going haywire?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's nothing abonormal going on. You're seeing BOOTP or DHCP requests / responses to / from other computers on the wire. They just broadcast traffic, so I suppose, technically, you could say that your computer is "downloading" the traffic but it's just being ignored and thrown away by your OS.

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Thanks for clarifying. But because this seems to be going on for an extended period of time at the high throughput rates probably means there's another host on the LAN that's misbehaving, flooding the LAN with DHCP requests? –  Mike Mazur Jul 20 '09 at 23:04
    
Fire up tcpdump and capture some traffic. That should tell you a lot about what's going on. Seeing a sustained amount of BOOTP/DHCP traffic is definitely odd. –  Evan Anderson Jul 21 '09 at 2:22
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read the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrap_Protocol

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