The ability for DHCP servers (Microsoft, ISC, VitalQIP, IPControl, Infoblox, etc.) to deliver DHCP Option 119 - Domain Suffix Search Lists has been around for a long time. Initially, DHCP Client Support for this option was scarce. So, my question is this: Which DHCP Client Operating Systems support the use of DHCP Option 119 sent from a DHCP server?

I am specifically looking for Mfg, and family/version/release info.

  • I know from painful experience that AIX DHCPd does not support option 119 - we had to stuff the Domain Search Suffix Lists onto workstations via GPO. – Izzy Jul 8 '09 at 1:02
  • As mentioned, it's long been supported in many DHCP server implementations, but if the client doesn't support it... you are out of luck. I had a client suggest they are using it, and I'm shocked quite frankly. I have tried windows 2000, and XP, but not newer M$ clients. so, I'm very curious to hear from others. Thanks for sharing yours. – netlinxman Jul 8 '09 at 1:17

I'm constraining my search to Microsoft OS's tonight, for lack of energy. >smile<

Finding a concise list of the DHCP options supported by various Microsoft operating systems has proven to be difficult. The following article shows as being revised in 2006, and references Windows XP in the article text, but claims to only apply up to Windows NT 4.0.

Based on this article, it doesn't appear that any version of Windows referenced in that article supports option 119. I'm seeing postings that seem to indicate that Windows Server 2003 and 2008 do not support option 119, either.

This article indicates that DHCP option 119 doesn't work on Windows 2000 - Windows Server 2003:

I'll try my Windows 7-based laptop computer in a moment and drop an edit in here with my findings.

  • Yup, 2003 definitely doesn't. I'm 90% sure Vista doesn't either, hence us using GPO to apply the Search Suffix list. – Izzy Jul 8 '09 at 3:14
  • I don't see it working on Windows 7 x64 build 7100, either. – Evan Anderson Jul 8 '09 at 3:27
  • "Finding a concise list of the DHCP options supported...." Exactly... I searched high and low prior to asking the question. I've always thought, and told my colleagues the same thing. The Client support is still not there. You see too many articles about GPO doing the work. I'm sort of surprised, so many ask for this support...Thanks! – netlinxman Jul 8 '09 at 3:42
  • check this text out! webservertalk.com/message1039657.html – netlinxman Jul 8 '09 at 4:08
  • re: the webservertalk link - That just makes total sense... >sigh< Why did they sponsor the RFC then? Ugh... – Evan Anderson Jul 8 '09 at 13:15

Option 119 works with Linux ISC DHCP Client/Server Version 3.1.1 - at least on Debian Lenny. Also our MacOS X Client's (10.6) get the correct search list. Linux Clients do construct the search list from domain-name and domain-search, MacOSX seem to ignore domain-name when constructing the search-list, if domain-search is available. It's probably possible to configure Solaris to understand Option 119 too, with some work.


Windows 7 does not request DHCP option 119.

Ubuntu 11.10 does. (both Desktop and Server editions)


Linux/etc support option 119, but only with ISC dhcp 4 or higher - and the distro-specific /sbin/dhclient-script needs to handle it too.

  • Yes, i have seen evidence of this support in Linux, and I have heard MAC OSX does too. I have not personally tested this and confirmed it. – netlinxman Nov 28 '09 at 23:35

OSX 10.9 does support it. Windows 7 does not (does not request it in "parameter request list" - option 55 - in DHCP request).

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