Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Win32 hosted DHCP server?

A client needs a DHCP server for a small Win98/NT/2K/XP network.  Seems to be a variety of shareware and full commercial ($$$) implementations out there.  Haven't seen any open source stuff for Win32.  What is everyone out there using?

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Monday, September 08, 2003

How small a network?

My LinkSys DSL router does DHCP. It has four physical connections; I don't know if it can actually handle more hosts. Sub $100, which is less than the cost of the Windows license for your DHCP server.

You can also try building ISC DHCP under Cygwin.

David Jones
Monday, September 08, 2003

We use the DHCP server that comes with Win2K Server.

Ankur
Monday, September 08, 2003

On a small network I prefer to use the DHCP server built-in to the company's router or firewall. It's one less piece of software to configure, one less thing to go wrong.

Nate Silva
Monday, September 08, 2003

Linux can act as a DHCP server.  DHCP is a generic protocol.   

MS has added some bells and whistles with Active Directory, but it sounds like you won't miss them.

IMHO, MS is easier to set up, but if money's short, Linux is great for this.

Lee
Monday, September 08, 2003

Probably should have defined my parameters more closely:

(1) No appliance routers serving up DHCP.

(2) No Linux/Unix boxes doing same.

Pure Win32 network, needs DHCP, needs reasonable support, what to do?

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Monday, September 08, 2003

Is there a Windows Server anywhere? (I'm guessing not)

You know that you can pick up a dlink router for $50, right?

Philo

Philo
Monday, September 08, 2003

Redefine your parameters. Why are they there? I'm sure there's some reason, hopefully not buzzword compliance.

mb
Monday, September 08, 2003

>>hopefully not buzzword compliance.

WTF ????
Oh yeah... DHCP is the Push Technology of the year 2003, it will never take off.

Damian
Monday, September 08, 2003

Um, no, in this case it's more like anti-buzzword:
Linux is EEEVIL, so we must not have it.
Appliances are EEEVIL, so we must not have them.

When in this case, an appliance (which might be running Linux or OS/2 or BeOS or Win3.1 or QNX) sounds like the right answer: cheap. Low maintenence. Nothing new to learn outside of the problem domain (DHCP assignement and possibly firewalling/routing.)

mb
Monday, September 08, 2003

Could "Internet Connection Sharing" be the answer for such a strange restrictions? Provides DHCP/NAT for W98(?)+ /W2k+

Also I would check why their network is working in the first place and how do their get IP addresses now.

WildTiger
Monday, September 08, 2003

There is internet connection sharing. If you are not running server edition of win2k, or winxp, then ICS does a fine job.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. kallal
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I'm joining those who are confused by this request. You need to be clearer on the limitations of whatever products you're working with.

DHCP is generally regarded as a "server" level facility so it will not be available in Win 9x, Windows 2000 Pro, and probably not in XP Home or Pro. I looked around a few seconds in Windows 2000 Pro. and it does not appear to have its own DHCP server. I'm not surprised by this, but by the same token I already knew that an installation of W2K Pro can't legally be turned into a public internet web server (and you wouldn't want to anyway).

So, perhaps there is an open source DHCP server out there somewhere.

But again - your real choices would appear to be: Windows 2000 Server (which does contain DHCP) - or, a router or firewall box with DHCP server ability - which is practically any of them. After all, just about every network needs a router or a firewall anyway.

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Dear Bored,
                  At least three people have already told you but not only does Win 2K have its own DHCP server, but so does Win 98SE (and Win ME).

                  ICS sets up a DHCP server, and you don't even need to use it for the internet.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

And what if they don't want to do internet connection sharing? The builtin DHCP for desktop products only seems to be for connection sharing, since the help file says nothing and there's nothing in the control panel for a separate DHCP. M&M's original post implied (by absence) that connection sharing wasn't part of the issue.

I did find this: (freeware limited DHCP server for Win2K Pro)

http://www.weird-solutions.com/download/index.html

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

You can just use the ICS master box as a DHCP server and forget about the internet.

If they are connecting to the internet throigh a modem then the fact that they have a different IP address for the LAN won't matter.

I think you have a blind spot here.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Must you ALWAYS be right!!??

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Don't forget that ICS is not controllable. It's basically not much use except on a box that's really routing an internet connection. You can't control the address range, you can't control the supplementary parameters (DNS server, gateway, etc.). You have to have two network connections to even turn it on.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Sorry Brad but I'm not with you.

Why do you need two network cards? I have it on my computer now, and it only has one network card. I used it as a DHCP server for thirty computers and although I did use the internet on occasion, that was a bonus.

What do you mean you can't control the address range. You set the "server" to have any address and  mask you want. 192.0.0.1 is simply conventional. I've set it differently when I wanted to maintain compatibility with the domain at work. And you can set the DNS and WINS settings on the "server" machine as you wish, and the gateway.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

How did this discussion make it past "We use the DHCP server that comes with Win2K Server."?

Anonymous
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

"Why do you need two network cards?"

You don't need two network cards, you need two network connections (i.e., one of them could be dialup). Until you have two, the Sharing tab simply isn't even visible -- at least on 2000 and XP. I don't know about 98/Me.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

>> you need two network connections (i.e., one of them could be dialup). Until you have two, the Sharing tab simply isn't even visible

Ok, in W2K Pro, I have one network connection (the LAN connection) and a dial up connection (just for testing.)  The LAN connection properties have only one tab. The dial up connection properties have a sharing tab. Now, can connection sharing be enabled and DHCP be running without activating the dial up connection? This feels like a kludge to me.

I think my "blind spot" as Stephen harped on is caused by the fact that Microsoft doesn't publicize the fact that connection sharing does involve DHCP. Instead DHCP is buried in a function of the OS that is marketed as a user convenience.

No doubt this is one "server type" feature that they (MS) would rather that the buyer look for in a server level OS.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Dear Bored,
                  You don't even need a modem. Just  set the host machine to have a fixed IP address (the normal one is 192.0.0.1 with a sub-net mask of 255.255.255.0 but this is simply a matter of convenience) and set the other machines to get their  IP address dynamically.

                    I don't even have the internet connection sharing tab checked but the desktop gives the laptop an automatic IP address.

                      One last point - if you have Zone Alarm on the client machines it can prevent you seeing the network. You should turn it off manually or completely unistall it. If you simply stop it runnig at start up, you will find that there is still some part of it running anyway, and you will think your connection is not working.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Stephen, the address is 192.168.0.1. Now, replying to an earlier post:

"I think my 'blind spot' as Stephen harped on is caused by the fact that Microsoft doesn't publicize the fact that connection sharing does involve DHCP. Instead DHCP is buried in a function of the OS that is marketed as a user convenience."

Home users don't generally "get" what DHCP is. Microsoft has marketed this correctly for the feature. The feature is NOT designed to provide a general purpose DHCP server. It's designed to share an internet connection. The usage is right on track: put network cards in all the PCs, click "Share" on the one that connects to the internet, and you're done.

"No doubt this is one 'server type' feature that they (MS) would rather that the buyer look for in a server level OS."

Yes, all server versions of Windows ship with a flexible and general purpose DHCP server. That's exactly where you'd expect to find it.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Yea, sorry about the typo. Considering the number of tiimes I've set it up I should have it off by heart now.

As I said, you can use any other fixed IP address and the DHCP server will work as well.

For a peer to peer network, which is all that is needed for a home network, and often all that is needed for a small business or for parts of an academic institution, then the Win 2k Pro/XP/ME/98SE version of DHCP works fine. I've got to set up four CALL labs with 180 computers in the next few weeks. I need them networked, but am simply going to set up one Win XP Pro machine as the DHCP server using ICS. It will allow everythng I need.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I can give you all a good reason why you wouldn't want to fork out the dough for Win 2k server.. just to have Microsoft's inanely proprietary DHCP server.

In addition, I'm not familiar with the feature sets of most routers.  I know they function as DHCP servers in most cases.

But here's the rub, I want to install Windows 2000 pro across my local network.

Judging from the small hybrid network/configuration from the original post, I can see that as a possible reason why the original poster didn't want to use or couldn't use:
a physical router; Windows 2000 Server; or spending the time and effort to put together a linux install just for the use of DHCP.

What I'm getting at here - in order to set up a PXE server on one of my desktops, I need to have a fully configurable DHCP server - one that allows me to specify optional information that can be passed and configured.

As far as I know none of the solutions that have been mentioned in this post come close to solving the problem.

Ego is evil - silence it and you solve the problem.

Jose Jimenez
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Try the Trinkets ISC DHCP port for Windows at

http://www.tellurian.com.au/products/trinkets/dhcpdNT/

Andrew
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Try TFTPD32 at http://perso.wanadoo.fr/philippe.jounin/tftpd32.html

Philip
Thursday, August 26, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home