Configuring the Solaris DHCP server

Posted on May 23, 2009

As I recently had to configure the Solaris bundled DHCP server on a box, I though that I would write down the steps I took to get the task done, for everybody else to use and also for myself later on.

I will configure the server with some static entries for specific hosts, and also with a small pool of addresses for random users.

In order to get the DHCP server installed on OpenSolaris, you have to install the package named SUNWdhcs. This is done by running:

pfexec pkg install SUNWdhcs

After the installation, you should start of by using the dhcpconfig command to set up the initial configuration directory to hold the settings used by the DHCP server:

pfexec dhcpconfig -D -r SUNWfiles -p /var/dhcp -a -d tenzer.lan -h files -l 86400


After that you have to create the network we are going to set up. This is done with the following command:

pfexec dhcpconfig -N -m -t


All the above entered network settings are put into macros, which each is a small assembly of configuration options, and which makes it easier to put a group of settings on specific hosts. You can see which macros there is currently created and their settings by running:

dhtadm -P

You will see that there are three macros created. One macro is named after your servers hostname, and contains the settings specified as system wide settings with the first dhcpconfig command. One has the name of the network you just created, and contains those settings entered in the last command. The last macro named Locale simply holds timezone information, with a setting claiming the amount of seconds your local timezone differs from UTC.

As you can see from the output, the current timeserver specified is set to which aren’t going to do any good for the DHCP clients, so we are going to correct that to, the same address used by our default gateway and DNS server. The change is done like this:

pfexec dhtadm -M -m $(hostname) -e Timeserv=


Again, you can check that the setting is indeed changed with:

dhtadm -P

We are also going to alter the macro, and set it to include the settings from the macro named after the hostname:

pfexec -M -m -e Include=$(hostname)

The third command used to configure the DHCP server is pntadm, which sets up settings for each host on the network. The following command adds a static DHCP entry for a host:

pfexec pntadm -A -c "Comment" -f MANUAL -i 01001BFC92BC10 -m -y


The command to check the settings is:

pntadm -P

And now we add an IP address for any host on the network:

pfexec pntadm -A -m -y

The same parameters account as before, but we have just left out a lot more options, since we don’t know which host is going to get this address.

The last thing to do, is to restart the DHCP server, in order for all the changes to take effect:

pfexec svcadm restart dhcp-server

And then you are done.

References: and man pages.