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Commands Reference, Volume 1

bootpd Daemon


Sets up the Internet Boot Protocol server.


bootpd-s ] [  -t Integer ] [  -d -d ... ] ] [  -g ] [  ConfigFile DumpFile ] ]


The bootpd command implements an Internet Boot Protocol server.

The bootpd daemon is normally started by the inetd daemon. The default /etc/inetd.conf file contains the following line:

bootps dgram udp wait root /usr/sbin/bootpd bootpd

By default, this entry is commented out. One way to add the bootpd daemon to the inetd daemon's list of available subservers is to use the System Management Interface Tool (SMIT). Another way to make the bootpd daemon available is to edit the /etc/inetd.conf file, uncomment the bootps entry, and enter refresh -s inetd or kill -1 InetdPid to inform the inetd daemon of the changes to its configuration file. Now, when a bootp request arrives, inetd starts the bootpd daemon. Once the daemon is started, bootpd continues to listen for boot requests. However, if the server does not receive a boot request within 15 minutes of the previous one, it exits to conserve system resources. This time-out value of 15 minutes can be changed using the -t flag.

To start the bootpd daemon without inetd, use the -s flag. In this mode, the bootpd daemon continues to listen for bootp requests until the daemon is killed.

Upon startup, the bootpd daemon looks in the /etc/services file to find the port numbers to use, and extracts the following entries:

bootps The BOOTP server listening port.
bootpc The destination port used to reply to clients.

Then, the bootpd daemon reads its configuration file. If a configuration file is not specified, the default file is /etc/bootptab. Once the configuration file is read, the bootpd daemon begins listening for and processing bootp requests. The bootpd daemon rereads its configuration file when it receives a SIGHUP hang-up signal, or when it receives a bootp request packet and detects that the file has been updated. Hosts may be added, deleted, or modified when the configuration file is reread.


-d Increases the level of debugging output. This flag can be used many times. The following levels of debugging are available:

Debug Level                 Syntax                 Message
1                           -d                     Only error messages.
2                           -d -d                  Level 1 messages and messages indicating potential errors.
3                           -d -d -d ...           Level 1 and level 2 and general information messages.

If the debug level is set to >0 and if the syslogd daemon is running, then all debug messages are printed in the syslogd log file.

-g Keeps the same gateway IP address that is in bootp request in bootp reply.
-s Runs the bootpd command in a stand-alone configuration. This mode is used for large network installations with many hosts. In this case, the -t flag has no effect since the bootpd command never exits.
-t Specifies a different time-out value in minutes, such as -t20. A time-out value of 0 means forever. The default time-out value is 15 minutes.
ConfigFile Specifies the configuration file. The default configuration file is /etc/bootptab.
DumpFile Specifies the file into which the bootpd daemon dumps a copy of the bootp server database. The default dump file is /etc/bootpd.dump.


  1. To start the bootpd daemon in a stand-alone mode, enter the following:

    /usr/sbin/bootpd -s
  2. To start the bootpd daemon in a stand-alone mode with a debug level of 3, with a configuration file of /etc/newconfig, and a dump file of /etc/newdumpfile, enter the following:

    /usr/sbin/bootpd -s -d -d -d /etc/newconfig /etc/newdumpfile


/etc/bootpd.dump The default bootpd dumpfile
/etc/bootptab The default bootpd configuration file.
/etc/services Defines sockets and protocols used for Internet services.
/etc/inetd.conf Contains the configuration information for the inetd daemon.

Related Information

The x_add_nfs_fpe command, x_rm_fpe command.

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