SUMMARY: Booting Sun Workstations using DHCP

From: Dick Gray (
Date: Mon Nov 22 1999 - 02:55:13 CST

Many thanks to all those that replied.

The situation is as follows (thanks to"Marco Greene" <> :

Solaris 2.6 and after - it all comes bundled with the operating
                system. All you need to do is create a file:


                and on reboot it will look fora DHCP server.

Pre 2.6 - you need a (third party) DHCP Client software. One such
                client is available from''

Thanks also to:

Otuyelu Jide <> for full details for
2.6+ :

1. Touch /etc/dhcp.hme0 and make sure that this file is empty. This
tells Solaris that DHCP should be initialized on the hme0 Ethernet
2. Touch /etc/hostname.hme0 -- make sure that this file is empty. DHCP
will fill in this value for you, and is also required for DHCP to run
properly at all.
3. Make sure that the /etc/hosts file has the following uncommented line
only: localhost

Any other lines (i.e. lines that specify a loghost) will be ignored.
DHCP will fill in the proper value when it is initialized.
4. Touch /etc/notrouter, /etc/defaultrouter, /etc/default/dhcp, and
/etc/resolv.conf -- make sure these files are empty, since DHCP will
fill in the appropriate values.
5. Reboot the system via /etc/reboot. Watch the messages for
“Initializing DHCP on hme0” during the boot process.
6. When the system is fully ready, log in as root and confirm that the
IP address with a proper netmask has been assigned via
/usr/sbin/ifconfig -a. Make sure DNS resolution is feasible via cat
/etc/resolv.conf. Finally, view /etc/nsswitch.conf and confirm that
DHCP edited this file such that dns is also included in the hosts:

Thanks to for 2.6+ advice:
 Anthony Worrall <>
 Neil Brosnan <>
 Palitha Weerakkody" <>
 Dave Miner <>

----------------- said:
> We want to boot Sun workstations (both 4.1.3U1 and 2.5.1) and use
> DHCP to give the IP address.

> We have DHCP running for our roaming laptop users, but we are now
> getting roaming Sun users .....

> How do you get the workstations to ask DHCP for an address?

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