LDAP Support in DHCP
Brian Masney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Last updated 3/23/2003
This document describes setting up the DHCP server to read it's configuration
from LDAP. This work is based on the IETF document
draft-ietf-dhc-ldap-schema-01.txt included in the doc directory. For the
latest version of this document, please see http://home.ntelos.net/~masneyb.
First question on most people's mind is "Why do I want to store my
configuration in LDAP?" If you run a small DHCP server, and the configuration
on it rarely changes, then you won't need to store your configuration in LDAP.
But, if you have several DHCP servers, and you want an easy way to manage your
configuration, this can be a solution.
The first step will be to setup your LDAP server. I am using OpenLDAP from
www.openldap.org. Building and installing OpenLDAP is beyond the scope of
this document. There is plenty of documentation out there about this. Once
you have OpenLDAP installed, you will have to edit your slapd.conf file. I
added the following 2 lines to my configuration file:
index dhcpHWAddress eq
index dhcpClassData eq
The first line tells it to include the dhcp schema file. You will find this
file under the contrib directory in this distribution. You will need to copy
this file to where your other schema files are (maybe
/usr/local/openldap/etc/openldap/schema/). The second line sets up an index
for the dhcpHWAddress parameter. The third parameter is for reading subclasses
from LDAP every time a DHCP request comes in. Make sure you run the slapindex
command and restart slapd to have these changes to into effect.
Now that you have LDAP setup, you should be able to use gq
(http://biot.com/gq/) to verify that the dhcp schema file is loaded into LDAP.
Pull up gq, and click on the Schema tab. Go under objectClasses, and you
should see at least the following object classes listed: dhcpClass, dhcpGroup,
dhcpHost, dhcpOptions, dhcpPool, dhcpServer, dhcpService, dhcpSharedNetwork,
dhcpSubClass, and dhcpSubnet. If you do not see these, you need to check over
your LDAP configuration before you go any further.
You should now be ready to build DHCP. If you would like to enable LDAP over
SSL, you will need to perform the following steps:
* Edit the includes/site.h file and uncomment the USE_SSL line
or specify "-DUSE_SSL" via CFLAGS.
* Edit the dst/Makefile.dist file and remove md5_dgst.c and md5_dgst.o
from the SRC= and OBJ= lines (around line 24)
* Now run configure in the base source directory. If you chose to enable
LDAP over SSL, you must append -lcrypto -lssl to the LIBS= line in the
file work.os/server/Makefile (replace os with your operating system,
linux-2.2 on my machine). You should now be able to type make to build
your DHCP server.
If you choose to not enable LDAP over SSL, then you only need to run configure
and make in the toplevel source directory.
Once you have DHCP installed, you will need to setup your initial plaintext
config file. In my /etc/dhcpd.conf file, I have:
ldap-username "cn=DHCP User, dc=ntelos, dc=net";
ldap-base-dn "dc=ntelos, dc=net";
If SSL has been enabled at compile time using the USE_SSL flag, the dhcp
server trys to use TLS if possible, but continues without TLS if not.
You can modify this behaviour using following option in /etc/dhcpd.conf:
ldap-ssl <off |="" ldaps="" |="" start_tls="" |="" on="">
off: disables TLS/LDAPS.
ldaps: enables LDAPS -- don't forget to set ldap-port to 636.
start_tls: enables TLS using START_TLS command
on: enables LDAPS if ldap-port is set to 636 or TLS in
See also "man 5 ldap.conf" for description the following TLS related
ldap-tls-reqcert, ldap-tls-ca-file, ldap-tls-ca-dir, ldap-tls-cert
ldap-tls-key, ldap-tls-crlcheck, ldap-tls-ciphers, ldap-tls-randfile
All of these parameters should be self explanatory except for the ldap-method.
You can set this to static or dynamic. If you set it to static, the
configuration is read once on startup, and LDAP isn't used anymore. But, if
you set this to dynamic, the configuration is read once on startup, and the
hosts that are stored in LDAP are looked up every time a DHCP request comes
When the optional statement ldap-debug-file is specified, on startup the DHCP
server will write out the configuration that it generated from LDAP. If you
are getting errors about your LDAP configuration, this is a good place to
The next step is to set up your LDAP tree. Here is an example config that will
give a 10.100.0.x address to machines that have a host entry in LDAP.
Otherwise, it will give a 10.200.0.x address to them. (NOTE: replace
dc=ntelos, dc=net with your base dn). If you would like to convert your
existing dhcpd.conf file to LDIF format, there is a script
contrib/dhcpd-conf-to-ldap.pl that will convert it for you. Type
dhcpd-conf-to-ldap.pl --help to see the usage information for this script.
# You must specify the server's host name in LDAP that you are going to run
# DHCP on and point it to which config tree you want to use. Whenever DHCP
# first starts up, it will do a search for this entry to find out which
# config to use
dn: cn=brian.ntelos.net, dc=ntelos, dc=net
dhcpServiceDN: cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
# Here is the config tree that brian.ntelos.net points to.
dn: cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
cn: DHCP Service Config
dhcpPrimaryDN: dc=ntelos, dc=net
dhcpStatements: ddns-update-style none
dhcpStatements: default-lease-time 600
dhcpStatements: max-lease-time 7200
# Set up a shared network segment
dn: cn=WV Test, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
# Set up a subnet declaration with a pool statement. Also note that we have
# a dhcpOptions object with this entry
dn: cn=10.100.0.0, cn=WV Test, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
dhcpOption: domain-name-servers 10.100.0.2
dhcpOption: routers 10.100.0.1
dhcpOption: subnet-mask 255.255.255.0
dhcpOption: broadcast-address 10.100.0.255
# Set up a pool for this subnet. Only known hosts will get these IPs
dn: cn=Known Pool, cn=10.100.0.0, cn=WV Test, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
cn: Known Pool
dhcpRange: 10.100.0.3 10.100.0.254
dhcpPermitList: deny unknown-clients
# Set up another subnet declaration with a pool statement
dn: cn=10.200.0.0, cn=WV Test, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
dhcpOption: domain-name-servers 10.200.0.2
dhcpOption: routers 10.200.0.1
dhcpOption: subnet-mask 255.255.255.0
dhcpOption: broadcast-address 10.200.0.255
# Set up a pool for this subnet. Only unknown hosts will get these IPs
dn: cn=Known Pool, cn=10.200.0.0, cn=WV Test, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
cn: Known Pool
dhcpRange: 10.200.0.3 10.200.0.254
dhcpPermitList: deny known clients
# Set aside a group for all of our known MAC addresses
dn: cn=Customers, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
# Host entry for my laptop
dn: cn=brianlaptop, cn=Customers, cn=DHCP Service Config, dc=ntelos, dc=net
dhcpHWAddress: ethernet 00:00:00:00:00:00
You can use the command slapadd to load all of these entries into your LDAP
server. After you load this, you should be able to start up DHCP. If you run
into problems reading the configuration, try running dhcpd with the -d flag.
If you still have problems, edit the site.conf file in the DHCP source and
add the line: COPTS= -DDEBUG_LDAP and recompile DHCP. (make sure you run make
clean and rerun configure before you rebuild).