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bootstrap protocol (BootP)

The bootstrap protocol (BootP) is a client-server protocol that is used to assign IP addresses and is based on the UDP protocol. It can be used wherever addresses have to be assigned via the network, such as with diskless workstations. Such workstations work with a program that requests its own IP address from a server when dialing into the network.

With the BootP protocol, the BootP client and server use the UserDatagramProtocol (UDP) for communication. This essentially involves the exchange of a data packet in which the BootP server transmits essential information to the client. This data packet contains the IP address for the client, furthermore the data packet may contain the IP addresses of the next router and that of a specific server, as well as the name of the boot file

Embedding BootP, TFTP and DHCP into the TCP/IP protocol stack

Embedding BootP, TFTP and DHCP into the TCP/IP protocol stack

The BootP data frame also contains a vendor-specific field in which addresses ofsubnets or of name servers can be entered.

Since the BootP client does not yet have an IP address when it dials into the network, it sends a broadcast into the network, which the IP protocol sends as a datagram. The BootP server that receives the broadcast in turn sends a broadcast that reaches all devices in the network. This broadcast contains the IP address for the BootP client, which the client picks up. The boot file is loaded over the network after the BootP server has been recognized, and the diskless computer can initialize itself as a result.

The data frame of the BootP protocol

Data Frame of the Boot

Data Frame of the Boot

P Protocol The data frame of the BootP protocol contains the IP address information of the BootP client, BootP server, and router, as well as the IP address for the client suggested by the BootP server. In addition, the BootP frame has data fields for the client hardware address, the server host name, the boot file name, and a vendor-specific field. The 8-bit Operation data field indicates whether it is a request from the client or a response. The hardware field is used to enter the network structures with their speeds and media, and the transaction field is used to enter an integer value to match requests and responses.

The bootstrap protocol is described in RFCs 951and 1084.

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Englisch: bootstrap protocol - BootP
Updated at: 23.02.2017
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Translations: DE