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dhcpcd is a DHCP and DHCPv6 client. It is currently the most feature-rich open source DHCP client, see the home page for the full list of features.

Note: dhcpcd (DHCP client daemon) is not the same as dhcpd (DHCP (server) daemon).


The dhcpcd package is available in the official repositories. It is part of the base group, so it is likely already installed on your system.

You might be interested in dhcpcd-uiAUR, which is a GTK+ frontend for the dhcpcd daemon (and optionally wpa_supplicant). It features a configuration dialogue and the ability to enter a pass phrase for wireless networks.


dhcpcd is usually controlled via the provided service file dhcpcd@.service, which takes the interface name as an argument (see systemd#Using units for details):

# systemctl start dhcpcd@interface.service
# systemctl enable dhcpcd@interface.service

To start dhcpcd manually, simply run the following command:

# dhcpcd interface
dhcpcd: version 5.1.1 starting
dhcpcd: interface: broadcasting for a lease
dhcpcd: interface: leased for 86400 seconds


The main configuration is done in /etc/dhcpcd.conf, see dhcpcd.conf(5) for details. Some of the frequently used options are highlighted below.

DHCP static route(s)

If you need to add a static route client-side, create a new dhcpcd hook-script in /usr/lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-hooks. The example shows a new hook-script which adds a static route to a VPN subnet on via a gateway machine at

ip route add via

The 40 prefix means that it is the final hook-script to run when dhcpcd starts.

DHCP Client Identifier

The DHCP client may be uniquely identified in different ways by the server:

  • hostname (or the hostname value sent by the client),
  • MAC address of the network interface controller through which the connection is being made, linked to this is the third,
  • Identity Association ID (IAID), which is an abstraction layer to differentiate different use-cases and/or interfaces on a single host,
  • DHCP Unique Identifier (DUID).

For a further description, see RFC 3315.

It depends on the DHCP-server configuration which options are optional or required to request a DHCP IP lease. If the dhcpcd default configuration fails to obtain an IP, the following options are available to use in dhcpcd.conf:

  • hostname sends the hostname set in /etc/hostname
  • clientid sends the MAC address as identifier
  • IAID <interface> derives the IAID for the interface <interface> to use for DHCP discovery. Both have to be used together, but more frequently the next option is used:
  • duid triggers using a combination of DUID and IAID as identifier.

The DUID value is set in /etc/dhcpcd.duid.

Care must be taken on a network running Dynamic DNS to ensure that all three are unique. If duplicate DUID values are presented to the DNS server, e.g. in the case where a virtual machine has been cloned and the hostname and MAC have been made unique but the DUID has not been changed, then the result will be that as each client with the duplicated DUID requests a lease the server will remove the predecessor from the DNS record.

Speed up DHCP by disabling ARP probing

dhcpcd contains an implementation of a recommendation of the DHCP standard (RFC2131 section 2.2) to check via ARP if the assigned IP address is really not taken. This seems mostly useless in home networks, so you can save about 5 seconds on every connect by adding the following line to /etc/dhcpcd.conf:


This is equivalent to passing --noarp to dhcpcd, and disables the described ARP probing, speeding up connections to networks with DHCP.

Fallback static profile

It is possible to configure a static profile within dhcpcd and fall back to it when DHCP lease fails. This is useful particularly for headless machines such as Raspberry Pi, where the static profile can be used as "recovery" profile to ensure that it is always possible to connect to the machine.

The following example configures a static_eth0 profile with as IP address, as gateway and name server, and makes this profile fallback for interface eth0.

# define static profile
profile static_eth0
static ip_address=
static routers=
static domain_name_servers=

# fallback to static profile on eth0
interface eth0
fallback static_eth0

More complicated configurations are possible, for example combining with the arping option. See dhcpcd.conf(5) for details.


dhcpcd executes all scripts found in /usr/lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-hooks/ in a lexical order. See dhcpcd(5) and dhcpcd-run-hooks(8) for details.

  • Each script can be disabled using the nohook option in dhcpcd.conf.
  • The env option can be used to set an environment variable for all hooks. For example, you can force the hostname hook to always set the hostname with env force_hostname=YES.

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: describe (at least some) provided hooks. (Discuss in Talk:Dhcpcd#)


The 10-wpa_supplicant hook automatically launches WPA supplicant on wireless interfaces. It is started only if:

  • no wpa_supplicant process is already listening on that interface.
  • a wpa_supplicant configuration file exists. dhcpcd checks

by default, in that order, but a custom path can be set by adding env wpa_supplicant_conf=configuration_file_path into /etc/dhcpcd.conf.

Note: The hook stops at the first configuration file found, thus you should take this into consideration if you have several wpa_supplicant configuration files, otherwise dhcpcd might end up using the wrong file.

See #dhcpcd, systemd & wpa_supplicant for possible issues.

Tips and tricks

Remove old DHCP lease

The file /var/lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-interface.lease, where interface is the name of the interface on which you have a lease, contains the actual DHCP lease reply sent by the DHCP server. It is used to determine the last lease from the server, and its mtime attribute is used to determine when it was issued. This last lease information is then used to request the same IP address previously held on a network, if it is available. If you do not want that, simply delete this file.


Client ID

If you are on a network with DHCPv4 that filters Client IDs based on MAC addresses, you may need to change the following line:

# Use the same DUID + IAID as set in DHCPv6 for DHCPv4 Client ID as per RFC4361. 


# Use the hardware address of the interface for the Client ID (DHCPv4).

Else, you may not obtain a lease since the DHCP server may not read your DHCPv6-style Client ID correctly. See RFC 4361 for more information.

Check DHCP problem by releasing IP first

Problem may occur when DHCP get wrong IP assignment. For example when two routers are tied together through VPN. The router that is connected to me by VPN may assigning IP address. To fix it. On a console, as root, release IP address:

# dhcpcd -k

Then request a new one:

# dhcpcd

Maybe you had to run those two commands many times.

Problems with incompliant routers

For some (incompliant) routers, you will not be able to connect properly unless you comment the line

require dhcp_server_identifier

in /etc/dhcpcd.conf. This should not cause issues unless you have multiple DHCP servers on your network (not typical); see this page for more information.

dhcpcd, systemd & wpa_supplicant

Note: See also relevant bug report: FS#39527

archlinux dhcpcd package is delivered with a client configuration script to run wpa_supplicant (/lib/dhcpcd/dhcpcd-hooks/10-wpa_supplicant).

When you manage wpa_supplicant daemon with systemd this can result in unexpected behavior e.g.

  • you stop wpa_supplicant via systemd and dhcpcd starts wpa_supplicant via hook
  • dhcpcd starts wpa_supplicant daemon during boot (this can result in systemd-udevd error: "error changing net interface name wlan0 to wlp4s0: Device or resource busy" and can prevent "Predictable Network Interface Names" )

To disable the wpa_supplicant hook, add nohook wpa_supplicant into dhcpcd.conf.

See also