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Kea is an open source DHCPv4/DHCPv6 server being developed by ​Internet Systems Consortium. Kea is a high-performance, extensible DHCP server engine that is designed to be easily modified and extended with hooks libraries.


Install the kea package, available in the official repositories.


kea includes two unit files kea-dhcp4.service and kea-dhcp6.service, which can be used to control the DHCP daemons. By default, they start the daemons on all network interfaces for IPv4 and IPv6, respectively. There are three other daemons that ship with Kea which do not currently come with built systemd unit files. They are kea-ctrl-agent, which can be used to control running Kea daemons, and kea-dhcp-ddns, which is used to send dynamic DNS updates to DNS servers. The kea-netconf daemon is not currently built with this package.


By default, configuration files are stored under /etc/kea. keactrl.conf is a ini style configuration file which is used to configure the keactrl command which can be used in leu of systemd to start and stop kea daemons. The other files, kea-ctrl-agent.conf, kea-dhcp-ddns.conf, kea-dhcp4.conf, kea-dhcp6.conf, and kea-netconf.conf are all JSON formatted files which control the configuration of the daemons.