The new DHCP client is being proposed by kernel developer Stefan Rompf and
will (when completed) automatically recognize when a Linux user has
disconnected from a particular DHCP server and look for a new
But the effort is not without its detractors who feel that a
new DHCP client is not necessary for Linux.
DHCP (define) is a cornerstone of Internet connectivity
assigning dynamic IP addresses to user connections.
According to Rompf,
current DHCP clients on Linux do not recognize temporary disconnections.
Such disconnections are common for notebook users that travel between
different networks or that roam different hotspots and WLANs.
Rompf argues that the disconnection
is not necessarily a limitation of the current 2.6 Linux kernel, as the
kernel itself will notify userspace of a disconnection/reconnection event.
However, a feature that is expected to debut in the 2.6.17 Linux kernel will
make it even easier to deal with disconnection/reconnection events. The most
current Linux kernel release is 2.6.15 with 2.6.16 currently at the release candidate 4 stage.
Rompf said the 2.6.17 kernel will allow userspace to influence
connection event signaling, so that a DHCP client could be notified that a
connection has terminated and the client should attempt to obtain a new IP
The problem, though, is that in order to take advantage of the new
feature, you need software that will support it, and that’s where
Rompf’s new DHCP client comes into play.
“The DHCP client is a userspace program to obtain IP configuration when
connected to a local network,” Rompf told internetnews.com. “It won’t be
part of the kernel, but I hope for distributions to pick it up.