BOOTP vendor information extensions (RFC1084)
Original Publication Date: 1988-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This RFC is a slight revision and extension of RFC-1048 by Philip Prindeville, who should be credited with the original work in this memo. This memo will be updated as additional tags are are defined. This edition introduces Tag 13 for Boot File Size.
Network Working Group J. Reynolds
Request for Comments: 1084 ISI
Obsoletes: 1048 December 1988
BOOTP Vendor Information Extensions
Status of this Memo
This memo describes an addition to the Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP).
Comments and suggestions for improvements are sought. Distribution
of this memo is unlimited.
This RFC is a slight revision and extension of RFC-1048 by Philip
Prindeville, who should be credited with the original work in this
memo. This memo will be updated as additional tags are are defined.
This edition introduces Tag 13 for Boot File Size.
As workstations and personal computers proliferate on the Internet,
the administrative complexity of maintaining a network is increased
by an order of magnitude. The assignment of local network resources
to each client represents one such difficulty. In most environments,
delegating such responsibility to the user is not plausible and,
indeed, the solution is to define the resources in uniform terms, and
to automate their assignment.
The basic Bootstrap Protocol [RFC-951] dealt with the issue of
assigning an internet address to a client, as well as a few other
resources. The protocol included provisions for vendor-defined
This memo defines a (potentially) vendor-independent interpretation
of this resource information.
Overview of BOOTP
While the Reverse Address Resolution (RARP) Protocol [RFC-903] may be
used to assign an IP address to a local network hardware address, it
provides only part of the functionality needed. Though this protocol
can be used in conjunction with other supplemental protocols (the
Resource Location Protocol [RFC-887], the Domain Name System [RFC-
1034]), a more integrated solution may be desirable.
Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is a UDP/IP-based protocol that allows a
booting host to configure itself dynamically, and more significantly,
without user supervision. It provides a means to assign a host its
IP address, a file from which to download a boot program from some
server, that server's address, and (if present) the address of an
One obvious advantage of this procedure is the centralized management
of network addresses, which eliminates the need for per-host unique
configuration files. In an environment with several hundred hosts,
maintaining local configuration information and operating system
versions specific to each host might otherwise become chaotic. By
categorizing hosts into classes and maintaining configuration
information and boot programs for each class, the complexity of this
chore may be reduced in magnitude.
BOOTP Vendor Information Format
The full description of the BOOTP request/reply packet format may be
found in [RFC-951]. The rest of this document will concern itself