Browse Prior Art Database

BOOTP vendor information extensions (RFC1084) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001893D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 8 page(s) / 10K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J.K. Reynolds: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1084: DOI


This RFC is a slight revision and extension of RFC-1048 by Philip Prindeville. This memo will be updated as additional tags are are defined. This edition introduces Tag 13 for Boot File Size. Comments and suggestions for improvements are sought.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 22% of the total text.

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 resource information.

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,

Reynolds [Page 1]

RFC 1084 BOOTP Extensions December 1988

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 Internet gateway.

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 with the last field of the packet, a 64 octet area reserved for vendor information, to be used in a hitherto unspecified fashion. A generalized use of this area for giving in...