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|Internet protocol suite|
The Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is an obsolescent computer networking protocol used in Internet Protocol networks to automatically assign an IP address to network devices from a configuration server. The BOOTP protocol was originally defined in RFC 951.
When a computer that is connected to a network is power up and boots its operating system, the system software broadcasts BOOTP protocol messages onto the network to request an IP address assignment. A BOOTP configuration server assigns an IP address based on the request from a pool of addresses configured by an administrator.
Historically, BOOTP has also been used for Unix-like diskless workstations to obtain the network location of their boot image, in addition to the IP address assignment. Enterprises used it to roll out a pre-configured client (e.g., Windows) installation to newly installed PCs.
Originally requiring the use of a boot floppy disk to establish the initial network connection, manufacturers of network cards later embedded the protocol in the BIOS of the interface cards as well as system boards with on-board network adapters, thus allowing direct network booting.
Although still available in many networks to support legacy equipment, BOOTP has been effectively superseded by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which is a more advanced protocol for the same purpose. DHCP servers also provide the legacy BOOTP functionality.
The BOOTP protocol was first defined in September 1985 in RFC 951 as a replacement for the Reverse Address Resolution Protocol RARP, published in RFC 903 in June 1984. The primary motivation for replacing RARP with BOOTP is that RARP was a link layer protocol. This made implementation difficult on many server platforms, and required that a server be present on each individual IP subnet. BOOTP introduced the innovation of a relay agents, which forwarded BOOTP packets from the local network using standard IP routing, so that one central BOOTP server could serve hosts on many subnets.
IETF standards documentation
|RFC #||Title||Date||Obsolete and Update Information|
|RFC 3942||Reclassifying Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol version 4 (DHCPv4) Options||Nov-04||Updates RFC 2132|
|RFC 2132||DHCP Options and BOOTP Vendor Extensions||Mar-97||Obsoletes RFC 1533, Updated by RFC 3442, RFC 3942, RFC 4361, RFC 4833, RFC 5494|
|RFC 1542||Clarifications and Extensions for the Bootstrap Protocol||Oct-93||Obsoletes RFC 1532, Updates RFC 951|
|RFC 1534||Interoperation Between DHCP and BOOTP||Oct-93|
|RFC 1533||DHCP Options and BOOTP Vendor Extensions||Oct-93||Obsoletes RFC 1497, RFC 1395, RFC 1084, RFC 1048, Obsoleted by RFC 2132|
|RFC 1532||Clarifications and Extensions for the Bootstrap Protocol||Oct-93||Obsoleted by RFC 1542, Updates RFC 951|
|RFC 1497||BOOTP Vendor Information Extensions||Aug-93||Obsoletes RFC 1395, RFC 1084, RFC 1048, Obsoleted by RFC 1533, Updates RFC 951|
|RFC 1395||BOOTP Vendor Information Extensions||Jan-93||Obsoletes RFC 1084, RFC 1048, Obsoleted by RFC 1497, RFC 1533, Updates RFC 951|
|RFC 1084||BOOTP vendor information extensions||Dec-88||Obsoletes RFC 1048, Obsoleted by RFC 1395, RFC 1497, RFC 1533|
|RFC 1048||BOOTP vendor information extensions||Feb-88||Obsoleted by RFC 1084, RFC 1395, RFC 1497, RFC 1533|
|RFC 951||Bootstrap Protocol||Sep-85||Updated by RFC 1395, RFC 1497, RFC 1532, RFC 1542, RFC 5494|
- Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)
- Remote Initial Program Load (RIPL)
- UDP Helper Address — a tool for routing BOOTP requests across subnet boundaries
- Boot Service Discovery Protocol (BSDP)
- Bill Croft; John Gilmore (September 1985). "RFC 951 - Bootstrap Protocol". Network Working Group.