Reverse Address Resolution Protocol
|Internet protocol suite|
The Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) is an obsolete computer networking protocol used by a host computer to request its Internet Protocol (IPv4) address from an administrative host, when it has available its Link Layer or hardware address, such as a MAC address.
RARP is described in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) publication RFC 903. It has been rendered obsolete by the Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) and the modern Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), which both support a much greater feature set than RARP.
RARP requires one or more server hosts to maintain a database of mappings of Link Layer addresses to their respective protocol addresses. Media Access Control (MAC) addresses needed to be individually configured on the servers by an administrator. RARP was limited to serving only IP addresses.
Reverse ARP differs from the Inverse Address Resolution Protocol (InARP) described in RFC 2390, which is designed to obtain the IP address associated with a local Frame Relay data link connection identifier. InARP is not used in Ethernet.
See also 
- RFC 903, A Reverse Address Resolution Protocol, R. Finlayson, T. Mann, J. Mogul, M. Theimer (June 1984)