BOOTP or Bootstrap Protocol


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In computer networking, the Bootstrap Protocol, or BOOTP, is a network protocol used by a network client to obtain an IP address from a configuration server. The BOOTP protocol was originally defined in RFC 951.

BOOTP is usually used during the bootstrap process when a computer is starting up. A BOOTP configuration server assigns an IP address to each client from a pool of addresses. BOOTP uses the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) as a transport on IPv4 networks only.

Historically, BOOTP has also been used for Unix-like diskless workstations to obtain the network location of their boot image in addition to an IP address, and also by enterprises to roll out a pre-configured client (e.g., Windows) installation to newly installed PCs
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This is wikipedia definition

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The Bootstrap Protocol allows a host to configure itself dynamically at boot time. This protocol provides 3 services:

IP address assignment.
Detection of the IP address for a serving machine.
The name of a file to be loaded and executed by the client machine.

The BOOTP packet is assumed to never fragment
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http://www.networksorcery.com/enp/protocol/bootp.htm

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BOOTP uses the two-step message exchange called BOOT Request and BOOT Reply; the third step completes what is called the TCP Three Way Handshaking method of connecting client computers to the DHCP server (an actual server or your home router, acting as the DHCP server)

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