ISC DHCP 3.0 Mac Netboot Patch

1. Introduction

In order to netboot Macintosh clients, your DHCP server must support sending the Mac-specific netboot options to the client. Apple provides such a DHCP server with OS X Server, but it is also possible to support netbooting Macs using ISC's standard DHCP server. By employing Netatalk as an AppleShare server for Unix/Linux, it is even possible to netboot Macs without OS X Server, or indeed without an Apple server at all.

2. DHCP 3.0 Patch

Here is a patch for enabling Mac netboot support in ISC's DHCP 3.0, 3.0p1, and 3.0p2 (see below for link to patch against 3.0.1):


To use this patch, download the patch and the source code for the DHCP server ( dhcp-3.0pl2.tar.gz). After unpacking the source archive (usually something like tar -xzvf dhcp-3.0pl2.tar.gz) enter the source directory and apply the patch with
	patch -p1 < /path/to/dhcp-3.0-macnb-0.4.patch
Then compile DHCP like you normally would (usually just ./configure, make, and make install).

A patch for DHCP 2.0pl5 is available here.

A patch for DHCP 3.0.1 is available here.

3. Binaries

If patching and compiling isn't for you, and you wish to run a DHCP server on an RPM-based Linux distribution, these RPMs may be of use:

SRPM (compile with rpmbuild --rebuild dhcp-3.0pl2-macnb0.4.src.rpm)

RedHat 8.0/i386

YellowDog Linux 2.x/PPC

The other associated binary RPMs (dhclient and dhcp-relay) are provided in their respective directories for the sake of completeness, as are the RPMS for older versions.

4. More Information on Netbooting Macs from Linux/Unix

Some great instructions for netbooting Macs from Linux/Unix are available at and Updated patches for DHCP 3.0.1 and help for booting Macs into a Linux kernel are available at

Rob Lineweaver
Last modified: Tuesday, December 07, 2004
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