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Re: Retiring dhclient

    Date:        Wed, 16 Nov 2011 06:21:43 +0800
    From:        Ted Lemon <>
    Message-ID:  <>

  | I too think that dhclient is desperately lacking in functionality,
  | but I'm curious to know why you think dhcpcd is a big improvement.

As Joerg said in a later reply (or replies), the big difference isn't in the
DHCP side of things, but in interaction with the rest of the system, dhclient
is simply pathetic (in all ways) in dealing with multi-interface
systems (even its logic in how it treats a config file that lists interfaces
makes no sense at all.)

This isn't something I ever complained about, as I never thought that
dhclient was really intended to be a system configuration tool, it just
kind of grew into that role in the absence of any other candidates.
I always understood that dhclient's main objective was to be able to
test dhcpd, and for that, it needed to be able to test everything in
dhcpd - and for that, I still think it does better than dhcpcd, it is
more configurable, and allows more functionality - however, when you
get beyond testing and to actual real life uses, none of that stuff
really matters, and what dhcpcd offers in terms of communicating with
the dhcp server is entirely adequate, and it is definitely much better
at dealing with multi-interface systems (even more when the actual
interfaces that work vary from use to use.)

That said, I still use dhclient personally on my laptop, though when I
configure for others, I use dhcpcd instead - like John Nemeth, I have
a moderately complex dhclient config, and inertia keeps me from switching,
and I see no particularly good reason for removing it (assuming that the
rest of ISC dhcp remains - though really dhclient is the only part of that
that demands presence in base, the server in pkgsrc would be sufficient,
as it is rarely required, for IPv4 a client is always required).

If v6 support is added (made available in NetBSD) then there'd be even
more need to retain it.

I certainly agree with using dhcpcd (for IPv4) as the default dhcp client,
but I am not sure I believe that removing dhclient (alone anyway) is
of sufficient benefit to anything to justify the (minor, it would still
be in pkgsrc I assume) pain its removal will cause those users who have
been using it for years and don't want to change.


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