How to Easily Enable DHCP Server in Ubuntu

Welcome to our guide on enabling DHCP server in Ubuntu. If you’re new to Ubuntu or looking to optimize your network settings, enabling a DHCP server can help streamline your network configuration process. In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to easily enable DHCP server in Ubuntu, why it’s important for your network, and common issues you may encounter. We’ll also provide expert tips and tricks for streamlining the configuration process, as well as some top tools and software to enhance your network efficiency.

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and is used to assign IP addresses and other network configuration settings to devices on a network. Enabling DHCP server on your Ubuntu system allows you to automatically assign IP addresses and other network settings to devices on your network. This can be particularly helpful if you have a large number of devices on your network or if you frequently add or remove devices.

Read on to learn more about enabling DHCP server in Ubuntu and how it can help you streamline your network configuration process, save time, and improve network efficiency.

Step-by-Step Guide to Enabling DHCP Server in Ubuntu

If you are running a network with multiple devices, you might need to allocate IP addresses to them. Enabling the DHCP server in Ubuntu can help you do this efficiently. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to set up a DHCP server on Ubuntu 20.04.

Step 1: The first step is to ensure that your Ubuntu system is up to date. You can do this by running the following command: sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade.

Step 2: The next step is to install the DHCP server package. You can do this by running the following command: sudo apt install isc-dhcp-server.

Step 3: After installing the DHCP server package, you need to configure it. The configuration file for the DHCP server is located at /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf. You can open this file in your preferred text editor.

Step 4: In the DHCP configuration file, you need to specify the IP address range that the DHCP server will allocate to devices. You also need to specify other parameters such as subnet mask, gateway, and DNS server. You can find examples of these configurations in the file.

Step 5: Once you have configured the DHCP server, you need to start and enable the service. You can do this by running the following commands: sudo systemctl start isc-dhcp-server and sudo systemctl enable isc-dhcp-server.

By following these steps, you can easily enable the DHCP server in Ubuntu and manage IP addresses for your network devices. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using DHCP and common issues you may encounter.

Install DHCP Server Package

Before you can enable the DHCP server in Ubuntu, you need to install the DHCP server package. This package provides the necessary software to manage your network’s DHCP assignments. To install the package, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Open the terminal on your Ubuntu system.
  2. Step 2: Type the command sudo apt-get update to update your system’s repository information.
  3. Step 3: Type the command sudo apt-get install isc-dhcp-server to install the DHCP server package.
  4. Step 4: After installation, you can configure the DHCP server by editing the configuration file located at /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf.
  5. Step 5: Once you have configured the DHCP server, you can start the service by typing the command sudo systemctl start isc-dhcp-server.
  6. Step 6: You can also enable the DHCP server to start automatically when the system boots by typing the command sudo systemctl enable isc-dhcp-server.

By following these steps, you will have successfully installed the DHCP server package and be ready to configure your network’s DHCP settings.

Why Enabling DHCP Server is Important for Your Ubuntu Network

Simplicity: Enabling a DHCP server in your Ubuntu network simplifies the configuration process by automatically assigning IP addresses to devices. This reduces the risk of human error and saves time by removing the need for manual configuration.

Efficiency: DHCP server enables devices to connect to the network quickly and easily. It allows administrators to manage IP addresses centrally, which helps prevent IP address conflicts and ensures all devices can communicate with each other.

Scalability: In larger networks, configuring IP addresses manually can become overwhelming and time-consuming. DHCP server provides a scalable solution by automatically managing IP addresses as more devices are added to the network.

Simplifies Network Configuration Process

  • Efficiency: DHCP server makes the network configuration process more efficient by automating the assignment of IP addresses and reducing the need for manual configuration.
  • Centralized Management: Enabling DHCP server allows for centralized management of IP addresses, reducing the likelihood of duplicate addresses and network conflicts.
  • Flexibility: DHCP server offers flexibility in network design, enabling changes to the network without the need for manual configuration updates on individual devices.

By simplifying the network configuration process, DHCP server helps to save time and effort for network administrators, allowing them to focus on other important tasks.

Common Issues You May Encounter When Enabling DHCP Server in Ubuntu

Compatibility Issues: Certain versions of Ubuntu may not be compatible with certain DHCP server packages, so it’s important to check compatibility before installation.

Configuration Mistakes: Incorrect configuration settings can lead to problems such as IP address conflicts or a misconfigured subnet mask. Ensure that you double-check all configuration settings before starting the server.

Firewall Settings: Ubuntu’s firewall may be blocking incoming DHCP traffic, which can prevent clients from receiving IP addresses. Make sure to configure the firewall to allow DHCP traffic.

Service Failures: The DHCP server service can fail due to various reasons, such as misconfigured settings, conflicts with other services, or network connectivity issues. Monitor the server for any potential failures.

Port Conflicts with Other Services

One of the most common issues that you may encounter when enabling DHCP server in Ubuntu is port conflicts with other services. DHCP server uses port 67 for communication, and if another service is using this port, you will not be able to start the DHCP server.

To avoid this issue, you can check which services are running on your Ubuntu system and which ports they are using. You can use the netstat command to check the open ports and which services are using them. If you find that another service is using port 67, you will need to stop that service or change its port.

Another way to avoid this issue is to configure your DHCP server to use a different port. You can change the default port in the DHCP server configuration file by editing the /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf file and adding the port 12345 (or any other available port) line.

It’s important to note that changing the default port may cause issues with other devices that are configured to use port 67 for DHCP communication. So, make sure to update the DHCP configuration on all devices accordingly.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Enabling DHCP Server in Ubuntu

Customize DHCP Configuration: The default DHCP configuration file may not be suitable for all network requirements. To customize the configuration file, copy the original file to a new location and edit it using a text editor. Then restart the DHCP server service for the changes to take effect.

Use DHCP Relay Agent: In some network configurations, the DHCP server may not be located on the same subnet as the clients. In such cases, a DHCP relay agent can be used to forward the DHCP messages between the clients and the server.

Monitor DHCP Server Logs: DHCP server logs can provide valuable information about the network activity and potential issues. Regularly monitoring the logs can help identify any misconfigurations or suspicious activities.

Use DHCP Failover: DHCP failover allows for two or more DHCP servers to share the same pool of addresses and provide redundancy in case of a server failure. This ensures that clients will always receive an IP address and minimizes network downtime.

Use Subnets to Group Clients

One of the most useful techniques in networking is using subnets to group clients. By grouping clients into subnets, you can easily manage and maintain your network. Subnets are created by dividing a network into smaller networks, which can then be used to group clients based on their location or function. For example, you might create a subnet for all the clients in your sales department, or a subnet for all the clients on the third floor of your building.

One of the main advantages of using subnets is that they allow you to control network traffic more effectively. By grouping clients into subnets, you can control which clients are allowed to communicate with each other, and which clients are not. This can be especially useful in large networks where there is a lot of traffic. By controlling network traffic, you can ensure that your network is running efficiently and that your clients are not experiencing any performance issues.

Another advantage of using subnets is that they allow you to control security more effectively. By grouping clients into subnets, you can apply security policies to specific groups of clients. For example, you might want to apply more stringent security policies to your finance department than to your marketing department. By grouping clients into subnets, you can easily apply these policies to specific groups of clients.

Subnet 1Third FloorMarketing Department
Subnet 2Fourth FloorFinance Department
Subnet 3First FloorProduction Department
Subnet 4Second FloorHuman Resources Department

If you are not sure how to create subnets, don’t worry. There are many resources available online that can help you learn how to create subnets. Once you have created subnets, you will be able to manage your network more effectively, control network traffic more efficiently, and apply security policies more easily.

  • Subnets – Dividing a network into smaller networks
  • Grouping – Putting clients together based on location or function
  • Traffic – The amount of data flowing through a network
  • Efficiency – The ability of a network to handle traffic without slowing down
  • Security – Protecting the network from unauthorized access
  • Policies – Rules and guidelines for network access and use

Set Static IP Addresses for Important Devices

When it comes to managing a network, setting static IP addresses for important devices can be crucial. By doing so, you ensure that those devices always have the same IP address, which can simplify network management and troubleshooting. Here are some tips on how to set static IP addresses for important devices:

Determine which devices require static IP addresses: It’s important to prioritize which devices require static IP addresses. Typically, devices such as servers, routers, switches, and printers should be assigned static IP addresses to ensure they are easily accessible on the network.

Choose an appropriate IP address: When assigning a static IP address, it’s important to choose an appropriate IP address that is not already in use. This can be done by checking the DHCP server to see which IP addresses are already in use, and then selecting an IP address outside of that range.

Assign the static IP address: Once an appropriate IP address has been selected, the static IP address can be assigned to the device. This is typically done in the device’s network settings, where the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway can be configured.

Document the static IP addresses: It’s important to document the static IP addresses that have been assigned to devices on the network. This documentation can be useful in the future when troubleshooting network issues, and can help ensure that IP addresses are not accidentally assigned to multiple devices.

Verify connectivity: After assigning a static IP address to a device, it’s important to verify connectivity to the network. This can be done by pinging the device’s IP address to ensure that it is responding on the network.

Update DNS records: Finally, it’s important to update the DNS records to reflect the new static IP addresses. This ensures that devices can be easily accessed by their hostname, rather than needing to remember their IP address.

By following these tips, you can effectively set static IP addresses for important devices on your network, and ensure that your network is running smoothly and efficiently.

Top Tools and Software for Streamlining DHCP Server Configuration in Ubuntu

If you’re running an Ubuntu server and need to configure your DHCP server quickly and efficiently, there are several tools and software available that can help streamline the process. One of the top tools is Webmin, a web-based system administration tool that provides an easy-to-use interface for configuring DHCP settings.

Another great option is ISC DHCP server, which is a popular open-source DHCP server that’s widely used in enterprise environments. It offers a wide range of features, including support for dynamic DNS updates, BOOTP, and PXE booting.

Finally, Kea DHCP server is another powerful option that’s designed for high-performance and scalability. It’s an open-source software developed by the Internet Systems Consortium and offers support for IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, dynamic DNS updates, and a range of other advanced features.


Webmin is a web-based system configuration tool that allows you to easily manage various aspects of your Ubuntu DHCP server. With a simple and intuitive interface, you can configure DHCP settings, add or remove DHCP clients, and monitor DHCP activity.

One of the main advantages of Webmin is that it allows you to manage your DHCP server remotely. This means that you can easily configure your server from any computer with a web browser, without the need for SSH access or a physical connection to the server. This makes it an ideal tool for system administrators who need to manage multiple servers from different locations.

Webmin also offers a range of additional features, such as support for SSL encryption, user and group management, and automatic updates. It also has a large and active community of developers and users who provide support and guidance through forums and documentation.


If you’re looking for a DHCP server that is fast, secure, and scalable, look no further than Kea DHCP. Developed by the Internet Systems Consortium, Kea DHCP is an open-source server that can be used on a wide variety of platforms. It is designed to be highly modular and customizable, so you can configure it to suit your specific needs.

One of the key features of Kea DHCP is its support for dynamic reconfiguration. This means that you can make changes to your DHCP configuration on the fly, without having to restart the server. This can be incredibly useful if you need to make changes to your network on short notice.

Kea DHCP also comes with a range of built-in security features, such as support for secure dynamic updates and the ability to encrypt DHCP traffic. This makes it a great choice for organizations that need to protect sensitive data.


Dnsmasq is a lightweight DHCP and DNS server that is easy to configure and maintain. It is ideal for small to medium-sized networks that need a simple DHCP solution. One of the advantages of Dnsmasq is that it is built into many Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. This means that you can install and configure it quickly and easily.

Dnsmasq provides features such as dynamic DHCP leasing, DNS caching, and bootp support. It also allows you to specify static IP addresses for clients based on their MAC addresses. This is useful for devices that require a consistent IP address, such as servers and network printers.

In addition, Dnsmasq can be configured to work with other services, such as OpenVPN and PXE booting. It also has a built-in TFTP server, which makes it easy to deploy network boot images to client machines.

Enhancing Your Network Efficiency with DHCP Server in Ubuntu

If you’re looking to enhance the efficiency of your network, configuring a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server in Ubuntu is an excellent place to start. DHCP simplifies network management by automatically assigning IP addresses and network settings to devices.

Centralized Control: With DHCP, you have centralized control over IP address assignment, making it easier to manage and maintain your network. You can easily track all IP addresses in use and monitor which devices are connected to your network.

Reduced Administration Time: DHCP eliminates the need for manual IP address assignment, reducing administrative time and errors. The server automates the process of assigning IP addresses, which speeds up network configuration and reduces the risk of human error.

Enhanced Security: DHCP server configuration in Ubuntu helps enhance security by enabling you to assign specific IP addresses to authorized devices only. Unauthorized devices are not assigned IP addresses, making it easier to identify and address potential security threats.

Increased Scalability: DHCP makes it easy to scale your network by automatically assigning IP addresses to new devices as they are added. This makes it easy to manage and configure your network, even as it grows over time.

Faster Configuration for Large Networks

Automate Your Configuration: For large networks with hundreds of devices, manual configuration can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Automating the configuration process with tools like Ansible or Puppet can greatly improve efficiency and reduce errors.

Use Templates: Another way to speed up configuration is to use templates. By creating a template for a specific device or group of devices, you can quickly apply the same configuration settings to multiple devices at once.

Monitor Your Network: Monitoring your network can help you identify and troubleshoot issues before they become major problems. Tools like Nagios or Zabbix can monitor your network devices and alert you to issues like low disk space or high CPU usage.

Implement Load Balancing: Implementing load balancing can improve the performance and reliability of your network. By distributing traffic across multiple servers, you can reduce the load on any one server and ensure that your network can handle increased traffic.

Use VLANs: Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) can help you segment your network and improve security. By dividing your network into smaller, more manageable segments, you can limit the impact of a security breach or network issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DHCP server in Ubuntu?

DHCP server in Ubuntu is a service that assigns IP addresses automatically to the devices on the network. It makes network administration more efficient by reducing the time and effort required to configure individual devices.

Why enable DHCP server in Ubuntu?

Enabling DHCP server in Ubuntu can greatly simplify network management, especially in large networks. It eliminates the need to manually configure IP addresses for each device, making it a faster and more efficient process.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!