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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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Chapter 60. TCP/IP BOOTSTRAP PROTOCOL (BOOTP)

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Before a device on a TCP/IP network can effectively communicate, it needs to know its IP address. While a conventional network host can read this information from its internal disk, some devices have no storage, so they do not have this luxury. They need help from another device on the network to provide them with an IP address and the other information and/or software they need to become active Internet Protocol (IP) hosts. This problem of getting a new machine up and running is commonly called bootstrapping, and to provide this capability to IP hosts, the TCP/IP Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) was created. ...

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