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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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BOOTP Client/Server Messaging and Addressing

While BOOTP can be used for a variety of devices, one of the primary motives behind its creation was to provide a way to automatically configure "dumb" devices that have no storage. Most of these devices are relatively limited in their capabilities, so requiring them to support a fancy boot protocol would not make sense. BOOTP is thus an uncomplicated protocol, which accomplishes host configuration without a lot of complicated concepts or implementation requirements.

Like so many other TCP/IP protocols, BOOTP is client/server in nature. The operation of the protocol consists of a single exchange of messages between a BOOTP client and a BOOTP server. A BOOTP client can be any type of device that needs ...

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