Using pfsense DHCP to point clients to a LTSP server?



  • I really like pfsense so I do not plan on changing to linux distribution router anytime soon.  I am trying to set up a couple diskless computers and I would like to be able to plug them into my existing network.  I was wondering if I could use my pfsense box dhcp server to point the client to my LTSP server?  My LTSP server is running Debian Etch.

    My other solution to the problem was to just install another network card into my LTSP server, run a dhcp server, and plug it into a switch connected to the clients.  I would rather use pfsense dhcp server to avoid the extra hardware/cable needed.

    thanks,
    Zack



  • I found page that describes how to do it on a windows dhcp server, would it be too hard to do on pfsense?
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/LTSPWindowsDHCP

    thanks,
    Zack



  • I was wondering, if anyone knew which dhcp server pfsense uses?  I could then research it a little bit more and maybe find a solution.

    I have another idea but I am not sure if it is a very good idea.  I thought of running two dhcp servers on my network.  So I would install a dhcp server on my linux LTSP server.  I could have pfsense not assign ip addresses you users except for the one with entries in the static ip table.  I am pretty sure I could configure my linux box dhcp server to only assign ip addresses to certain MACs also.  That way, there would not be any conflicts.

    I would prefer to modify the pfsense dhcp server as my second idea would require the addition of a second network card to my ltsp, and because its form factor is flex atx, I would be required to remove my wireless card from the machine.  I have found description on the web on how to modify the setting in windows dhcp servers, but have not found a guide yet on how to do this in freebsd.

    thanks,
    Zack



  • Uses ISC dhcpd.

    The options you need are boot file and boot server, both of which are available in the GUI if you're running 1.2beta. Maybe root path, which isn't available in the GUI IIRC.



  • thanks, I may try upgrading to 1.2



  • Hi, i upgraded to 1.2 beta.

    I saw gui options for the 66 and 67, but not 17

    *

    Login to your windows server and load the DHCP configuration screen
        *

    Create a DHCP reservation for the MAC address you obtained
        *

    Add the configuration options below to enable the machine to boot from the LTSP server
              o

    017 Root Path: /opt/ltsp/i386
              o

    066 Boot Server Host Name: <ip address="">o

    067 Bootfile Name: ltsp/pxelinux.0

    thanks,
    Zack</ip>



  • According to other posts here it is the impression of the pfSense development team that DHCP boot options are not needed by most users and implementing any real GUI access would be "cluttering" the interface.  Based on the sheer number of requests I think this is incorrect.

    Now, if you just say "it is not worth implementing option 'n' because not enough people need it" may be true… but the DHCP system has 255~ options and if you tally each request for any particular option you would see a great number of users that would appreciate and use the ability to add various options.

    Why not implement a system where the user can add options by the option integer, and not list all advanced options?  This would allow even specific devices that look for DHCP options that are very uncommon (such as Polycom Phones) to be configured on an as-needed basis. Just like firewall ports, the user should know what options are needed and not rely on the system to hold their hand if they are implementing advanced DHCP options.

    This type of interface has been implemented for many items in pfSense and could even be hidden behind an "Advanced" button (a system-wide setting to "always expand Advanced" would be wonderful as well, but that is for another post).

    Implement it like the "DNS Forwarder / Overrides" option, or any of the other "add as needed" features.

    For a reference, here are the options available for DHCP:
    http://www.networksorcery.com/enp/protocol/bootp/options.htm

    You could even make this standard functionality and remove the listings for WINS, Dynamic DNS, Network Booting, etc.  On the "Add DHCP Option" menu you could even have a dropdown, like the port forwarding, where common ports are listed and an "Other" option is available to type in a specific option.

    For normal users they would only need to fill out the form and ignore the option settings, much like DNS overrides.

    Providing a full-featured and customizable DHCP server will make this product much more suitable for corporate networks.  I replaced my Windows 2003 Routing and Remote Access server for pfSense and the only thing I have really missed is a real DHCP server.  As it stands now my Linksys consumer-grade router beat the pants off of pfSense's DHCP server.

    The final option would be to create this as a package that could be added on as needed.  If I knew more about developing packages for pfSense I would take the time to do this, as I am in GREAT need of a decent DHCP configuration tool for pfSense... if someone wants to point me in the right direction for creating a package I'll do my best.

    Thanks,

    C4colo



  • There are options to override DHCP advanced options now but they are not on a per host basis.

    With that said, per client advanced options is not a priority for us (as you can probably tell by the date).

    But for anyone that really needs this you can purchase support at https://portal.pfsense.org/ and we can look into adding this for you.



  • @zboll:

    I really like pfsense so I do not plan on changing to linux distribution router anytime soon.  I am trying to set up a couple diskless computers and I would like to be able to plug them into my existing network.  I was wondering if I could use my pfsense box dhcp server to point the client to my LTSP server?  My LTSP server is running Debian Etch.

    My other solution to the problem was to just install another network card into my LTSP server, run a dhcp server, and plug it into a switch connected to the clients.  I would rather use pfsense dhcp server to avoid the extra hardware/cable needed.

    thanks,
    Zack

    I've found a nasty little solution, but it's better than nothing at the moment. This is completely unsupported and these changes will definitely be lost on any upgrade, maybe sooner.

    I'm running 1.2.3 Release so my line numbers might differ from yours, but around line 117 of /etc/inc/services.inc, you'll find a chunk of DHCPD options between "<< <eod" and="" "eod;".="" i="" think="" you="" can="" get="" away="" with="" plugging="" in="" your="" advanced="" options="" here.="" this="" is="" as="" yet="" untested="" just="" an="" educated="" guess="" so="" i'm="" not="" responsible="" for="" the="" results="" :)<br="">Hope this helps someone though.</eod">


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