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The Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP), described in RFC 951, defines how a computer on a TCP/IP network obtains its Internet Protocol (IP) address and other information it needs to start up. When a computer configured to use BOOTP (a BOOTP client) starts up, it sends out a BOOTP request, asking for the address of a BOOTP server.


The BOOTP server is generally expected to be on the Local Area Network; however, using standard PAP or CHAP authentication and standard bridging protocols, BOOTP can be used across a dial-up connection just as if the BOOTP server were on the local network. In a dial-up environment, a remote client's request for an IP address causes the Pipeline to bring up a connection. The connection is authenticated and established before the BOOTP server receives the request. Once reached, the BOOTP server responds by sending a BOOTP reply to the client with an IP address and, optionally, other configuration information. The client then uses this information to boot up. This scenario is the same for DHCP requests and responses.


BOOTP is often used with Trivial File Transport Protocol (TFTP) to allow a BOOTP client to download a configuration file.

TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol)

TFTP, described in RFC 1350, is a simple protocol designed to transfer files between different TCP/IP networks. It simply reads and writes files; it does not contain any of the more sophisticated features, such as listing directories or authenticating users, that File Transfer Protocol (FTP) provides.

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