dhclient is a command line tool used in Unix-like operating systems to obtain network configuration information via DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).
DHCP is a network protocol that assigns IP addresses dynamically and provides other network configuration information such as subnet mask, DNS server addresses, and default gateway.
dhclient is primarily used to request an IP address from a DHCP server and configure the network interface accordingly. It sends a DHCP discover message to the network, and if a DHCP server responds, dhclient negotiates the lease for the IP address and other configuration options.
The utility simplifies the process of network configuration, as it automatically handles the assignment of IP addresses and related parameters. dhclient supports both IPv4 and IPv6 address assignment, allowing systems to connect to networks using different IP protocols.
By default, dhclient dynamically configures the network interface once and operates in the background, periodically renewing the lease from the DHCP server to ensure continuous network connectivity. It can also be used interactively, providing status information and allowing manual configuration changes on demand.
Overall, dhclient simplifies the setup of network connectivity in Unix-like systems by automating the process of obtaining network configuration via DHCP.