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March 13, 2007

One Step Closer to Linux Domination

by @ 7:03 am. Filed under How-To, SUSE Tips & Tricks, Work-Related

Yeah, I’m still working through the semester here at school. I sure don’t care for it much. That’s enough about school.

Alrighty, so the other day, I was out picking up my brother who was without wheels because he had just sold his truck. My boss calls my cell phone. His first words were, “Are you in the building?” You see, this is not some inside joke about Elvis. He only says that when something is very wrong, because he wants to know how many seconds it will be before it will be fixed. He wants to get an estimate of the number of feet I will have to travel before I can address whatever exploded.

Unfortunately at that precise moment, my answer was “No.” He said, “How long will it take you to get back?” At this point, I was wondering what possibly could have gone wrong in the 4 1/2 seconds it had been since had left to pick up my bro. Was it the bandwidth that I was taking up downloading all of the CDs simultaneously of the alpha release of openSUSE 10.3? I casually countered, “Why, what is going on?”

He said, “Our DHCP server has gone out on the SonicWall firewall, and we need one up as soon as humanly possible.” I said, “OK, I will be back in three minutes.” I would bet you lunch that this was about 170 seconds more than he wanted to wait, but he said, “OK, just get back as soon as possible.” I assured him that I would do everything possible to bend actual spacetime in such a way that I could get back before I left (and maybe even hold the door open for myself as I was leaving the building, but I didn’t remember myself having done that as I was walking out, so I didn’t think that I actually would be able to. As it turns out, I couldn’t, which was really disappointing).

My brother and myself immediately headed back to the building (he works with me). As I was walking in the door, I didn’t walk out of the building, which is how I know I wasn’t actually able to go back in time. I did call my boss, however, to let him know that I was embarking on the mission to reassemble the network. As it was, no one could get an IP, which left a lot of Windows users with that confused look that they get when stuff doesn’t “Just Work”™. Well, we didn’t want their heads to explode, so I grabbed my SUSE CDs and headed into the server room.

I pulled up YAST, installed the DHCP server, and turned that baby on. In the time it has taken you to read this much of my story, I had the company network back up. Let’s hear it for Linux saving the day, yet again. I went down to my desk and set up a few static IP addresses from there for some of our servers. This is also super easy. Just edit /etc/dhcpd.conf. Don’t change any of the stuff at the top, but add host entries to it according to this format:

host [HOSTNAME] {
  hardware ethernet [MAC ADDRESS];
  fixed-address [DESIRED IP ADDRESS];


Just change [HOSTNAME] with a description of the machine. Note that this does not make it resolve to that name, as in DNS style. It just gives you something to refer back to so that you can identify the machine for which it is set up. Also, swap out [MAC ADDRESS] for the (yep, you guessed it) MAC address of the NIC in the host for which you wish to set up a static IP. Then, where it says “[DESIRED IP ADDRESS]” you are going to put (you are exactly right) the IP you wish to assign to that machine.

As an example, let’s call the machine FRED, and the MAC will be 00:24:EB:F1:88:8C, and the IP will be This is what you will put in there:

host fred {
  hardware ethernet 00:24:EB:F1:88:8C;


After you have it set up how you want, just restart the dhcp server:

[0014][scott@mybox:~]$  su
mail:/home/scott # /etc/init.d/dhcpd restart


It was just about that easy to get our entire network back up and running in less than 5 minutes.

I’m telling you, Linux is your friend.

Besides that, Dell now has a survey about how the community wants Dell to provide Linux : Everyone take it.

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