Letting DHCP requests through iptables


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Letting DHCP requests through iptables

This is a fairly simple task really, once you get to know how DHCP works, however, you must be a little bit cautious with what you do let in and what you do not let in. First of all, we should know that DHCP works over the UDP protocol. Hence, this is the first thing to look for. Second, we should check which interface we get and send the request from. For example, if our eth0 interface is set up with DHCP, we should not allow DHCP requests on eth1. To make the rule a bit more specific, we only allow the actual UDP ports used by DHCP, which should be ports 67 and 68. These are the criteria that we choose to match packets on, and that we allow. The rule would now look like this:

$IPTABLES  -I INPUT -i $LAN_IFACE -p udp --dport 67:68 --sport \
     67:68 -j ACCEPT

Do note that we allow all traffic to and from UDP port 67 and 68 now, however, this should not be such a huge problem since it only allows requests from hosts doing the connection from port 67 or 68 as well. This rule could, of course, be even more restrictive, but it should be enough to actually accept all DHCP requests and updates without opening up too large of holes. If you are concerned, this rule could of course be made even more restrictive.