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Re: WTF is with dhcp?

On Jan. 22, 2001 Sam Johnston <samj@samj.net> wrote:

> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?pkg=dhcp
>  - an important bug that makes the package virtually unusable for
> many (related to the run_dhcp setting which should probably move to
> /etc/defaults/dhcp) which is around 1.3 years old and counting (w/
> patch!)
>  - 4 normal bugs > 3 years old
>  - 7 normal bugs > 2 years old
>  - 6 normal bugs > 1 years old
>  - 11 recent normal bugs
> Presumably many of these bugs are dupes. Does anyone know why such an 
> important package is in such a bad state? Are there many others like
> this?

OK, I claim full responsibility for the state in which the ISC DHCP
packages are.

The main reason the packages are in such a poor state is that I
personally lost interest in the ISC DHCP 2.x series a long time ago;
I have been running the 3.x series since the very early stages of its
development. Since then (December 27, 1999 according to my changelog) I
have been running the experimental packages I have been putting together
after each beta release of the 3.x series. The second (less important)
reason is that I have been busy lately with work and other things
(family, etc.)

I also added debconf support to the experimental packages so specifying
the interfaces dhrelay and dhcpd should listen to was easy. Several
bugs in the BTS are related to this and since I had them fixed in the
experimental packages I lost interest in fixing the 2.x packages in
unstable (and testing.)

Now, I would have liked to upload my experimental packages for the 3.x
series a long time ago (October 5, 2001 that was when DHCP ISC 3.0 was
released.) The problem is that the boot floppies are using the DHCP
client from the 2.x series. The client in the 3.x series is too big
to be handled now by the boot floppies so when I mentioned that I was
ready to upload to unstable my 3.x packages I was told to wait: if the
3.x packages had moved from unstable to testing and then to frozen that
would have meant problems for the boot-floppies team.

With this quick introduction is that I want to present my plan for fixing
the current problems with the DHCP packages:

I realize the DHCP 2.x packages in testing are important and I have
decided to fix the problems now. I want to focus on fixing the current
problems with the 2.x DHCP packages. Once the most important bugs are
taken care of I will upload the 3.x packages to unstable, and file a
RC bug against them so they can't move into testing. The reason is the
requirement of the boot floppies to use the 2.x DHCP client.

The most important bugs in the DHCP 2.x packages seem to be:

- An infamous run_dhcp variable that lives in the /etc/init.d/dhcp init
script. This variable must be set to 1 so dhcpd runs. Most people have
complained that they have to repeat the process every time they upgrade,
and have filed important bugs because of this.

- Inability to specify what interfaces the dhcpd daemon should listen to.

To solve these two I want to get rid of the run_dhcp variable altogether,
and use /etc/default/dhcp to declare the interfaces dhcpd should
listen to.

I'll need testers for the new v2 packages so I'll announce here when I

I also want to get feedback on the following: the current DHCP 2.x
packages support bith 2.0.x and 2.2.x kernels. It is done via a wrapper
that runs different binaries (dhcpd-2.2.x or dhcpd-2.0.x) based on the
running kernel. I think this is an ugly klutch and I would like to get
rid of it. How many of you are still running 2.0.x kernels, or how many
of you think I should cut this historical baggage?

Finally, I wanted to ask if there's any interest in keeping the ISC
DHCP v2 packages in the distribution, along the new v3 packages. I was
thinking about renaming the v2 packages as dhcp2, dhcp-client2 and
dhcp-relay2, and have the new v3 packages with the normal names (dhcp,
dhcp-client, etc.)

OK, this is it. Any comments? Thoughts?



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