[CentOS] DHCP server and Windows XP clients : set hostname ?

Wed Apr 7 16:06:05 UTC 2010
Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko at gmail.com>

On Wednesday 07 April 2010 14:13:59 Niki Kovacs wrote:
> Hi,
> For the last few years, I've been using exclusively Linux on servers and
> desktops, so I don't know anything about Microsoft products.
> When setting up a 100% GNU/Linux LAN, I use a local DHCP and DNS caching
> server, and then all the clients are configured to use DHCP. Hostnames
> are all handled by the server. This works very well and never causes any
> headaches.
> Now a local town hall has asked me to join their two networks (so they
> can exchange files via Samba), one using Windows XP on desktops, and the
> other running CentOS desktops. I plan to handle hostnames, IP addresses
> etc. as usual, by one central DHCP/DNS caching server. Right now I'm
> testing this on my "sandbox" network (three machines using Ghost images
> from various systems). I can configure a Windows XP desktop to get
> network configuration from the DHCP server OK, but 1) where does an XP
> desktops' hostname appear? 2) how can I handle it from the DHCP server
> (that is, *if* it's possible)?

The hostname of a windows machine is usually set locally as the "computer 
name" somewhere in windows system settings (don't remember exactly, but it can 
be reached from the control panel...). When obtaining a lease from a dhcp 
server, windows reports this hostname (along with the mac data etc.), and you 
can read it in the dhcpd leases file on the server.

Setting this hostname remotely from a dhcp server doesn't work on windows, 
AFAIK. It completely ignores the dhcpd suggestion. Maybe this can be adjusted 
somehow (tweaking the registry?), but I have no idea how and if this is 
possible. That said, I didn't really ever bothered to search for this kind of 
option. Both windows and linux can be set to ignore the dhcp-suggested 
hostname, so you should never rely on this for any functionality (other than 
pure convenience). Dynamic DNS should be the proper way to handle machine 
names of dhcp clients.

HTH, :-)