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Section: Linux Administrator's Manual (8) Updated: 26 August 2004
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pump - configure network interface via BOOTP or DHCP protocol  


pump [-krRsd] [-c|--config-file FILE] [-h|--hostname HOSTNAME] [-i|--interface IFACE] [-l|--lease HOURS] [-m|--route-metric METRIC] [--lookup-hostname] [--no-dns] [--no-gateway] [--no-ntp] [--no-setup] [--release] [--renew] [--script= ISCRIPT] [--status] [--win-client-ident]

pump [-?|--help] [--usage]  


pump is a daemon that manages network interfaces that are controlled by either the DHCP or BOOTP protocol.

While pump may be started manually, it is normally started automatically by ifup(8) for devices configured via BOOTP or DHCP.

If pump is managing an interface, you can run it again to query the status of that interface. For example,

    pump -i eth0 --status
will print the current status of device eth0.  


switchlong optiondescription
-?--helpShow this help message
-c--config-file=FILEGet configuration from FILE instead of /etc/pump.conf
-d--no-dnsDon't update DNS resolver configuration
-h--hostname=HOSTNAMERequest HOSTNAME
-i--interface=IFACEManage IFACE rather than eth0
--keep-upKeep the interface up when released
-k--killKill daemon (and disable all interfaces)
-l--lease=HOURSRequest least time of HOURS
--lookup-hostnameLook up hostname in DNS
-R--renewRenew lease immediately
-r--releaseRelease interface
-m--route-metric=METRICMetric to use on routes (normally 0)

--no-gatewayDon't configure a default route for this interface

--no-resolvconfDon't use the resolvconf program to update resolv.conf

--no-ntpDon't update ntp.conf

--no-setupDon't set up anything

--script=SCRIPTCall SCRIPT (or null string to disable)
-s--statusDisplay interface status
--usageDisplay a brief usage message
--win-client-identSpecify a Windows(tm)-like client identifier


The --lookup-hostname option causes pump to ignore the host and domain names returned by the server and instead to look these up in DNS using the IP address of the interface. The name that is looked up is used in forming the search line in the resolv.conf file. Thus, if either the --no-dns or domainsearch option is used then --lookup-hostname has no effect.

Note that pump itself never sets the computer's hostname.



You can tune the behavior of pump using a configuration file. By default pump reads /etc/pump.conf but you can change this using the --config-file option.

The configuration file is line-oriented. Most lines contain a directive followed by zero or more arguments. Arguments are handled similarly to how shells handle command arguments, allowing the use of quotes and backslash escapes. Comments are allowed, and must begin with a # character. Spaces and tabs are ignored.

Directives may be specified at two levels: global and specific. Global directives change pump's behavior for all of the devices that it manages whereas specific directives change pump's behavior for a single device. Later directives always override earlier ones.

Here is an example configuration file:

# sample /etc/pump.conf file

domainsearch ""
retries 3

device eth1 {

This configuration file tells pump to use a specific DNS search path rather than deriving one from the DHCP or BOOTP server response, to retry each request 3 times (for a total of 4 tries), and not to change the DNS configuration file when it's configuring the eth1 device.

Here is a complete list of directives:

device DEVICE
Specify specific directives for DEVICE. This directive must be followed by a {, and the list of specific directives must end with a } on its own line. These directives may not be nested.

domainsearch SEARCHPATH
Use SEARCHPATH as the DNS search path instead of the domain name returned by the server or the domain part of the fully qualified hostname.

Keep the interface up when released. Normally pump brings the interface down when it releases its lease, but some daemons such as ifplugd or wpa_supplicant still need the interface to be up so that they can still work.

Don't set the NIS domain. Normally pump sets the system's NIS domain if an NIS domain is specified by the DHCP server and the current NIS domain is empty or localdomain.

Don't update /etc/resolv.conf when the interface is configured.

Ignore any default gateway suggested by the DHCP server for this device. This can be useful on machines with multiple devices.

Don't update /etc/ntp.conf when the interface is configured.

Don't set up anything on the local machine as a result of DHCP operations. This implies nodns, nonisdomain, nogateway and nontp. This option is useful, for example, if you want to perform setup in customised scripts.

Don't use the resolvconf program to update /etc/resolv.conf; instead, update /etc/resolv.conf directly. (This option is only relevant if --nodns is not used.)

retries COUNT
Retry each phase of the DHCP process COUNT times.

timeout COUNT
Don't let any one step of the DHCP process take more then COUNT seconds.

script FILE


When events occur in negotiation with the server, call the executable FILE. Scripts are called when a lease is granted, when a renewal is negotiated, and when the interface is brought down and the address released. The script is called with two or three arguments, depending on the condition, as documented in the table above.



The program logs a good deal of information to syslog, much of it at the DEBUG level. If you're having trouble, it's a good idea to turn up syslog's logging level.



At startup pump tries to detect whether another instance of itself is running. If the UNIX domain socket (normally /var/run/pump.sock) does not exist, pump tries to connect to tcp/ If it is also unreachable (possibly due to packet filtering), pump will issue a warning to stderr and assume that there is no instance of itself running.

Probably limited to Ethernet, might work on PLIP, probably not ARCnet and Token Ring. The configuration file should let you do more things.

Submit bug reports at the Bug Track link at  


A pump, like a boot[p], is something you wear on your foot. Some of us like the name (I know, hard to believe)!




This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 22:02:12 GMT, April 16, 2011