pump - configure network interface via BOOTP or DHCP protocol


/sbin/pump [-krRsd?? [-c ''ARG''? [-h ''hostname''? [-i ''iface''? [-l ''hours''? [--lookup-hostname? [--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 the /sbin/ifup script for devices configured via BOOTP or DHCP.

Once pump is managing an interface, you can run pump to query the status of that interface. For example, /sbin/pump -i eth0 --status will print the current status of device eth0.



Pump 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.


Pump supports a simple configuration file which lets you tune its behavior. By default, it looks at /etc/pump.conf, though the -c option lets you override that.

The configuration file is line oriented, and most line contains a directive followed by zero or more arguments. Arguments are handled similar to how shells handle command arguments, allowing the use of quotes and backslash escapes. Comments are allowed, and must begin with a # character, and 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 which it manages, while specific directives change pump's behavior for a single device. Later directives always override earlier ones.

Here is an example /etc/pump.conf:

  1. sample /etc/pump.conf file

domainsearch 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 any DNS configuration when it's configuring the eth1 device.

Here is a complete list of directives:

device device

Specify specific directives for the indicated 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

Rather then deriving the DNS search path (for /etc/resolv.conf), use the one which is given. As a machine only has a single DNS search path, this directive may only be used globally.


Don't set a new 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. This directive may only be used within a device directive.


Don't create a new /etc/resolv.conf when this interface is configured. This directive may only be used within a device directive.


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

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 executable-filename

When events occur in negotiation with the server, calls the given executable or script. 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 scripts are called with two or three arguments, depending on the condition, as documented in the table above.


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 page is a man page (or other imported legacy content). We are unable to automatically determine the license status of this page.