This API publishes a routine to maintain DHCP state, and a semaphore that is signalled when a lease requires attention: this is your clue to call the aforementioned routine.

The intent with this API is that a simple DHCP client thread, which maintains the state of the interfaces, can go as follows: (after init_all_network_interfaces() is called from elsewhere)

while ( 1 ) {
        while ( 1 ) {
            cyg_semaphore_wait( &dhcp_needs_attention );
            if ( ! dhcp_bind() ) // a lease expired
                break; // If we need to re-bind
        dhcp_down(); // tear down unbound interfaces
        init_all_network_interfaces(); // re-initialize

and if the application does not want to suffer the overhead of a separate thread and its stack for this, this functionality can be placed in the app’s server loop in an obvious fashion. That is the goal of breaking out these internal elements. For example, some server might be arranged to poll DHCP from time to time like this:

while ( 1 ) {
    while ( 1 ) {
       // sleeps if no connections, but not forever; 
       // so this loop is polled a few times a minute...
       if ( cyg_semaphore_trywait( &dhcp_needs_attention )) {
             if ( ! dhcp_bind() ) {

If the configuration option CYGOPT_NET_DHCP_DHCP_THREAD is defined, then eCos provides a thread as described initially. Independent of this option, initialization of the interfaces still occurs in init_all_network_interfaces() and your startup code can call that. It will start the DHCP management thread if configured. If a lease fails to be renewed, the management thread will shut down all interfaces and attempt to initialize all the interfaces again from scratch. This may cause chaos in the app, which is why managing the DHCP state in an application aware thread is actually better, just far less convenient for testing.

If the configuration option CYGOPT_NET_DHCP_OPTION_HOST_NAME is defined, then the TAG_HOST_NAME DHCP option will be included in any DHCP lease requests. The text for the hostname is set by calling dhcp_set_hostname(). Any DHCP lease requests made prior to calling dhcp_set_hostname() will not include the TAG_HOST_NAME DHCP option. The configuration option CYGNUM_NET_DHCP_OPTION_HOST_NAME_LEN controls the maximum length allowed for the hostname. This permits the hostname text to be determined at run-time. Setting the hostname to the empty string will have the effect of disabling the TAG_HOST_NAME DHCP option.

If the configuration option CYGOPT_NET_DHCP_OPTION_DHCP_CLIENTID_MAC is defined, then the TAG_DHCP_CLIENTID DHCP option will be included in any DHCP lease requests. The client ID used will be the current MAC address of the network interface.

The option CYGOPT_NET_DHCP_PARM_REQ_LIST_ADDITIONAL allows additional DHCP options to be added to the request sent to the DHCP server. This option should be set to a comma separated list of options.

The option CYGOPT_NET_DHCP_PARM_REQ_LIST_REPLACE is similar to CYGOPT_NET_DHCP_PARM_REQ_LIST_ADDITIONAL but in this case it completely replaces the default list of options with the configured set of comma separated options.

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