kea-dhcp4 - DHCPv4 server in Kea


kea-dhcp4 [-v] [-V] [-W] [-d] [-c config-file] [-t config-file] [-p server-port-number] [-P client-port-number]


The kea-dhcp4 daemon provides the DHCPv4 server implementation.


The arguments are as follows:


Displays the Kea version.


Displays the extended Kea version.


Displays the configuration report.


Enables the debug mode with extra verbosity.

-c config-file

Specifies the configuration file with the configuration for the DHCPv4 server. It may also contain configuration entries for other Kea services.

-t config-file

Checks the configuration file and reports the first error, if any. Note that not all parameters are completely checked; in particular, service and control channel sockets are not opened, and hook libraries are not loaded.

-T config-file

Checks the configuration file and reports the first error, if any. It performs extra checks beyond what -t offers, such as establishing database connections (for the lease backend, host reservations backend, configuration backend, and forensic logging backend), loading hook libraries, parsing hook-library configurations, etc. It does not open UNIX or TCP/UDP sockets, nor does it open or rotate files, as any of these actions could interfere with a running process on the same machine.

-p server-port-number

Specifies the server port number (1-65535) on which the server listens. This is useful for testing purposes only.

-P client-port-number

Specifies the client port number (1-65535) to which the server responds. This is useful for testing purposes only.


Kea comes with an extensive Kea Administrator Reference Manual that covers all aspects of running the Kea software - compilation, installation, configuration, configuration examples, and much more. Kea also features a Kea Messages Manual, which lists all possible messages Kea can print with a brief description for each of them. Both documents are available in various formats (.txt, .html, .pdf) with the Kea distribution. The Kea documentation is available at

Kea source code is documented in the Kea Developer's Guide, available at

The Kea project website is available at

Mailing Lists and Support

There are two public mailing lists available for the Kea project. kea-users (kea-users at is intended for Kea users, while kea-dev (kea-dev at is intended for Kea developers, prospective contributors, and other advanced users. Both lists are available at The community provides best-effort support on both of those lists.

ISC provides professional support for Kea services. See for details.


The b10-dhcp4 daemon was first coded in November 2011 by Tomek Mrugalski.

In mid-2014, Kea was decoupled from the BIND 10 framework and became a standalone DHCP server. The DHCPv4 server binary was renamed to kea-dhcp4. Kea 1.0.0 was released in December 2015.

See Also

kea-dhcp6(8), kea-dhcp-ddns(8), kea-ctrl-agent(8), kea-admin(8), keactrl(8), perfdhcp(8), kea-netconf(8), kea-lfc(8), Kea Administrator Reference Manual.