bootpc_call() times out

Till Straumann strauman at
Sun Feb 14 20:25:00 UTC 2010

Chris Johns wrote:
> Till Straumann wrote:
>> Chris.
>> I see that on 2008/05/01 you committed changes (authored by folks at 
>>, it seems)
>> that let bootpc_call() terminate if no server can be contacted for 
>> some time.
> Yes that is correct.
>> This is different from pre 4.9 behavior which would keep on trying 
>> forever
>> until a server replied.
>> What was the rationale for this (AFAIK undocumented) change ?
> I think networking errors at this protocol level that result in a 
> panic should be avoided. At a system it is fine to say reboot on a 
> BOOTP error if that is your requirement but to code into the bootp 
> protocol seem tough on those that wish to implement a different system 
> level design. For example to try a second interface or to hand over to 
> a configuration tool that can allow switching to a different 
> configuration, ie recommissioning equipment.
> I know this is not documentation but it was discussed on the list. :)
> I will happily change the doco that is wrong. I was not aware the loop 
> for-ever behaviour was documented. Where is it ?
I don't know if it was explicitly documented but I do observe
that existing semantics broke.
> FYI the retry bootp code never worked because of a bug I fixed in 
> April 2009.
> It's just that up to 4.9 bootpc_init() would wait for a server
to respond (due to the forever loop in bootpc_call()) which
is no longer the case now.
>> IMO the old 'forever' loop made more sense.
> Can you place the call in a loop ?
IMHO bootpc_init() should then repeatedly call bootpc_call().

- Till
> Chris

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