Peeking a bit at Kea DHCP server / 2022-10-12

2022-10-12 Peeking a bit at Kea DHCP server
Yesterday I learned that ISC DHCP server will be end of life at the end of this year. For a package I started using around 1998 with one of the first versions I expected a bit more announcement time. At the same time I'm so used to using ISC dhcp server in my home network I never subscribed to any mailing list or other announcements about ISC dhcp server, it's just there, I can configure it to do what I want including supporting pxe booting systems for installation or diagnostics or supporting special dhcp options for APC AP7920 rackmount power distribution units. And all the virtual lans of my home network.

ISC suggests using Kea DHCP server to replace it in most server implementations. Kea DHCP server should be able to get a lot of configuration data from databases and allow for dynamic updates of the configuration. That is an improvement over ISC dhcp as it is at the moment, which needs a full restart for every change.

So time to peek at Kea DHCP server. I don't think ISC dhcp server will be unavailable after 31 December 2022 but I don't expect updates anymore and when a good replacement is normalized I expect ISC dhcp server to slowly fall away from linux distributions.

Currently it's not even available for Debian or Devuan stable or oldstable strangely enough. I wonder what happened there. But there are distribution packages for debian buster at Cloudsmith - Repositories - ISC - Internet Systems Consortium (isc) - kea-2-3 (kea-2-3) - Packages / format:deb.

Time to install the latest and let apt fix the dependencies:
koos@testrouter:~$ sudo dpkg -i isc-kea-dhcp4_2.3.1-isc20220928105532_amd64.deb isc-kea-dhcp6_2.3.1-isc20220928105532_amd64.deb isc-kea-common_2.3.1-isc20220928105532_amd64.deb 
Selecting previously unselected package isc-kea-dhcp4.
(Reading database ... 46609 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack isc-kea-dhcp4_2.3.1-isc20220928105532_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking isc-kea-dhcp4 (2.3.1-isc20220928105532) ...
Selecting previously unselected package isc-kea-dhcp6.
Preparing to unpack isc-kea-dhcp6_2.3.1-isc20220928105532_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking isc-kea-dhcp6 (2.3.1-isc20220928105532) ...
Selecting previously unselected package isc-kea-common.
Preparing to unpack isc-kea-common_2.3.1-isc20220928105532_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking isc-kea-common (2.3.1-isc20220928105532) ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of isc-kea-dhcp4:
 isc-kea-dhcp4 depends on libboost-system1.67.0; however:
  Package libboost-system1.67.0 is not installed.
[..]
koos@testrouter:~$ sudo apt install -f
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Correcting dependencies... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  libboost-system1.67.0 liblog4cplus-1.1-9 libmariadb3 libpq5 mariadb-common
  mysql-common
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libboost-system1.67.0 liblog4cplus-1.1-9 libmariadb3 libpq5 mariadb-common
  mysql-common
0 upgraded, 6 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
3 not fully installed or removed.
Need to get 760 kB of archives.
After this operation, 4,001 kB of additional disk space will be used.
[..]
Looking at the sample configuration makes me think I can do this with a text-based configuration (it's actually JSON) and get it going fast. For my home network that is probably the best solution. Kea does have options to use MariaDB or PostgreSQL backends for storage which does look really nice for my home network but at the same time adds a dependency and a layer of complexity.

I can see IPAM systems totally going to Kea DHCP and give a full interface on managing the databases directly including APIs for adding/removing objects as they are added in other systems.

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