DHCP configuration for Atari MintNet on ST, STE, TT, Falcon

Dymanic Host Configuration Protocol or DHCP server is usually available in wireless access point in Home Networking. Computers running the DHCP client that are connected to the Home Network will automatically configure it's network adapters with information from the DHCP Server. It will become part of the network, allowing access to the resources on the network without any human intervention on network configuration.

This guide steps you to setup & configure DHCP Client in Quick & Dirty Mint environment as described in the "Mint Installation" guide. However, it is recommended that the DHCP client is installed in the SpareMint environment as it requires several software components to work without giving error messages. The DHCP client installed in the Quick & Dirty Mint environment will run as designed, but there will be some error messages generated when it tries to run some of the missing software components.

Setup & configurating DHCP in Quick & Dirty Mint environment

So you decided to take the short cut to use DHCP client without the SpareMint environment. Note that you will get some error messages as the DHCP client runs but it will not affect your computer to obtain the host configuration information to configure the network automatically. Some features like hostname configuration will not be done but this is not critical. Of course, you can always install the missing components later.

Following are assumed:
  1. The minimum Unix environment is setup.
  2. The network software as mentioned in the "Atari Mint goes Networking" guide are installed.
  3. The minimum RPM environment is setup as per "RPM on Atari Mint" guide.
  4. Your home networking has a DHCP server.
As usual, the network hardware must be connected, it's device drive in the form of XIF files are copied into the Mint system folder, the INET.XDD is also enabled.
  1. Install the dhclient and a good diagnostic tool (ping)

    • Download the dhclient-3.0.3-2.m68kmint.rpm and ping-20010219-2.m68kmint.rpm and copy to your Atari D: drive.
    • If you have not install bash shell, download bash-2.05a-3.m68kmint.rpm and copy to your Atari D: drive
    • Run the Unix shell - open Drive D: and go into the BIN folder. Double click on TCSH and click OK if it ask you to enter a parameter (you don't need any).
    • Install DHCP client using the following command:
             rpm -i --nodeps /d/dhclient-3.0.3-2.m68kmint.rpm
    • Install PING using the following command:
             rpm -i --nodeps /d/ping-20010219-2.m68kmint.rpm
    • Install bash shell using the same RPM command with parameters -i. 

    We are using the dhclient RPM file rather than gzip packages because it is the latest availble. The --nodeps instructs rpm not to check for dependencies, as those dependencies will probably be not installed yet on the system. You will also notice some errors with the RPM, this is again because of the reduced set of packages that is being installed. These errors should not post any problems for us. 

  2. Create the script to start DHCP

    Create a file /etc/mydhcp and add the following single line to it. You can use QED to create and edit the file.
        /sbin/dhclient &> /root/dhcp.out
    This script will execute the DHCP client and redirect all errors messages into a file call /root/dhcp.out. You can view the output file /root/dhcp.out using the normal text viewer in Teradesk. Valuable information like the ip address received and other network settings will also be captured into this file. Further information of missing software components are also recorded in this file, which you may want to review and install the missing software at a later date. 

  3. Warning:
    Please save your files in Unix newline otherwise MINT will not read in the configurations correctly. Do not edit in other OS and copy onto your Atari. This normally introduce the wrong newline characters. Best is to edit in QED and save in Unix newlines.
    Follow this url to learn how to force for Unix newline in QED.

  4. Run the DHCP Start script in MINT.CNF

    The DHCP Start script should be called by MINT on every startup so that the network is configured.
    • Run QED and load the MINT.CNF file from your Mint System Folder (should be C:\MINT\1-16-1\).
    • Disable the old networking configurations. Locate the following lines:
           exec ifconfig en0 addr netmask up 
           exec route add default en0 gw metric 1 
      and comment them out by putting a "#" in front of it, so that they are not loaded by Mint on startup
           #exec ifconfig en0 addr netmask up 
           #exec route add default en0 gw metric 1
    • Add the following line below the commented route line
           exec u:/bin/bash u:/d/etc/mydhcp
    • Save the MINT.CNF file. Quit QED.

  5. Reboot to Start Mint and load DHCP

    Reboot your Atari and during the start up of Mint you will notice that DHCP is started and acquires an IP address for your Atari

DHCP bootup messages

The bootup screen shot shows the sequence of responses from the DHCP server ( to your Atari. The Atari made several request (DHCPREQUEST) and obtain an offer (DHCPOFFER) and finally an acknowledgment (DHCPACK) on the ip address. Finally it binded the ip address ( received to the network adapter of the Atari.

If there are no DHCP server on the network, you will see lots of DHCPREQUEST from your Atari, but no responses.

If the network adapter is not functioning (may be due to it hardware problems or wrong driver XIF file), you will see a "No broadcast interface found" error. The DHCP client will not continue to run but will exit.

Understanding the DHCP output file /root/dhcp.out

The DHCP output file created by the DHCP start script contains similar information as per the DHCP bootup messages. However, it contain extra information like the new subnet mask and router information.
Missing software components in your system can also be identified from this file, typically these error messages are similar to "No such file" or "command not found".

updated: 14 Jun 2011
created: 14 May 2010