Search DHCP Snooping

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CTRL_IP_LEARNING=dhcp (DHCP snooping) provides additional anti-spoofing security, especially when combined with a filter allowing only trusted DHCP servers to assign IP addresses. To enable this, set the variable DHCPSERVER to the IP address of a valid DHCP server and provide filters that use this variable to filter incoming DHCP responses.
When DHCP snooping is enabled and the DHCP lease expires, the guest virtual machine will no longer be able to use the IP address until it acquires a new, valid lease from a DHCP server. If the guest virtual machine is migrated, it must get a new valid DHCP lease to use an IP address (for example, by bringing the VM interface down and up again).


Automatic DHCP detection listens to the DHCP traffic the guest virtual machine exchanges with the DHCP server of the infrastructure. To avoid denial-of-service attacks on libvirt, the evaluation of those packets is rate-limited, meaning that a guest virtual machine sending an excessive number of DHCP packets per second on an interface will not have all of those packets evaluated and thus filters may not get adapted. Normal DHCP client behavior is assumed to send a low number of DHCP packets per second. Further, it is important to setup appropriate filters on all guest virtual machines in the infrastructure to avoid them being able to send DHCP packets. Therefore guest virtual machines must either be prevented from sending UDP and TCP traffic from port 67 to port 68 or the DHCPSERVER variable should be used on all guest virtual machines to restrict DHCP server messages to only be allowed to originate from trusted DHCP servers. At the same time anti-spoofing prevention must be enabled on all guest virtual machines in the subnet.

Example 18.6. Activating IPs for DHCP snooping

The following XML provides an example for the activation of IP address learning using the DHCP snooping method:
    <interface type='bridge'>
      <source bridge='virbr0'/>
      <filterref filter='clean-traffic'>
        <parameter name='CTRL_IP_LEARNING' value='dhcp'/>
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