Configuring a Solaris 10 DHCP client to register with a Windows Server 2003 DNS server

This content is 18 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Last week, I wrote about configuring a hostname for a Solaris 10 DHCP client. Alan Thompson very kindly left a comment on that post about using DHCP to set the hostname on the network (i.e. in the DNS) and I’m pleased to say that it works a treat on my Windows network.

I have a Windows Server 2003 server which acts as my domain controller, DNS server and DHCP server. DHCP is configured to update DNS (always dynamically update DNS A and PTR records, discard them on lease deletion, and to do this for clients that do not request updates) and this was working well for my Windows clients but although my Solaris client (laptop3) had been retrieving IP information from the DHCP server, the DHCP console showed no name for the lease (and so couldn’t update DNS).

By following Sun’s instructions for enabling a Solaris client to request a specific hostname, DHCP was able to register the client’s name in DNS, using the fully qualified domain name as set in the DHCP scope options (option 015 DNS Domain Name).

I tested this using the nslookup laptop3 command, which returned:

Server: dnsserveripaddress

Name: laptop3.domainname

It’s worth pointing out that Sun’s instructions are not quite correct for Solaris 10 x86, as step 1 is not necessary (the comments in the /etc/default/dhcpagent file explain that, by default, the DHCP agent will try to request the hostname currently associated with the interface performing DHCP); however the other steps were spot on (add inet hostname to /etc/hostname/interface, flush cached DHCP data using pkill dhcpagent and rm /etc/dhcp/ interface.dhc, then reboot), meaning that my Solaris client now participates in my Windows network name resolution.

10 thoughts on “Configuring a Solaris 10 DHCP client to register with a Windows Server 2003 DNS server

  1. Didn’t work me either … I followed the URL to the Sun article and performed the steps. Upon reboot I am still unable to ping my machine by DNS name or nslookup. My Solaris machine is seeing itself at the correct hostname but the DNS entry did not get created.

  2. Hi,

    I am having a problem of setting up a virtual machine of Solaris 10. The problem is DHCP client on Solaris, and the DNS server is Windows 2003. It is in the office’s inner network.

    When I set up the DHCP client to request for the full-qualified hostname: ””, the DNS actually recorded a mess of hostname + domain names.

    zhy3@:~$ nslookup
    Address: name =

    With SUSE 10, I have discovered a “stupid method” to handle this problem. I can manually change the file: /etc/sysconfig/network/dhcp, and fix the key word “DHCLIENT_HOSTNAME_OPTION=.”.

    However, my stupid method does not work in Solaris, because Solaris does not have a file letting you to fix the DHCLIENT_HOSTNAME_OPTION.

    Thank you for your help,


  3. And now the link is dead thanks to Oracle. Could you list the steps or link to the updated doc location?

  4. with everything set correctly i.e. add hostname to /etc/nodename and update the /etc/hostname.(interfacename) file with

    inet (hostname)

    this will register the solaris 10 machine will send its hostname and register with the windows dns server


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