Boot Filename - Optionally used by a client to request a particular type of boot file in a DHCPDISCOVER message. Used by a server in a DHCPOFFER to fully specify a boot file directory and filename.

I found this on my course work, but I'm confused what it actually means.

  • @JesseP. That qualifies for a perfect answer. ;-)
    – Zac67
    Jul 28, 2019 at 5:46

2 Answers 2


Some devices, including servers, can be booted via the network. This is called PXE (Preboot Execution Environment). A server gets an address and other information via DHCP and the boot file name tells the PXE environment which file to load via TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) and the boot. I have used this extensively to install Linux Servers and worked in environments where this implemented for installing Windows on clients.

It can also be used to boot dump terminals or thin clients.

  • It's also used for booting to a completely network-hosted OS (like a dumb terminal).
    – Jesse P.
    Jul 28, 2019 at 19:25

It's for when you use PXE or RIS.

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