How to Configure DHCP Server on Cisco Router in Packet Tracer

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a protocol used to automatically assign IP addresses to end-user devices in a network.

Apart from using a dedicated server for DHCP service in a network, a Cisco router can also be used as a DHCP server. It just needs an extra bit of configuration.

In this post, I will show you how to configure a DHCP server on a Cisco router.

DHCP servers provide a lot of information to the end-user device when the device is first connected to a network that has DHCP service enabled. Such information includes: IP address, subnet mask, domain name, default gateway, DNS server address, and WIN server address. 

Network Topology

The network topology we are going to be making use of in this demonstration is shown below. As you can see, it consists of a Cisco router, a switch, and three PCs. In this demonstration, We will be configuring the router as a DHCP server.

Network topology for configuring DHCP on cisco router

Step 2: Enable DHCP service on the router

After creating the network topology, the next step is to enable the DHCP service on the router.

DHCP_Router#config terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.
DHCP_Router(config)# service dhcp

Step 3: Create a DHCP pool on the router. 

In this step, we create a DHCP pool from which the IP addresses will be assigned to the client/end-user device. We will use the pool name “NET-A” and configure it to advertise IP addresses from the network ( for automatic IP address configuration on DHCP-enabled host devices.

DHCP_Router(config)# ip dhcp pool NET_A
DHCP_Router(config)# network
DHCP_Router(config)# default-router
DHCP_Router(config)# dns-server

Step 4: Configure excluded addresses 

In this step, we will configure some excluded IP addresses from the range of IP addresses available in the DHCP pool. Excluded addresses are reserved for important hosts, like a server that needs to maintain a static IP address. Normally, these reserved IP addresses are configured manually on the devices for which they are reserved.

In this demonstration, we will exclude the router’s interface IP address “” and the and address ranges, from which we manually assign addresses to servers in our network.

DHCP_Router(config)# ip dhcp excluded-address
DHCP_Router(config)# ip dhcp excluded-address

Step 5: Verify the client is served by the DHCP server.

To do this, you use the command below:

DHCP_Router#show ip dhcp binding

Step 6: Verify connectivity.

You check if all the hosts are connected to each other by pinging from one host to another.

Pinging from one host to another

Configuring a Cisco Router as a DHCP Client

In addition to a Cisco router serving as a DHCP server, you can also configure it as a DHCP client. This means the interface will request an IP address using the standard DHCP process, and any DHCP server on the network will lease an IP address to it.

This is done using the following command:

DHCP_Router(config)# int FastEthernet0/0
DHCP_Router(config-if)#ip address dhcp 

Related Content:

How to Configure DHCP Server For Multiple VLANS in Packet Tracer

How to Configure DHCP Relay Agent on Layer 3

How to Configure DHCP on Layer 3 Switch In Packet Tracer

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