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Increasing the DHCP Timeout Period in the ZENworks Boot Process

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Corey Webb

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Posted: 24 Oct 2006

ZENworks Desktop Management 6.5 sp2 or 7

PROBLEM: The ZENworks 7 boot process, be it from CD or partition, sometimes has trouble getting a DHCP address from certain switches and/or certain switch configurations. In many cases, this problem can be resolved by increasing the DHCP timeout period. I looked far and wide (Google) and found lots of generic docs for SuSE and other Linux distros, but nothing I found worked for ZENworks.

SOLUTION: After much searching and even more experimenting, I stumbled on the simple, but apparently undocumented, answer:
Add the line DHCPTimeout=XX to your settings.txt file.

XX is the number of seconds to wait for a response from the DHCP server before giving up, and showing the big red failure box. This answer eluded me mainly because of the mixed case -- remember that Linux is case-sensitive.

Note: The reason this command works is that ZENworks 6.5 SP2 and ZENworks 7 both use the SLES9 SP2 kernel.--Shaun Pond

If you have any questions you may contact Corey at

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