A protocol employed by a workstation on a local area network (LAN) to find its Internet Protocol (IP) address. BOOTP originally was intended to allow a diskless client machine to discover its own IP address, the address of a server host computer, and the name of a file to be loaded into memory and executed. First described in IETF RFC 951 (1985), BOOTP runs on top of the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is based on BOOTP, but is far more complex. See also client, DHCP, host, IETF, IP, IP address, LAN, protocol, server, UDP, and workstation,
(BOOTstrap Protocol) A TCP/IP protocol used by a diskless workstation to obtain its IP address and other network information such as server address and default gateway. Upon startup, the client station sends out a BOOTP request in a UDP packet to the BOOTP server, which returns the required information. Unlike RARP, which uses only the layer 2 (Ethernet) frame for transport, the BOOTP request and response use an IP broadcast function that can send messages before a specific IP address is known. See RARP.