PERFDHCP(8)                           Kea                          PERFDHCP(8)

       perfdhcp - DHCP benchmarking tool

       perfdhcp [-1] [-4|-6] [-A encapsulation-level] [-a aggressivity]
                [-b base] [-B] [-c] [-d drop-time] [-D max-drop]
                [-e lease-type] [-E time-offset] [-f renew-rate]
                [-F release-rate] [-h] [-i] [-I ip-offset]
                [-l local-address|interface] [-L local-port]
                [-M mac-list-file] [-n num-request] [-O random-offset]
                [-o code,hexstring] [-p test-period] [-P preload] [-r rate]
                [-R num-clients] [-s seed] [-S srvid-offset] [-t report]
                [-T template-file] [-v] [-W exit-wait-time] [-w wrapped]
                [-x diagnostic-selector] [-X xid-offset] [server]

       perfdhcp is a DHCP benchmarking tool. It provides a way of measuring
       the performance of DHCP servers by generating large amounts of traffic
       from simulated multiple clients. It is able to test both IPv4 and IPv6
       servers, and provides statistics concerning response times and the
       number of requests that are dropped.

       By default, tests are run using the full four-packet exchange sequence
       (DORA for DHCPv4, SARR for DHCPv6). An option is provided to run tests
       using the initial two-packet exchange (DO and SA) instead. It is also
       possible to configure perfdhcp to send DHCPv6 RENEW and RELEASE
       messages at a specified rate in parallel with the DHCPv6 four-way

       When running a performance test, perfdhcp will exchange packets with
       the server under test as fast as possible unless the -r is given to
       limit the request rate. The length of the test can be limited by
       setting a threshold on any or all of the number of requests made by
       perfdhcp, the elapsed time, or the number of requests dropped by the

       To allow the contents of packets sent to the server to be customized,
       perfdhcp allows the specification of template files that determine the
       contents of the packets. For example, the customized packet may contain
       a DHCPv6 ORO to request a set of options to be returned by the server,
       or it may contain the Client FQDN option to request that server
       performs DNS updates. This may be used to discover performance
       bottlenecks for different server configurations (e.g. DDNS enabled or

       Up to two template files can be specified on the command line, each
       file representing the contents of a particular type of packet, the type
       being determined by the test being carried out. For example, if testing

       ·   With no template files specified on the command line, perfdhcp will
           generate both SOLICIT and REQUEST packets.

       ·   With one template file specified, that file will be used as the
           pattern for SOLICIT packets: perfdhcp will generate the REQUEST

       ·   With two template files given on the command line, the first will
           be used as the pattern for SOLICIT packets, the second as the
           pattern for REQUEST packets.

       (Similar determination applies to DHCPv4's DISCOVER and REQUEST

       The template file holds the DHCP packet represented as a stream of
       ASCII hexadecimal digits and it excludes any IP/UDP stack headers. The
       template file must not contain any characters other than hexadecimal
       digits and spaces. Spaces are discarded when the template file is
       parsed (so in the file, '12B4' is the same as '12 B4' which is the same
       as '1 2 B 4')

       The template files should be used in conjunction with the command line
       parameters which specify offsets of the data fields being modified in
       outbound packets. For example, the -E time-offset switch specifies the
       offset of the DHCPv6 Elapsed Time option in the packet template. If the
       offset is specified, perfdhcp will inject the current elapsed time
       value into this field before sending the packet to the server.

       In many scenarios, perfdhcp needs to simulate multiple clients (having
       unique client identifier). Since packets for each client are generated
       from the same template file, it is necessary to randomize the client
       identifier (or HW address in DHCPv4) in the packet created from it. The
       -O random-offset option allows specification of the offset in the
       template where randomization should be performed. It is important to
       note that this offset points to the end (not the beginning) of the
       client identifier (or HW address field). The number of bytes being
       randomized depends on the number of simulated clients. If the number of
       simulated clients is between 1 and 255, only one byte (to which
       randomization offset points) will be randomized. If the number of
       simulated clients is between 256 and 65535, two bytes will be
       randomized. Note, that two last bytes of the client identifier will be
       randomized in this case: the byte which randomization offset parameter
       points to, and the one which precedes it (random-offset - 1). If the
       number of simulated clients exceeds 65535, three bytes will be
       randomized; and so on.

       Templates may be currently used to generate packets being sent to the
       server in 4-way exchanges, i.e. SOLICIT, REQUEST (DHCPv6) and DISCOVER,
       REQUEST (DHCPv4). They cannot be used when RENEW or RELEASE packets are
       being sent.

           Take the server-ID option from the first received message.

           DHCPv4 operation; this is the default. It is incompatible with the
           -6 option.

           DHCPv6 operation. This is incompatible with the -4 option.

       -a aggressivity
           When the target sending rate is not yet reached, control how many
           exchanges are initiated before the next pause. This is a positive
           integer and defaults to 1.

       -b basetype=value
           The base MAC or DUID used to simulate different clients. The
           basetype may be "mac" or "duid". (The keyword "ether" may
           alternatively used for MAC.) The -b option can be specified
           multiple times. The MAC address must consist of six octets
           separated by single (:) or double (::) colons, for example:
           mac=00:0c:01:02:03:04. The DUID value is a hexadecimal string: it
           must be at least six octets long and must not be longer than 64
           bytes and the length must be less than 128 hexadecimal digits, for
           example: duid=0101010101010101010110111F14.

       -d drop-time
           Specify the time after which a request is treated as having been
           lost. The value is given in seconds and may contain a fractional
           component. The default is 1 second.

       -e lease-type
           Specifies the type of lease being requested from the server. It may
           be one of the following:

               Only regular addresses (v4 or v6) will be requested.

               Only IPv6 prefixes will be requested.

               Both IPv6 addresses and prefixes will be requested.

           The -e prefix-only and -e address-and-prefix forms may not be used
           with the -4 option.

       -f renew-rate
           Rate at which DHCPv4 or DHCPv6 renew requests are sent to a server.
           This value is only valid when used in conjunction with the exchange
           rate (given by -r rate). Furthermore the sum of this value and the
           release-rate (given by -F  rate) must be equal to or less than the
           exchange rate.

           Print help and exit.

           Do only the initial part of the exchange: DISCOVER-OFFER if -4 is
           selected, SOLICIT-ADVERTISE if -6 is chosen.

           -i is incompatible with the following options: -1, -d, -D, -E, -S,
           -I and -F. In addition, it cannot be used with multiple instances
           of -O, -T and -X.

       -l local-addr|interface
           For DHCPv4 operation, specify the local hostname/address to use
           when communicating with the server. By default, the interface
           address through which traffic would normally be routed to the
           server is used. For DHCPv6 operation, specify the name of the
           network interface through which exchanges are initiated.

       -L local-port
           Specify the local port to use. This must be zero or a positive
           integer up to 65535. A value of 0 (the default) allows perfdhcp to
           choose its own port.

       -M mac-list-file
           A text file containing a list of MAC addresses, one per line. If
           provided, a MAC address will be chosen randomly from this list for
           every new exchange. In the DHCPv6 case, MAC addresses are used to
           generate DUID-LLs. This parameter must not be used in conjunction
           with the -b parameter.

       -o code,hexstring
           This forces perfdhcp to insert specified extra option (or options
           if used several times) into packets being transmitted. The code
           specifies option code and the hexstring is a hexadecimal string
           that defines the content of the option. Care should be taken as
           perfdhcp does not offer any kind of logic behind those options.
           They're simply inserted into packets being sent as is. Be careful
           not to insert options that are already inserted. For example, to
           insert client class identifier (option code 60) with a string
           'docsis', you can use -o 60,646f63736973. The -o may be used
           multiple times. It is necessary to specify protocol family (either
           -4 or -6) before using -o.

       -P preload
           Initiate preload exchanges back to back at startup.  preload must
           be 0 (the default) or a positive integer.

       -r rate
           Initiate rate DORA/SARR (or if -i is given, DO/SA) exchanges per
           second. A periodic report is generated showing the number of
           exchanges which were not completed, as well as the average response
           latency. The program continues until interrupted, at which point a
           final report is generated.

       -R num-clients
           Specify how many different clients are used. With a value of 1 (the
           default), all requests seem to come from the same client.
           num-clients must be a positive number.

       -s seed
           Specify the seed for randomization, making runs of perfdhcp
           repeatable.  seed is 0 or a positive integer. The value 0 means
           that a seed is not used; this is the default.

       -T template-file
           The name of a file containing the template to use as a stream of
           hexadecimal digits. This may be specified up to two times and
           controls the contents of the packets sent (see the "TEMPLATES"
           section above).

           Print the version of this program.

       -W exit-wait-time
           Specifies exit-wait-time parameter, that makes perfdhcp wait for
           exit-wait-time us after an exit condition has been met to receive
           all packets without sending any new packets. Expressed in
           microseconds. If not specified, 0 is used (i.e. exit immediately
           after exit conditions are met).

       -w wrapped
           Command to call with a single parameter of "start" or "stop" at the
           beginning/end of the program.

       -x diagnostic-selector
           Include extended diagnostics in the output.  diagnostic-selector is
           a string of single-keywords specifying the operations for which
           verbose output is desired. The selector key letters are:

               Print the decoded command line arguments.

               Print the exit reason.

               Print rate processing details.

               Print the first server-ID.

               When finished, print timers of all successful exchanges.

               When finished, print templates

   DHCPv4-Only Options
       The following options only apply for DHCPv4 (i.e. when -4 is given).

           Force broadcast handling.

   DHCPv6-Only Options
       The following options only apply for DHCPv6 (i.e. when -6 is given).

           Add a rapid commit option (exchanges will be SOLICIT-ADVERTISE).

       -F release-rate
           Rate at which IPv6 RELEASE requests are sent to a server. This
           value is only valid when used in conjunction with the exchange rate
           (given by -r rate). Furthermore the sum of this value and the
           renew-rate (given by -f rate) must be equal to or less than the
           exchange rate.

       -A encapsulation-level
           Specifies that relayed traffic must be generated. The argument
           specifies the level of encapsulation, i.e. how many relay agents
           are simulated. Currently the only supported encapsulation-level
           value is 1, which means that the generated traffic is an equivalent
           of the traffic passing through a single relay agent.

   Template-Related Options
       The following options may only be used in conjunction with -T and
       control how perfdhcp modifies the template. The options may be
       specified multiple times on the command line; each occurrence affects
       the corresponding template file (see "TEMPLATES" above).

       -E time-offset
           Offset of the (DHCPv4) secs field or (DHCPv6) elapsed-time option
           in the (second i.e. REQUEST) template and must be 0 or a positive
           integer: a value of 0 disables this.

       -I ip-offset
           Offset of the (DHCPv4) IP address in the requested-IP option /
           (DHCPv6) IA_NA option in the (second/request) template.

       -O random-offset
           Offset of the last octet to randomize in the template.
           random-offset must be an integer greater than 3. The -T switch must
           be given to use this option.

       -S srvid-offset
           Offset of the server-ID option in the (second/request) template.
           srvid-offset must be a positive integer, and the switch can only be
           used when the template option (-T) is also given.

       -X xid-offset
           Offset of the transaction ID (xid) in the template.  xid-offset
           must be a positive integer, and the switch can only be used when
           the template option (-T) is also given.

   Options Controlling a Test
       -D max-drop
           Abort the test immediately if max-drop requests have been dropped.
           Use -D 0 to abort if even a single request has been dropped.
           max-drop must be a positive integer. If max-drop includes the
           suffix '%', it specifies a maximum percentage of requests that may
           be dropped before abort. In this case, testing of the threshold
           begins after 10 requests have been expected to be received.

       -n num-requests
           Initiate num-request transactions. No report is generated until all
           transactions have been initiated/waited-for, after which a report
           is generated and the program terminates.

       -p test-period
           Send requests for test-period, which is specified in the same
           manner as -d. This can be used as an alternative to -n, or both
           options can be given, in which case the testing is completed when
           either limit is reached.

       -t interval
           Sets the delay (in seconds) between two successive reports.

           Server to test, specified as an IP address. In the DHCPv6 case, the
           special name 'all' can be used to refer to
           All_DHCP_Relay_Agents_and_Servers (the multicast address
           FF02::1:2), or the special name 'servers' to refer to
           All_DHCP_Servers (the multicast address FF05::1:3). The server is
           mandatory except where the -l option is given to specify an
           interface, in which case it defaults to 'all'.

       perfdhcp can report the following errors in the packet exchange:

           A message was received that was too short.

           Received a message which doesn't match one sent to the server (i.e.
           it is a duplicate message, a message that has arrived after an
           excessive delay, or one that is just not recognized).

           Reached local system limits when sending a message.

       perfdhcp can exit with one of the following status codes:


           General error.

           Error in command-line arguments.

           No general failures in operation, but one or more exchanges were

       There are two mailing lists available for Kea project. kea-users
       (kea-users at is intended for Kea users, while kea-dev
       (kea-dev at is intended for Kea developers, prospective
       contributors and other advanced users. Both lists are available at The community provides best effort type of
       support on both of those lists.

       ISC provides professional support for Kea services. See for details.

       The perfdhcp tool was initially coded in October 2011 by John DuBois,
       Francis Dupont and Marcin Siodelski of ISC. Kea 1.0.0 that included
       perfdhcp was released in December 2015.

       kea-dhcp4(8), kea-dhcp6(8), kea-dhcp-ddns(8), kea-ctrl-agent(8), kea-
       admin(8), keactrl(8), kea-lfc(8), Kea Administrator's Guide.

           The Kea software has been written by a number of engineers working
           for ISC: Tomek Mrugalski, Stephen Morris, Marcin Siodelski, Thomas
           Markwalder, Francis Dupont, Jeremy C. Reed, Wlodek Wencel and Shawn
           Routhier. That list is roughly in the chronological order in which
           the authors made their first contribution. For a complete list of
           authors and contributors, see AUTHORS file.

       Copyright © 2016-2018 Internet Systems Consortium, Inc. ("ISC")

ISC Kea 1.4.0-P1                 July 11, 2018                     PERFDHCP(8)