DHCP smart-proxy sending out wrong next-server IP address for TFTP. Said wrong IP address is also an external one for some reason

Hi foreman community! So I just discovered this software and have been tinkering with it in the past few days. It really does have a steep learning curve.

The foreman host which also has a dhcp and tftp smart-proxy is a fresh Centos 7.8.2003 KVM VM. A physical PXEbooting client in the network displays E32: TFTP Timeout after getting leased an ip address by the dhcp smart-proxy. I used a packet sniffer software to find out what was going on and I found out that the DHCP server is sending out a wrong next-server IP address. It should be address of foreman host with dhcp proxy and tftp proxy) but it keeps sending out a wrong IP address of for some reason.


  1. Tried setting tftp_servername in tftp.yaml to IP address of foreman host.
  2. Tried setting supersede server.next-server = in dhcpd.leases

Expected outcome:
DHCP should send out the right next-server address (for my tftp proxy which is on the same machine as dhcp proxy) to pxebooting client.

Foreman and Proxy versions:
Foreman and Proxy plugin versions:

Distribution and version:
Centos 7.8.2003

Other relevant data:

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  1. Foreman finds TFTP proxy you associated with your Subnet. If none is found, no filename option is created.
  2. It asks for tftp_servername setting via proxy API. It can be a hostname or a IP.
  3. If its not set, it takes smart proxy hostname.
  4. It returns this. UNLESS
  5. You use older version of proxy, in that case for compatibility reasons it uses this already deprecated trick which will be removed: it finds DNS PTR record for the hostname and that IP is added as DHCP option.
  def boot_server
    # if we don't manage tftp for IPv4 at all, we dont create a next-server entry.
    return unless tftp?

    # first try to ask our IPv4 TFTP server for its boot server
    bs = tftp.bootServer
    # if that failed, trying to guess out tftp next server based on the smart proxy hostname
    bs ||= URI.parse(subnet.tftp.url).host

    # only smart proxies with V2 API are supported
    if subnet.dhcp.has_capability?(:DHCP, :dhcp_filename_hostname)
      # we no longer convert the boot server to IPv4 - smart proxy modules are required to do so if they don't support hostname
        Foreman::Deprecation.deprecation_warning('1.25', "DHCP proxy does not report dhcp_filename_* capability and reverse DNS search in Foreman will be removed.")
        ip = NicIpResolver.new(:nic => self).to_ip_address(bs) if bs.present?
        return ip unless ip.nil?
        failure _("Unable to determine the host's boot server. The DHCP smart proxy failed to provide this information and this subnet is not provided with TFTP services.")
      rescue => e
        failure _("failed to detect boot server: %s") % e, e

So there you have it. Check which TFTP proxy have you associate with your subnet. If that’s correct, check PTR DNS record of the hostname you either set in TFTP setttings or you have in smart proxy URL. That could eventually turn into the IP address you see as it gets resolved on the Foreman server (not proxy!).

Does it make sense? :slight_smile: