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New Member

Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560


We had IOS IPbase installed on our Catalyst 3560G and all our dhcp client were working fine but since we upgraded to Ipservice,  all our linux workstation running Ubuntu were experiencing problems obtaining an IP address from the DHCP.  I noticed something strange while analysing the port with WireShark.:

Bootstrap Protocol
    Message type: Boot Request (1)
    Hardware type: Ethernet
    Hardware address length: 6
    Hops: 0
    Transaction ID: 0x695b3622
    Seconds elapsed: 0
    Bootp flags: 0x0000 (Unicast)
    Client IP address: (
    Your (client) IP address: (
    Next server IP address: (
    Relay agent IP address: (
    Client MAC address: WyseTech_74:3c:9f (00:80:64:74:3c:9f)
    Client hardware address padding: 00000000000000000000
    Server host name not given
    Boot file name not given
    Magic cookie: (OK)
    Option: (t=53,l=1) DHCP Message Type = DHCP Discover
        Option: (53) DHCP Message Type
        Length: 1
        Value: 01
    Option: (t=61,l=0) Client identifier
        Option: (61) Client identifier
        Length: 0

The boot flags is set to unicast and the Client identifier is empty.

Cisco IOS show the following error :

Aug  5 13:43:31: DHCPD: option 61 is malformed (option length 0).
Aug  5 13:43:31: DHCPD: invalid DHCP options - unable to parse

Is there a command or anything that would tell the router to route the packet to the DHCP server (Configured with ip-helper address) and ignoring this option?  Disabling this option on Ubuntu is almost impossible.

Thank you


Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560


  Can you provide a 'show run' and 'show ip dhcp pool'

New Member

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

No problem.

But the router is NOT the dhcp Server.  It only forward request to the dhcp Server with the command ip helper.  For example :

interface Vlan76
ip address 10.106.XX.XX
ip helper-address 10.1.XX.XX
ip helper-address 10.1.XX.XX
ip helper-address 10.1.XX.XX

Here is the result of sh ip dhcp pool :

c3560g-106-1#sh ip dhcp pool


The config file is attach to this message.

Thank you,

New Member

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

My collegue found this information from :

9.12. Client-identifier

   This option is used by DHCP clients to specify their unique
   identifier.  DHCP servers use this value to index their database of
   address bindings.  This value is expected to be unique for all
   clients in an administrative domain.

   Identifiers consist of a type-value pair, similar to the

   It is expected that this field will typically contain a hardware type
   and hardware address, but this is not required.  Current legal values
   for hardware types are defined in [22].

   The code for this option is 61, and its minimum length is 2.

   Code   Len   Type  Client-Identifier
   |  61 |  n  |  t1 |  i1 |  i2 | ...

The dhcp client is "udhcpc".  I understant that the client does not respect rfc rules.  But,  Cisco should relay the packet to the DHCP server.

New Member

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

We managed fix the udchpc client.  It no  longer send dhcp request with option 61.

Still,  it does not explain why Cisco does not foward thoses packets.

Cisco Employee

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

Hello Frederic,

When DHCP snooping is enabled on the switch the DHCP packets are checked and the packets are held to the RFC standard.  So DHCP snooping would drop this packet due to the invalid option in it.  If you disabled DHCP snooping then this packet would be forwarded normally.



Cisco Employee

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

Actually I am betting you upgraded your IOS from something before 12.2(50)SE to 12.2(50)SE or later.  We added enhancement CSCso19800 which will validate DHCP options when we are a relay agent.

As your option 61 had Leng 0, its invalid and should not be there.

Cisco Employee

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

Got posted twice for some reason.

New Member

Re: Problems with DHCP relay on Catalyst 3560

I fixed the udhcpd client.  Everything work nicely now.

But every "no ip dhcp snooping"  i tried never work for this problem.

Thank you for your help.