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Monday, August 13, 2018

pfSense DHCP option 43 for Aruba Networks

Here is a quick post for configuring DHCP option 43 and option 60 for Aruba Networks AP's on pfSense.

DHCP option 43 tells the AP the IP address of the master controller, hence when an AP first boots up he needs to connect to the master controller in order to get his first configuration (AP name, group, LMS/Backup LMS). There are several ways to instruct the AP who is the master controller, DHCP option 43 is one of them.

DHCP option 60 helps the server to identify the client specific vendor.

Log in into pfSense web GUI, go to Services / DHCP Server and the interface which serves the AP's.
Scroll down to Additional BOOTP/DHCP Options, and add the following options:

Note that option 43 should be expressed in HEX, but we convert ASCII text and not numbers!

So, in my example I need to convert the master controller IP:, we can use the following URL to ease the conversion:

In the end click save and let the AP boot up

Here is the pcap result:


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  2. Hey, I'd like to point out your howto doesn't work as you think it does. Your option 60 isn't linked in any way to the option 43.
    Or let me put it this way:
    Without option 60 it will work exactly the same.
    If you would add a second vendor option 60 for lets say "Cisco" with an other option 43 intended for the Cisco device, you'd see the PF will still offer the first option 43 to the Cisco and the Aruba. Your option 60 simply isn't taken into account.