The question Which clients accept DHCP option 42 to configure their NTP servers? doesn't ask for software recommendations despite what its title says since:

  1. There aren't that many DHCP servers/client implementations apart from major operating systems (Windows and ISC, AKA *nix)
  2. DHCP has been around as a technology since the cavern times (well, not that way back) and haven't changed nor will change in the years to come (IPv6 doesn't change almost anything about this protocol). Thanks allquixotic for pointing this out.
  3. OP is asking if he needs a special configuration to enable the functionality and if it's not possible if he should change his DHCP client. He doesn't ask right off the bat what clients has this functionality, but "I want to get this functionality, what should I do with what I have right now to get it?".
  4. Even if we change the X and Y, X being DHCP client and Y being NTP support, it will continue being on-topic, because he asks first and foremost if it can be done. (Notice this is a twist of my third reason.)
  5. Is about a general networking issue with historical reasons, and the question isn't in the https://superuser.com/help/dont-ask list.
  • The question, as written, is off-topic, and there's not enough there to justify editing the question without fear of changing the OP's meaning. If there is a similar, on-topic question (like the one mentioned in my answer), I suggest that it be asked and answered separately, instead of trying to shoe-horn this question into it without input from the original author. Oct 29, 2013 at 15:37
  • @DarthAndroid if it's offtopic, and the reason isn't about soft-rec, then it should be closed as offtopic of the real reason or not closed at all.
    – Braiam
    Oct 29, 2013 at 15:44
  • It's off-topic because it's a software-rec. Both the title and the body of the question ask the same question, but you're saying he's asking for something else, and I simply do not agree that it's written in between the lines. Unless the OP edits the question to match what you're assuming he wants, it should stay closed. In particular, your #3 is invalid. He asks right off the bat "So, which DHCP clients do this?" Oct 29, 2013 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


There are two things that I see about this request.

  1. This is not a software recommendation question. DHCP is a protocol. Suggesting that questions of this type are software-recommendation questions would mean that we would have to include all TCP/IP, FTP, HTTP, and any other protocol based questions; which is just ridiculous.

  2. I'm hesitant to vote to open this question for a very different reason. It's a question that isn't really problem based, but rather inquiring for a list of OSes that support automatically enabling NTP. If this question were how to enable this (which was answered in the other quoted question) or how to automate the enabling of this, then that would be better suited.

Normally I would edit the question to make it more based upon a problem. However, in this case, I'm not sure if that's the the OP really wants. For now, I'm not willing to open the question.

  • RE: 1, The question isn't about the DHCP protocol itself, though. It's quite clearly "What {software} supports feature {X}?" Those questions are off-topic largely because the answers are volatile and change often over time. I would expect the following questions to be off-topic: "Which web browsers support the HTTP Filesystem API?" "Which FTP clients support binary transfers?" "Which firewalls allow me to block by destination TCP port?" All of these including the OP's question ask for a software recommendation with a given feature. Why should DHCP get special treatment? Oct 29, 2013 at 15:08
  • @DarthAndroid That's where #2 steps in. I don't like questions like that either and agree that this should be closed (as well as any others no matter whether they're protocol, software, hardware, etc,.). But to say that this is a "software-rec" just isn't correct. Oct 29, 2013 at 15:17
  • @DarthAndroid are you using the "title" to make your standing?
    – Braiam
    Oct 29, 2013 at 15:26
  • 1
    @Braiam The title and the body of the question: "So, which DHCP clients do this? ... by default, or after special configuration?" As I read that question, the built-in clients of W7 and OS X are merely used as examples of what the user doesn't want in their software recommendation. As that question is written, I see people reading into it what they want to see, and ignoring what the user actually asked. If the user wants something else, then that should be clarified by them in the comments, and the question edited. Oct 29, 2013 at 15:27

As it's phrased, this question is very much a software request. It solicits a list of DHCP clients which support a particular feature (in this case, DHCP option 42). This same question format applied to other protocols and clients (see my comment to KronoS) would be closed quite quickly as software recommendations. Underneath the surface, I would agree that many of your arguments are correct, but I don't think they are sufficient to give DHCP and this question special treatment.

That said, I would be happy to vote to reopen the following question (or something phrased similarly):

How do I make OS X respect DHCP option 42 (NTP server autoconfiguration)?

  • (-1) B/c this isn't software related. It's just a terribly written question. DHCP isn't software, it's a protocol. Maybe I'm overly beating the bush here, but this shouldn't be closed b/c it's software-rec, it should be closed b/c it's seeking for a list of items that meet a certain criteria. Either way though, I think we all agree that this should be closed and kept closed. Oct 29, 2013 at 22:10
  • 2
    If this isn't software-related, then questions about web browsers are not software related either. Yes, this involves a protocol, but the focus of the question is not about the protocol itself (i.e., "Does DHCP support setting NTP time servers?"). It's asking about software that consumes that protocol (a DHCP client), which is within the bounds of SuperUser. Oct 29, 2013 at 22:29

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