Kea Migration Assistant (KeaMA) web interface

ISC has developed the Kea Migration Assistant (KeaMA) tool to help users migrate from the legacy ISC DHCP server to the Kea DHCP server. This tool analyzes a valid ISC DHCP server configuration file and provides an equivalent configuration file for a Kea DHCP server. The resulting file is a *starting point* for your Kea configuration, but it will probably require editing before use.

Online Migration

This web interface is the easiest way to translate your old configuration files.

Using the Tool

Upload your ISC DHCP server configuration, which is typically stored in /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf. If you use both IPv4 and IPv6 in your network, you will have two separate files; this web tool analyzes a single file at a time. Upload your file using the form below, and make sure you check the appropriate IP family (DHCPv4 or DHCPv6). There is a limit on the file size for the upload. If your dhcpd.conf file is too big, you may have to run the KeaMA tool locally instead of using this web page. Once your dhcpd.conf file is uploaded, use the MIGRATE! button to trigger the translation. Your results will be displayed and you can download the output file. If the file uploaded is not a valid ISC DHCP configuration file, the translation will fail and error messages will be displayed. Those can be used to correct the input configuration file so you can try again.

Data Privacy Concerns

Uploaded files are permanently removed from the server after 10 minutes. If you want to share your configuration with ISC to improve the KeaMA software, there is an option to do so; none of your information is preserved unless you specifically allow it.


What kind of configuration would you like to migrate:
You can either upload your ISC DHCP configuration file here:

... or paste its contents here. Uploading a file is generally safer, as it avoids problems with line wraps, copying too much/not enough data, etc.

Once you are ready, hit this button:

Off-Line Migration

This page offers a hosted instance of the Kea Migration Assistant (KeaMA) tool for your convenience. You can achieve the same result by downloading the software and running it yourself. It is more complex to download and install this software to your system; however, your data never leaves your system. This might be preferable if you are concerned about data privacy.

The Kea Migration Assistant can be built from source, installed as a pre-compiled package from ISC’s package repository, or run as a Docker container.


This utility translates most ISC DHCP configuration elements to the appropriate format for Kea. However, some elements of an ISC DHCP configuration file cannot be automatically translated to Kea format, either because some features of ISC DHCP are unsupported in Kea, or because Kea implements that functionality differently. In areas where the utility is unable to translate the configuration, it inserts diagnostic messages to highlight what was not translated, with references to issues in the Kea GitLab that provide more detail. These sections of the configuration will require manual review and adjustment.

This tool does not translate the DHCP active lease file. There is an experimental project to translate lease files, the KeaMA Leases tool.

Next Steps

Open the output file and look for log messages, which may include links to ISC GitLab issues with more information.

The major configuration areas that will likely require redesign are the failover or high-availability solution, client classification, and host reservations. Kea has an alternative to the DHCPv4 failover draft implemented in ISC DHCP: the Kea feature is called “High Availability,” and it works equally well for both DHCPv4 and DHCPv6. Kea does support client classification, but there is no equivalent for ISC DHCP’s hyper-flexible permit/deny scripting language. The option inheritance hierarchy in Kea is different than in ISC DHCP, and the configuration for custom vendor-specific options is also different. Kea has robust support for host reservations, but in ISC DHCP all host reservations are global. In Kea, host reservations are by default per-subnet, although global host reservations are also supported. The following resources may help with understanding your options for enabling these features in Kea:

Once you think your configuration file is ready, load it into the respective Kea DHCPv4 or DHCPv6 server and run the configuration checkers.

When you are ready to cut over from your old ISC DHCP server to Kea, you may want to also translate your active leases. For that, we recommend using the KeaMA Leases tool.

Getting Help

If you have problems using this tool, or want to report crashes or bugs with the tool, please open an issue in the Kea GitLab project

For advice on how to rewrite configuration elements that cannot be translated by machine, or other topics not addressed here, please post your questions on the kea-users mailing list.

Users whose organizations are interested in purchasing professional support services from ISC are encouraged to contact us at https://www.isc.org/contact.