Kea 1.3 - Beta Version Posted for Testing

Kea version 1.3 is ready for field testing. If beta testing goes well, we plan to release the Kea 1.3 final by the end of October. Please download and send your comments to, or open tickets in the Kea GitLab instance at

New Features in 1.3

  1. Shared subnets: Support for shared subnets has been one of the most frequently-requested features on the Kea-users mailing list. We wanted to provide equivalent functionality as the shared subnets support in ISC DHCP, and after consulting with users on both the kea-users and DHCP-users mailing lists, we decided on a configuration design that is similar to ISC DHCP. This feature enables configuration of multiple subnets (more than two) and multiple addresses per subnet (more than two) on a single ethernet interface. This can be useful when the original subnet assigned to the host has no more available addresses and the administrator needs to assign more IP addresses to the host, or a host needs addresses on multiple different subnets.
  2. Subnet management via API: Ability to add, remove, and modify subnets in Kea via the API, without resending the entire Kea configuration, using a new hook library. This will make managing subnets via the API more feasible for configurations with a large number of subnets (typical of IPv6). This Subnet Commands library will be offered as a premium option.
  3. Lease management via API: New API commands enable querying, adding, reporting on current leases, and modifying existing leases while Kea is running. Use cases for modifying existing leases include migrating clients from one subnet or pool to another by forcing them to get a new address on renewal, and the related use case where some maintenance is planned, and the administrator wishes to gradually quiesce use. This feature is sponsored by the Mozilla MOSS award.
  4. Management API security: We have secured the new REST API for Kea using HTTPS to add client-Kea authentication, confidentiality, and integrity. The sample client provided uses HTTPS now. We also have expanded the size of the configuration that can be downloaded via the REST API, removing the 64K limitation in Kea 1.2. With these changes the REST API is now ready for production use! This feature is sponsored by the Mozilla MOSS award.
  5. 21 new DHCPv4 options, 10 new DHCP v6 options: We have expanded the list of standard options we support in Kea and have made the formatting for vendor-specific options more flexible.

For more details on what is in Kea 1.3 beta, please see the Release Notes.

We want to hear about new deployments!

If you have deployed Kea successfully, we would love to hear about your experience. Most users only think to post on the kea-users mailing list when they need help, but we are equally interested in hearing about what is working for you. Some things that we and other users would like to know include:

  • What is your network application? What scale is it?
  • Why did you decide to look at Kea? Was there a problem with your prior solution?
  • What did you observe during your testing?
  • What has been the result of your implementation?

How can YOU support Kea development?

Kea is free open source, but developing and maintaining this software is not free. ISC employs two dedicated software engineers, plus two engineers shared with other projects, plus a dedicated test engineer for the Kea project.

You can help support the Kea project:

  • Ask your employer to subscribe for Kea technical support from ISC.
  • Purchase the package of Kea premium hooks available for download from this website.
  • Join the kea-users mailing list and help other users.
  • Develop a Kea hook application and share it with other users on the Kea-contrib github site, or on the mailing list.

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