I am using El Capitan 10.11.2.

I go to sharing and select 'Display Ethernet' in the Share your connection from menu. The display ethernet port is the port with the ethernet cable leading to the internet.

I check 'Wi-Fi' from the To computers using: list and turn on Internet Sharing.

From another device, I do see the Wi-Fi network created by my Mac show up and I can try to connect to it, but the connection never succeeds.

I think some preference file somewhere has become corrupt because I can do this same thing using another machine without any trouble and I wanted to avoid wiping the problematic machine and starting from scratch if I can avoid it.

The only clue I have are messages in the console log:

1/7/16 3:56:11.733 PM bootpd[695]: DHCP DISCOVER [bridge100]: 1,c8:6f:1d:15:8c:80 (ericss-iPhone)

4 Answers 4


I was desperate to get internet sharing going on my mac as, at the moment, it is my only router. It was going fine and suddenly stopped, and I hadn't updated recently. I ran the WirelessDiagnostic tool after doing a bit of searching, and that made the internet shareable again. It's an app--not a setting; I mention this because I wasted a lot of time trying to find it in System Preferences.


Turn Off firewall, so far it's the only way that you can share the connection. I don't like this idea of turning off the firewall but sharing just doesn't work when firewall is set to On. Apple should give a fix on this without turning Off the firewall and still able to share the connection.


I am having the same problem and have fought with it. A device will connect to the wireless network created by El Capitan, BUT never get an Ip Address.

Been googling and think it has something to do with bootpd (The daemon that acts as a DHCP server) not working properly. BUT with the changes in El Capitan, I am not even sure if this is how it works anymore, and presently cannot find documentation on the technical specifics of how internet connection sharing works on el capitan.

Ex: Does it use bootpd and do we need to manually configure it with a proper Ip range? Does it use something else? ETC.

Only just discovered the bootpd thing, so do not have more info for you here as I continue to troubleshoot. But hopefully this will get you somewhere. See who is the first one to the finish line.

  • Check /etc/bootpd.plist and see if you can grab a default copy from somewhere else.
    – ericg
    Jan 11, 2016 at 14:54

bootpd.plist IS the problem. I just upgraded my mini from Snow Leopard to El Capitan (skipping all versions in-between) and found that internet sharing was no longer working. After reading about the problem on this thread I looked at my /etc/bootpd.plist file and compared it with one on a functioning El Cap machine (my laptop). They were different. First thing I noticed was that the working one says that it was _created by com.apple.NetworkSharing. The one on my mini says it was _created by com.apple.nat. So, I copied the booted.plist file from my laptop to my desktop mini and it started working. Sort of. I could now connect and surf via that shared connection, but Home Sharing isn't working. Also, as soon as I turn off Internet Sharing and then turn it back on I end up with the non-functional booted.plist file again. I don't know where to look for the config file that generates that booted.plist file, but I suspect it is chaff left over from the Snow Leopard install. Ideas?


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