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Specifying a DNS server under Gentoo linux

Posted by Dominic Cronin at Sep 23, 2007 06:05 PM |

I realised this afternoon that trackback pings from this server weren't reaching their targets. A short investigation showed that I couldn't resolve domain names. For name resolution to work, you need to have a "nameserver"  directive in  /etc/resolv.conf ,  but  there wasn't one there. I remembered that I'd solved the same problem a few months ago by adding such a directive. Obviously I hadn't been thorough enough at the time if it was now broken again.

The obvious candidate to blame was rebooting the system. I'd rebooted for some reason a few weeks ago; presumably it had been broken since then. This was indeed the case as it turned out. On a Gentoo system the /etc/resolv.conf file is created by the init scripts. These init scripts use data from /etc/conf.d/net. The problem I had was that I didn't know the correct syntax for a directive in this file which would cause resolv.conf to get a nameserver directive.

After much digging, it turned out that:

  1. There is no documentation
  2. There is a file called /etc/conf.d/net.example which contains sufficient detail to allow you to fix the problem

If you add something like this to /etc/conf.d/net :

dns_servers=( "" )

you'll end up in your /etc/resolv.conf with a line that looks like this:


Hope this helps