Linux: Setup as DNS Client / Name Server IP Address

by on December 1, 2004 · 50 comments· LAST UPDATED December 12, 2008

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Many new Linux user finds it difficult to setup / modify new name server address (NS1 / NS2).

Local name resolution is done via /etc/hosts file. If you have small network, use /etc/hosts file. DNS (domain name service is accountable for associating domain names with ip address, for example domain is easy to remember than IP address provides better name resolution. To configure Linux as DNS client you need to edit or modify /etc/resolv.conf file. This file defines which name servers to use. You want to setup Linux to browse net or run network services like www or smtp; then you need to point out to correct ISP DNS servers:

/etc/resolv.conf file

In Linux and Unix like computer operating systems, the /etc/resolv.conf configuration file contains information that allows a computer connected to the Internet to convert alpha-numeric names into the numeric IP addresses that are required for access to external network resources on the Internet. The process of converting domain names to IP addresses is called "resolving."

The resolv.conf file typically contains the IP addresses of nameservers (DNS name resolvers) that attempt to translate names into addresses for any node available on the network.

Setup DNS Name resolution

Steps to configure Linux as DNS client, first login as a root user (use su command):

Step # 1: Open /etc/resolv.conf file:

# vi /etc/resolv.conf

Step #2: Add your ISP nameserver as follows:


Note Max. three nameserver can be used/defined at a time.

Step # 3:Test setup nslookup or dig command:

$ dig
$ nslookup

See also:

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous August 27, 2005 at 12:25 am

Very precise brief & 100% helpful



2 Anonymous August 28, 2005 at 12:07 am

This is quite useful when you have DSL or dial up connection and would like to setup dns quickly under Linux. Or even when you can’t browse site on net using domain name but you can browse them (ping them) using the ip-address. This solved my problem as well as Temporary failure in name resolution (which can be caused by ssh, telnet or mail client etc) To browse Internet one need to configure the DNS properly. Thanks for this tiny post.


3 unamed February 19, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Thnx helped me :)


4 sathish February 22, 2008 at 4:08 am


Im having problem with DNS where it unable to lookup the dns that i have setupd. i have configured my hosts file and resolve.conf but stil not solving my problem. i have statis dns ip from ISP and currently using fedora8. any1 having problem with dns with fc8. i cant surf the takes long time to resolve suspect that it getting dns from my router. where it not resolving it from what i have edited in the machine. request is tooo slow. anything that could help to solve? need help. i have checked all my setting everything is fine.


5 Ali durrani March 12, 2008 at 11:21 am

I need Dhcp ip router in Fc8
anyone here experience of that?


6 ganesh June 11, 2008 at 5:31 am

I’ve setup the internet connection through PPP dial up and able to get the public IP assigned to me. Also I’ve configured the DNS server address in the /etc/resolv.conf file.
The problem is, I’m able to ping to my ISP’s IP and also to any public IP addresses, but not to any domain names.
ping, always fails saying unknown host, but at the same time nslookup and dig work fine(able to resove IP from domain name).
What may be the problem?, please do help, Thanks in advance,



7 nixCraft June 11, 2008 at 7:20 am

try ping


8 Pothi Kalimuthu December 12, 2008 at 7:54 am

Thanks a bunch!

I was just looking for this.


9 pankaj sharma February 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

domain configer redhate server to clint pc


10 star May 10, 2009 at 7:51 am

thanks for the guides, was looking for this


11 bomy May 19, 2009 at 8:28 am

how i can config host file


12 A.Wadud June 20, 2009 at 5:49 am

i cant add GW address in eth0, how to i add it , plz give me command,


13 chisao July 16, 2009 at 8:39 am

for redhat linux, im able to ping the ip address from the client side but not the server name .. i type “neat” and under the tab hosts, i put my address as and hostname as but im unable to, mind helping out? thx


14 June July 26, 2009 at 8:38 am

hi! i m doing a project on redhat linux 5.3.. my project requires me to setup a dns master server on the server computer. and a client computer have to ping the server and itself by hostname. i m able to use the client computer to ping server computer by hostname and ip. but the client can’t ping itself by hostname. may i know wat is the problem? do i nid to install bind in the client computer as well?
thanks and regards.


15 Ayie September 15, 2009 at 12:24 am

use this command to add a default gateway to your server,
route add default gw dev eth0


16 sachin shinde October 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm

It is very understandable information, And thanks for guiding me.


17 Anders October 29, 2009 at 12:24 am

You might want to consider adding OpenDNS servers too.

And if you run any Debian based distribution, try to install the package resolveconf “aptitude install resloveconf” and this will be solved for most parts (dhcpclients) and you add your dns servers in network configuration file /etc/network/interfaces


18 mosin khan January 9, 2010 at 9:22 am

i’ve setup dns server on rhel5 and working. clinets are pinging by ip not by name. my server pinging itself by name.
please help me


19 kumar January 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

good I was looking for such type of articals really.


20 ritzrash March 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm

i know my proxy server ip and i put it in the resolve.conf file like explained above


however when i do dig it gives me

; <> DiG 9.2.4 <>
;; global options: printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

I even tried adding the to my yum.conf file

Still getting the same error.. Please suggest


21 ozgur March 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

This solved the problem temporariliy, but everytime i reboot my system, resolv.conf is set back to its original state. How can i make this change permanent?


22 nixCraft March 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

See, How To: Make Sure /etc/resolv.conf Never Get Updated By DHCP Client


23 ozgur March 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Thanks for the help..


24 Foxx Linux March 17, 2010 at 2:51 am

great instructions.. 100% accurate.


25 Lakshman March 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Good Information. Helped me in resolving one of critical issue.


26 maggie May 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

i do appreciate for what your doing to us.
i have problem with how to set up dns server using linux in my laptop


27 Omar, Riverside, California June 4, 2010 at 2:59 am

I am just wondering. Setting up my first web server to run my website.
I got a domain name paid for and a dns thing from them.
Do i just plug this in the resolv.conf file?
I guess my question would be what does the resolve file look like when we are getting a domain name and dns from some company online in order to make our server public?


28 Omar, Riverside, California June 4, 2010 at 3:01 am

Sorry but wanted to add another question.
What about IP address do I just pick one out of the air? or set it do Dynamic?
Right now I got my server working in lan as a local server for testing but would like to connect it to the web for my website so hard finding help for this set up. Usually everything is for local server setup.


29 naresh.singh June 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

please submit more information about dns configuratio and aleternet dns


30 Omar June 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm

I got it working thanks. with inadyn setup as the dns part.
I decided to avoid the security issues I would have as a beginner with setting up my own dns server at home.
Thank you for this site. I learned the most important lesson I think which is I am still a beginner and I should take it one step at a time.


31 Nhoel June 24, 2010 at 3:41 am

why cant i edit my resolv.conf file?


32 alva July 15, 2010 at 3:13 am

you might not have the write permission. issue this command ‘ls -lrt’ you should see at least something like this ‘-rw-r–r– ‘


33 kadam August 9, 2010 at 7:16 am


anyone can help me create dns server in redhat linux.


34 dinesh December 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

Dear sir,

I have installed two linux (os) & on each OS oracle11g installed on the vmware and now configuring the server and client on linux, And also two databases are created on each OS.

Now i want to configure the client/server but i am not able to connect due to proper ping,IP & host name, so kinly give me the proper steps with connection scripts.

thanks & Regards


35 sanjay mahajan January 17, 2011 at 6:05 am

Dear Sir

I am having problwm with Redhat Enterprise Linux 4 about Configuring it as a internet server
I want to use RHEL 4 as a server and windows XP Systems as a clients for sharing internet among them ,

Pls assist me about doing the same

thanking you

sanjay mahajan


36 hem kumar April 20, 2011 at 5:51 am

how do i install dns in linux?
please leave da comment?

thanks for helping…


37 bharat April 21, 2011 at 2:58 am

but over the selinux and firewall…


38 Hal Martin July 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

This does not work on Fedora 13. If you try to edit resolv.conf NetworkManager will overwrite it on restart.


39 Al Noma September 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I configure DNS server by linux………….how i add or login from xp client


40 Brenzer Hummer November 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Short and upto the mark. Appreciate it!!!


41 freak_kaps April 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm



what should be instead of “” in
“search” as according to my system.
and what if i use
“domain” instead of “search” in /etc/resolv.conf file


42 ashwani May 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

error in configuration file that is /etc/named.conf unknown option 1 {option}


43 ajas December 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

this site gave me a lot of informations…..very helpful one…..thanks a lot…..


44 l33zard January 18, 2013 at 1:57 am

Great info tnx to creators


45 Manhelp March 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Could you please tell me what is Global DNS server? when is it used? And how is it configured in linux?
Is it used when you dont define any DNS IP in resov.conf?Where can it be configured?

Please guide.


46 ad June 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm

This also works

just cancal everything and edit vi /etc/resolv.conf

add just this:



47 Pro Host June 8, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Can you have more than one domain name?

Also I am trying to find out what port is uses to send out the resolve connection?

If you have any ideas for this please let me know!


48 Chris F March 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

This is a generated file though. Changes should be made in /etc/sysconfig/network with the following line added



49 Chris F March 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Sorry, html left out the part with angle brackets after DNS1=. Here’s an example



50 Vannara Mao March 19, 2014 at 6:50 am

Nothing to say because it’s so simply and easy to understand. Thank you very much. ;)


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