Posts Tagged ‘dns servers’

Set ISP provider default DNS to overwrite DHCP settings on Debian / Ubuntu Linux

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Reading Time: 4minutes

dhcp linux ovewrite dns settings from console and terminal Debian Ubuntu Fedora CentOS Linux
 

These days, almost every home wireless ISP network router, ADSL modem etc. has its own local running DNS service. Generally this is very good as it puts off the burden of  Internet Service Provider DNS servers and "saves" multitude of users from so common overloads with ISP DNS Servers – caused by ISP DNS Service unable to handle the incoming user DNS (Domain resolve) traffic. Common scenario, where ISP DNS servers is unable to handle DNS traffic is when few thousands of users belonging to ISP gets infected with a Worm, Trojan horse or Virus doing plenty of DNS Spoofs and distributed DDoS attacks.

Though local DNS service (daemons) on local Cable and Wireless Network Routers is something designed to be good it becomes another bottleneck for DNS resolve problems, Calling the ISP tech support for help is often loose of time, as  in ISPs it is so rare to find someone understanding Linux Networking.

The periodic issues with DNS resolving from home routers in my observations has 3 main reasons;

  • Local Cheap network Wireless routers with slow hardware (CPU) and little memory are unable to handle DNS requests, because of torrent Downloads
     
  • DNS Wireless Router can't handle DNS requests to its DNS local service, because a small local network of computers with a landline and wireless (lets say 5 to 10) is trying to access the Internet (browsing) – again due to its low hardware paremeters router CPU heats up cause of multitude of DNS requests

     

  • Something is wrong with general network topology of PCs behind the router. Often people buy a router and use it shared with their neighbors – tampering with Router settings messing it up.

DNS resolving problems are even harder to track whether Internet provider has policy to deliver Internet via automated IP assignment protocol (DHCP),

A very common scenario, I've seen is Internet coming via ISP ADSL / Network router installed at home and mis-configured due to a custom user installation,   or because of ISP technician who installed router in hurry or lacked good competency and messed up with Router Network configuration.

During the years I had to install various Linux distributions for Desktop use in networks located behind such mis-configured Network Hubs. Because of this mis-configured DNS, even though Linux hosts succesfully graps the IP addresses for host IP, Gateway and DNS, they occasionally create problems with Internet Connection leaving the user with impression that Linux is not ready for Desktop use or somehow it is the the Linux distro fault.

After giving an introduction I will continue further to exact problem I've faced with one such mis-configured just today. The same issue has happened in my sysadmin practice over and over again so many times. So finally I decided to write this small story explaining the whole scenario, its causes and fix.

I'm writing this little post from another Linux installation like this which is living on a small local network served by a Vivacom ISP through ADSL Commtrend SmartAX MT882 Router.

The Commtrend does NAT (Network Address Translation)-ting for whole local network, auto-assigning some DNS server to Natted IP PCs local Network addresses in IP raneg; (172.16.0.0-255). The DNS the router assigns for internet is with IP (172.16.0.1), where in reality the DNS on the router is run on Network interface with IP 1921.68.1.1, in other words belonging to the router from another network. Thus PCs connected via a UTP land-line cable connection does not see 192.168.1.1 – meaning Domain name resolving works not at all.
The solution is to assign a static IP address for DNS of Google Public DNS or Open DNS, while leaving the Linux host to automatically assign LAN IP and Gateway using DHCP – (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).

By default most Linux distributions use DNS configured in /etc/resolv.conf as a host DNS servers, however as CommTrend Network Router does provide settings for DNS Servers to be used for resolving along with other settings on each Linux host boot settings from /etc/resolv.conf gets ovewritted with the unreachable (from 172.16.0.255), nameserver 192.168.1.1.

Thus to work-around this on most all Linux distributions you can set /etc/resolv.conf to be overwritten adding a line to /etc/rc.local script (before its last line – exit 0);

echo 'nameserver 8.8.8.8' > /etc/resolv.conf
echo 'nameserver 8.8.4.4' >> /etc/resolv.conf

This method is universal, but the problem with it arises, if on the Linux host is planned to run 24 hours a day. DHCP Servers on router has configured DHCP Expiry lease time, which is different on different routers but usually few hours i.e. (4 hrs). Thus in 4 hours, due to DHCP Lease expiry the Linux host will question the DHCP Server for IP, getting together with DHCP IP and Gateway Settings also a DNS IP (overwritting again /etc/resolv.conf – with local running ISP Router IP – 192.168.1.1). One stupid solution of course is to use good old Windows philosophy (reboot it and it will work).

Other little more intelligent but not very efficient solution to problem is to set a cronjob, to run every 1 minute and overwrite /etc/resolv.conf DNS setting.

# crontab -u root -e

*/1 * * * * echo -e 'nameserver 8.8.8.8\nnameserver 8.8.4.4' > /etc/resolv.conf >/dev/null 2>&1

Since the cronjob to overwrite DNS IPs runs every one minute it is possible the host ends up without internet from few secs to 1 minute, this might happen quite rare so for a desktop this is ok. Other inconvenience is it puts a tiny load on system every 1 minute.

Final and best solution is to configure DNS server from /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf  for Ethernet Interface eth0. Inside /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf for eth0 make sure you have:

# vi /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf

interface "eth0" {
prepend domain-name-servers 8.8.8.8;
prepend domain-name-servers 8.8.4.4;
prepend domain-name-servers 208.67.222.222;
prepend domain-name-servers 208.67.220.220;
}

How to configure static IP address on Lan card eth0 on Ubuntu and Debian Linux

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes
Does your provider provides you with a connection to the internet via a static IP address? Are you an Ubuntu or Debian user like me? Are you looking for a way to configure your eth0 Linux network card with the static ISP provided IP address? That was the scenario with me and in this article I will explain, how you can configure your Home internet access with your Ubuntu/Debian based Linux.

Both Ubuntu and Debian does have a graphic tools, which also can be used to set a static IP address to your network interface, however I find it easier to do it straight from the command line.

To configure your internet static IP via a command line, what you will need to modify is the file:

/etc/network/interfaces

In order to configure a static IP address, your provider should have equipped you with few IP addresses like let’s say the example values below:

Host IP Address: 192.168.0.5
Netmask Address: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.0.1
Primary DNS Server: 192.168.0.1
Secondary DNS Server: 192.168.0.2

Now edit with vim, nano or mcedit /etc/network/interfaces e.g.:

root@ubuntu:~# mcedit /etc/network/interfaces

A plain /etc/network/interfaces file should contain something similar to:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

In order to be able to set your static IP address, Netmask, Gateway and DNS servers you will have to append in the interfaces file, the settings:

iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.0.1
netmask 255.255.255.0
network 192.168.0.0
gateway 192.168.0.1

The eth0 sets the lan card on which the values will be assigned, address variable is the IP address assigned by your ISP, netmask is logically the netmask, network should always be configured same as the value set for address but the last ip block should be always .0 , gateway as you already know is the gateway (the ISP router).

One more thing you need to do is to configure your DNS servers by including the DNS ip addresses to /etc/resolv.conf , just issue something like:

root@ubuntu:~# echo 'nameserver 192.168.0.1' >> /etc/resolv.conf
root@ubuntu:~# echo 'nameserver 192.168.0.2' >> /etc/resolv.conf

To test that your new Linux static ip configuration is correct exec:

root@ubuntu:~# /etc/init.d/networking restart

Next use ping or (if ping is disabled by ISP), use matt’s traceroute (mtr) or a browser to test if the Linux is connected to the net.

ubuntu:~# ping google.com
...
ubuntu:~# mtr google.com

If none of the two are not able to show either ping requests flowing around, or routes to google, then something is either wrong with your internet configuration or you forgot to pay your internet bill 😉