Saturday, February 03, 2007

Charter DNS still sucks

I set up dnsmasq on the Debian box I had been running bind9 on. It was infinitely easier to configure than a "real" DNS server -- just edit /etc/hosts -- and it perfectly suited the host-naming requirements for my admittedly tiny home network.

As with all things computer, of course, I still had hurdles to overcome, and they all involved difficulties with the commercial operating systems in my network, specifically Win XP and Mac OS X. All the Linux boxes were blissfully easy to setup and predictably functional and even adaptable to the weirdness required by the commercial ones.

As far as the Mac goes, it wouldn't resolve my local domain name, apparently because it ended in .local. I used that suffix because I read somewhere that it was an illegal TLD (top level domain, e.g. .com, .org, .edu, etc). Apparently, Mac's lookupd process eats those names because of the file /etc/resolver/local. I could fix the problem by adding a file for my domain to /etc/resolver, but I decided it was easier to use the suffix .home instead. I'm pretty sure it's an illegal TLD, too.

The WinXP box was sad for another reason. I had initially tried configuring dnsmasq as a DHCP daemon, which was cool, because then I could control all my static IP's in /etc/dnsmasq.conf instead of having to configure each host on the network. But alas, that broke my work VPN client on the WinXP box. I didn't spend any time trying to figure out why, though.

So now my router still acts as the DHCP server, even though the work laptop is the only thing that uses it. The other hosts are configured with static IP's that are replicated in the /etc/hosts file on the host running dnsmasq. Suboptimal, but functional.

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