[RC5] How to get linux client to resolve hostnames.

John Campbell jcampbel at lynn.ci-n.com
Wed Apr 17 03:25:34 EDT 2002

On Tue, 16 Apr 2002, Paul Benjamin wrote:

> I ran into this when using Mandrake a couple of years ago.  It is in
> Bugzilla at:
> http://n0cgi.distributed.net/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=2262
> You need to install the bind-utils RPM off your CD.  Mandrake
> craziness.
	This isn't a Mandrake bug, it's a dnetc bug. The client *should* do
what every other program in the world does and resolve hostnames using
gethostbyname(). It doesn't, though, but instead attempts to parse the
output of the "host" program, which is widely but by no means universally
installed, and fails with a misleading error message if it can't. I've run
into the same problem on Slack boxen where I've not installed the BIND
packages because they aren't required for the machine's role (when you're
trying to cram a modern Linux install onto a 200M drive, you cut non-vital
packages wherever you can).

	Installing bind-utils is probably the best solution - and "host" is
handy to have in and of itself. If for whatever reason you don't want to
install bind-utils, there are a couple other workarounds. You can set the
keyserver address to a numerical IP in the client config, or you can add the
keyserver's name and IP to your machine's /etc/hosts. Or you could do what I
did, and set up a pproxy on a machine that does have "host" and set *its*
numerical IP in the client config. Unlike the other workarounds, that one
doesn't break the round-robin DNS load balancing, and the pproxy is nice to

John Campbell
jcampbel at lynn.ci-n.com

QotD:  "We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"

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