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Old 10-09-2012, 09:49 AM
Chris Green
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

What's the "Ubuntu" way to manage DNS etc. on a small Home/Office LAN?

I have a small LAN running at home with, at this precise moment, eight
devices on the LAN. These comprise (usually) three or four computers
running xubuntu, a windows computer, a printer, a DECT phone base
station and the NAT router that connects them all to the internet.

I need a manageable way to handle these by assigning IP addresses (i.e.
DHCP) and providing name services (i.e. DNS) such that I can use names
for the various systems.

So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get names
for my systems. How do people handle this sort of thing? Do you just
set (for example) printers up with static addresses and put them in
/etc/hosts? That's not very flexible and means that visitors can't see
the printer. Is there a better way?

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:01 AM
Colin Law
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On 9 October 2012 10:49, Chris Green <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
> What's the "Ubuntu" way to manage DNS etc. on a small Home/Office LAN?
>
> I have a small LAN running at home with, at this precise moment, eight
> devices on the LAN. These comprise (usually) three or four computers
> running xubuntu, a windows computer, a printer, a DECT phone base
> station and the NAT router that connects them all to the internet.
>
> I need a manageable way to handle these by assigning IP addresses (i.e.
> DHCP) and providing name services (i.e. DNS) such that I can use names
> for the various systems.
>
> So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
> NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get names
> for my systems. How do people handle this sort of thing? Do you just
> set (for example) printers up with static addresses and put them in
> /etc/hosts? That's not very flexible and means that visitors can't see
> the printer. Is there a better way?

You should be able to refer to the machines by <name>.local. So for
example if the machine name is piglet then piglet.local should work.
This is provided by avahi apparently. In addition you may find it
helpful to allocate fixed ip addresses to each machine so that ssh
does not complain if you use keys to access the machines. Most
routers have a means of using dhcp but allocating a fixed address to
each machine based on MAC address.

Colin

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:36 AM
Chris Green
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 11:01:45AM +0100, Colin Law wrote:
> On 9 October 2012 10:49, Chris Green <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
> > What's the "Ubuntu" way to manage DNS etc. on a small Home/Office LAN?
> >
> > I have a small LAN running at home with, at this precise moment, eight
> > devices on the LAN. These comprise (usually) three or four computers
> > running xubuntu, a windows computer, a printer, a DECT phone base
> > station and the NAT router that connects them all to the internet.
> >
> > I need a manageable way to handle these by assigning IP addresses (i.e.
> > DHCP) and providing name services (i.e. DNS) such that I can use names
> > for the various systems.
> >
> > So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
> > NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get names
> > for my systems. How do people handle this sort of thing? Do you just
> > set (for example) printers up with static addresses and put them in
> > /etc/hosts? That's not very flexible and means that visitors can't see
> > the printer. Is there a better way?
>
> You should be able to refer to the machines by <name>.local. So for
> example if the machine name is piglet then piglet.local should work.
> This is provided by avahi apparently.

It doesn't actually work though, at least not on my system as at present
set up. I have tried on both my desktop computer and my laptop
computer, the desktop's hostname is 'chris' the laptop's is
'acer-aspire':-

chris$ host chris.local
Host chris.local not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
chris$

root@acer-spire# host chris.local
Host chris.local not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
root@acer-spire#

Anyway I'd really prefer to call a computer 'chris' by that name rather
than 'chris.local'. (I have checked, the avahi-daemon is running on
both the above machines)



> In addition you may find it
> helpful to allocate fixed ip addresses to each machine so that ssh
> does not complain if you use keys to access the machines. Most
> routers have a means of using dhcp but allocating a fixed address to
> each machine based on MAC address.
>
That's a "specific to ssh" issue which, while significant, isn't really
central to my requirements.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:43 AM
Colin Law
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On 9 October 2012 11:36, Chris Green <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 11:01:45AM +0100, Colin Law wrote:
>> On 9 October 2012 10:49, Chris Green <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
>> > What's the "Ubuntu" way to manage DNS etc. on a small Home/Office LAN?
>> >
>> > I have a small LAN running at home with, at this precise moment, eight
>> > devices on the LAN. These comprise (usually) three or four computers
>> > running xubuntu, a windows computer, a printer, a DECT phone base
>> > station and the NAT router that connects them all to the internet.
>> >
>> > I need a manageable way to handle these by assigning IP addresses (i.e.
>> > DHCP) and providing name services (i.e. DNS) such that I can use names
>> > for the various systems.
>> >
>> > So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
>> > NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get names
>> > for my systems. How do people handle this sort of thing? Do you just
>> > set (for example) printers up with static addresses and put them in
>> > /etc/hosts? That's not very flexible and means that visitors can't see
>> > the printer. Is there a better way?
>>
>> You should be able to refer to the machines by <name>.local. So for
>> example if the machine name is piglet then piglet.local should work.
>> This is provided by avahi apparently.
>
> It doesn't actually work though, at least not on my system as at present
> set up. I have tried on both my desktop computer and my laptop
> computer, the desktop's hostname is 'chris' the laptop's is
> 'acer-aspire':-
>
> chris$ host chris.local
> Host chris.local not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)

What does ping chris.local show. Also
avahi-browse -at

> chris$
>
> root@acer-spire# host chris.local
> Host chris.local not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
> root@acer-spire#
>
> Anyway I'd really prefer to call a computer 'chris' by that name rather
> than 'chris.local'. (I have checked, the avahi-daemon is running on
> both the above machines)

Can't help that I am afraid. Sorry.

>
>
>> In addition you may find it
>> helpful to allocate fixed ip addresses to each machine so that ssh
>> does not complain if you use keys to access the machines. Most
>> routers have a means of using dhcp but allocating a fixed address to
>> each machine based on MAC address.
>>
> That's a "specific to ssh" issue which, while significant, isn't really
> central to my requirements.

Agreed, I thought it might be helpful though.

Colin

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:59 AM
Chris Green
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 11:43:51AM +0100, Colin Law wrote:
> On 9 October 2012 11:36, Chris Green <cl@isbd.net> wrote:
> >> You should be able to refer to the machines by <name>.local. So for
> >> example if the machine name is piglet then piglet.local should work.
> >> This is provided by avahi apparently.
> >
> > It doesn't actually work though, at least not on my system as at present
> > set up. I have tried on both my desktop computer and my laptop
> > computer, the desktop's hostname is 'chris' the laptop's is
> > 'acer-aspire':-
> >
> > chris$ host chris.local
> > Host chris.local not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
>
> What does ping chris.local show. Also
> avahi-browse -at
>
OK, you're right, "ping chris.local" does work (as do most other things
like "ssh chris.local"). However I'd really prefer "ping chris" to
work.

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:38 PM
Marius Gedminas
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 10:49:38AM +0100, Chris Green wrote:
> What's the "Ubuntu" way to manage DNS etc. on a small Home/Office LAN?
>
> I have a small LAN running at home with, at this precise moment, eight
> devices on the LAN. These comprise (usually) three or four computers
> running xubuntu, a windows computer, a printer, a DECT phone base
> station and the NAT router that connects them all to the internet.
>
> I need a manageable way to handle these by assigning IP addresses (i.e.
> DHCP) and providing name services (i.e. DNS) such that I can use names
> for the various systems.
>
> So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
> NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get names
> for my systems.

Why doesn't your NAT router provide DNS for the LAN?

> How do people handle this sort of thing?

Set up DNS on the router.

I believe home routers (at least newer ones) automatically export DHCP
names via DNS -- which works if your DHCP clients supply their names to
the DHCP servers. I don't remember if Ubuntu does that; I remember that
the dhcp3-client package in Debian didn't used to do that a while ago.

Alternatively, all consumer home routers I've seen have a web interface
for assigning static IPs by MAC address and for defining local DNS name
-> IP mappings. This is manual and tedious.

And of you've got a Linux box as your router (or, e.g. OpenWRT on your
embedded router box) you can dnsmasq on it to provide DNS and DHCP (with
static mappings defined by /etc/hosts and /etc/ethers).

Marius Gedminas
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:11 PM
Chris Green
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 03:38:01PM +0300, Marius Gedminas wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 10:49:38AM +0100, Chris Green wrote:
> > What's the "Ubuntu" way to manage DNS etc. on a small Home/Office LAN?
> >
> > I have a small LAN running at home with, at this precise moment, eight
> > devices on the LAN. These comprise (usually) three or four computers
> > running xubuntu, a windows computer, a printer, a DECT phone base
> > station and the NAT router that connects them all to the internet.
> >
> > I need a manageable way to handle these by assigning IP addresses (i.e.
> > DHCP) and providing name services (i.e. DNS) such that I can use names
> > for the various systems.
> >
> > So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
> > NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get names
> > for my systems.
>
> Why doesn't your NAT router provide DNS for the LAN?
>
It just doesn't (it's a Draytek Vigor 2820n, excellent in many ways but
doesn't do local DNS).

In fact a Google search suggests that quite a lot of newer routers are
like mine, they *don't* provide local name-based DNS.


> > How do people handle this sort of thing?
>
> Set up DNS on the router.
>
See above, doesn't work on my Draytek Vigor.


> I believe home routers (at least newer ones) automatically export DHCP
> names via DNS -- which works if your DHCP clients supply their names to
> the DHCP servers. I don't remember if Ubuntu does that; I remember that
> the dhcp3-client package in Debian didn't used to do that a while ago.
>
> Alternatively, all consumer home routers I've seen have a web interface
> for assigning static IPs by MAC address and for defining local DNS name
> -> IP mappings. This is manual and tedious.
>
I have exactly that *except* for the names. I.e. I can set a fixed IP
address for each MAC address in the router but I can't set the
associated name.

... and don't recommend that I use another router! :-) The 2820n is,
as I said, excellent in most ways and can do one thing that very few
other (reasonable cost) routers can do - it load balances two WAN
connections which is very important for me.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:35 PM
"compdoc"
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

> So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
> NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get
> names for my systems.

There are firewall distros that provide excellent dhcp, and local dns naming
services. I can ping any PC on my lan by using its simple name. And I run
one in a virtual machine on a fileserver so it doesn't require a dedicated
computer.

There are also dhcp and dns services you can install on any PC on your lan.
I especially like Windows Server running in a VM for this, just because of
the great gui, but any linux/bsd/whatever based machine can do this as well.
It basically comes down to a machine that's running 24/7 on your lan.

And there must be some soho routers that can provide the same services.
Although it a lot of work, there are routers that can have a distro burned
to its rom to replace its OS with a *nix based OS like openwrt.





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Old 10-09-2012, 05:34 PM
Chris Green
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

On Tue, Oct 09, 2012 at 10:35:50AM -0600, compdoc wrote:
> > So how should one manage this sort of a system? I can run DHCP on the
> > NAT router but that doesn't provide DNS for the LAN so I don't get
> > names for my systems.
>
> There are firewall distros that provide excellent dhcp, and local dns naming
> services. I can ping any PC on my lan by using its simple name. And I run
> one in a virtual machine on a fileserver so it doesn't require a dedicated
> computer.
>
I was wondering about that approach, running a virtual machine to
provide DHCP/DNS, any pointers to Howtos?

> There are also dhcp and dns services you can install on any PC on your lan.
> I especially like Windows Server running in a VM for this, just because of
> the great gui, but any linux/bsd/whatever based machine can do this as well.
> It basically comes down to a machine that's running 24/7 on your lan.
>
Yes, but the issue now is that Ubuntu 12.04 is *already* running dsnmasq
so running another dnsmasq isn't too clever.


> And there must be some soho routers that can provide the same services.
> Although it a lot of work, there are routers that can have a distro burned
> to its rom to replace its OS with a *nix based OS like openwrt.
>
As I've explained that's really where my problem comes from, my Draytek
Vigor *doesn't* provide local DNS.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:51 PM
"compdoc"
 
Default Small (SoHo) LAN, how to manage local DNS etc.?

> Yes, but the issue now is that Ubuntu 12.04 is *already* running dsnmasq
so running another dnsmasq isn't too clever.

" Dnsmasq is a lightweight, easy to configure DNS forwarder and DHCP
server."

Is your Ubuntu 12.04 box running 24/7, and do you have all your clients
pointing to it for DNS and DHCP?

I guess clever would be making it work for you...






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