.local domain fails

This post is meant for users who can do a dns query on a local dns record but cannot access this name. E.g. dig is giving you the IP address of the host, but you cannot ping or SSH to it (and it’s not firewall related)

Recently I’ve changed my network setup and moved away from my router as DHCP/DNS server. I installed pi-hole and I’m quite satisfied.

I have several RPI’s and other material (Yún and linkit7688) running and I want to reach them via a host name. You can add the host name in “etc/hosts” file on the RPI-hole (192.168.x.x [name] [name].[local-domain name]). You can ping or ssh from different kinds of OS, but not from Ubuntu.

This is caused mdns (multicast dns, for auto configuration of the .local domain).

Check /etc/nsswitch.conf, and you will see:

hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
mdns4 is what is doing multicast dns.

If you change this to, you should be able to reach the host:
hosts: files dns

The you have two options:
1.) Remove mdns permanently with sudo apt-get remove libnss-mdns
2.) don’t use .local – use .lan or something instead

I’ve chosen for option 2, due to the fact that I want Ubuntu to work “out of the box” and in my opinion it’s better to make a server side change then updating all the clients of the network.

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