Small Network Name Resolution
April 27, 2010 11:32 AM   Subscribe

What's the simplest way to get local DNS(-like) services on a small network?

This is a home network with 3 standardish Linux machines, an OSX machine and a few mobile devices.

I used to have a DNS server but it was a real hassle to set up so it would only answer for local addresses. Not only that, but now at least one computer on the network gets a dynamic address and the DHCP server (which is the router) doesn't do name resolution (what).

I could just do it via /etc/hosts and forget about the mobile DHCP guys (or give them permanent leases) but I thought ask around before going old skool.
posted by DU to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Set up Dnsmasq. It's a lightweight DNS and DHCP server that is easy to set up and very flexible. It can simply get its list of hosts from /etc/hosts for computers with static IP, and automatically set DNS hostnames for computers that use DHCP. I love it.
posted by zsazsa at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2010

DNRD might be useful. You can also rig it to provide DNS entries for devices that have their addresses assigned by DHCP.
posted by indyz at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2010

I believe Dnsmasq is part of DD-WRT if you're inclined to pimping a compatible router with 3rd party firmware
posted by ijoyner at 12:06 PM on April 27, 2010

I don't know about support on the mobile devices, but you might also look at Bonjour or similar "zero-configuration" networking options for desktops.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2010

I rely on Bonjour for name resolution on my home network. The Macs have it installed already, you can download it for Windows machines, and on Ubuntu/Debian, look for the avahi-daemon package, not sure about other distros.
posted by Good Brain at 1:36 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, a coworker recommended ZeroConf but I was skeptical for at least the reason of the OSX. I forgot Bonjour was there. Maybe that's my method. Is there a tutorial or something for how to set it up for name resolution?
posted by DU at 2:20 PM on April 27, 2010

NM on that tutorial. Just installing avahi-daemon and libnss.mdns made it work with things like "ping NAME.local". Awesome. Just need to figure out the mobile device (it runs linux, so presumably....)
posted by DU at 6:55 PM on April 27, 2010

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