Dynamic DNS
January 13, 2011 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Is there such a thing as DIY dynamic DNS?

Speakeasy is not what it once was and I can no longer really justify paying the huge premium, but none of the other available broadband providers around here will sell me a static IP unless I sign up for a business plan with a multi-year contract and an enormous installation fee, so I am considering doing without. In the past, before I had a static IP, I used services like No-IP to reach my home computer remotely. But I don't like being so dependant on a proprietary service. Is there any way to set up a similar system on my own? My home machine, router, and VPS are all running Linux. I don't currently run my own DNS for my domains but I wouldn't mind doing so on my VPS if there were a good way to automatically update the records to point to a changing dynamic DNS.
posted by enn to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Er, a changing dynamic IP.
posted by enn at 5:08 PM on January 13, 2011

posted by yoyo_nyc at 5:26 PM on January 13, 2011

Best answer: Who currently provides your DNS? A few of the major DNS providers already have dynamic DNS support supported by the major dynamic DNS updating clients like ddclient. I use ZoneEdit as my DNS provider, and they're supported.

You could also use a "proprietary service" like No-IP or DynDNS, and have a name on your own domain CNAMEd to one of theirs (for example, home.ennsdomain.com CNAMEd to enn.dyndns.org). What do you mean by being dependent on a "proprietary service," exactly? You're already dependent on external DNS hosting.

Failing the above, yes, you can run your own dynamic DNS service on your VPS. Here's a solution that involves BIND.
posted by zsazsa at 5:48 PM on January 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Check your router. I have a dynamic DNS service integrated into mine. You might too.
posted by brownrd at 5:53 PM on January 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, zsazsa, that BIND solution looks like exactly what I was hoping to find.
posted by enn at 5:58 PM on January 13, 2011

If you are insane like me you don't want anything to do with any proprietary services, or public services at all you can have a little bash script I wrote to run as a chron job.

It queries www.whatismyip.com, parses the output, compares it to the last time it ran and sms' me and posts to my extra twitter acct if the IP address has changed.

let me know and i'll mail it to you.
posted by ijustwantyourhalf at 6:52 PM on January 13, 2011

Or, if you don't want to use BIND, PowerDNS is an option and since data is stored in a mySQL database (as opposed to flat file, though that is an option, too, along with several others) it's trivial for other applications or scripts to quickly change IP addresses. (I moved from maradns to PowerDNS for this, among other reasons. I was never into BIND the same way I was never into sendmail.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:59 PM on January 13, 2011

Run your own DNS server with a low TTL value on your VPS.
Have a local script that logs into the remote server via SSH w/key, checks the address you are coming form, and sets the IP accordingly and publishes it via DNS.

There are a pile of ways you can handle this on your own.. the first step is run your own nameserver, the second is just use your imagination.
posted by TravellingDen at 8:10 PM on January 13, 2011

I have my domain hosted on dreamhost, and found a script that maps a subdomain to my computer's IP. The script could not be generalized to other services, but it does work.
posted by adamrice at 8:37 PM on January 13, 2011

Here's another kludgy but functional approach using regular ssh connections. I was doing it this way for a while (but went back to a free dynamic DNS provider, freedns.afraid.org.)
posted by Zed at 9:44 PM on January 13, 2011

I signed up for Amazon's Route 53 and hacked their example perl scripts into a dynamic DNS client -- it's easy since they use a web API to make changes. It costs me like $1.03 a month for my one domain. It's not exactly an answer to your question, but if you have problems with BIND on your VPS, it's a pretty good alternative.
posted by dreadpiratesully at 6:40 AM on January 14, 2011

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