Thursday, August 25, 2005

DNS + DHCP home network supermini-HOWTO

I have small home network (one router connected to the outside internet, three desktop computers connected to the router) and I had problems configuring the hostnames correctly. The router ran Debian Linux with BIND9 as the nameserver for the whole network and DHCP server which "leased" the IP addresses to the other computers. The problem was that I was unable to dynamically allocate the hostnames so that, for example, I could do "ping fuxoftlaptop" from all my computers, without configuring all of them for fuxoftlaptop's static address (not to mention the more complicated case when the assigned addresses are dynamic). I knew it could be done but I was unable to do it without becoming an expert at BIND9 and DHCP servers configuration.

The solution is called DNSMASQ. It replaces both BIND9 and DHCP servers, its configuration is simple and it's more than sufficient for small home networks. After moving into our new flat (with different Internet addresses), I can just change a line or two in the router config and all my computers will be instantly connected. Hopefully...

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