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Whenever I login to a certain server using SSH I get a very long delay before a prompt appears. Everything I looked up on this issue says that it's a DNS issue and that I should disable reverse DNS lookups on the server.

But, the remote server is a shared webhosting server. I e-mailed the sysadmins but they say they have no DNS issue and that they won't change the server configuration. So, how can I fix this issue from my side (client side)? I have a static IP address and a hostname that points to it.

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You can't - you can't disable the DNS lookup from the client side alone.

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I know. But what can I do to make the DNS lookup succeed instead? That should eliminate the delay as well. Like I said, I have a static IP and a valid hostname on the client side. – Sander Marechal Mar 11 '11 at 16:36
You will need to set up both forward hostname->ip and reverse (ip->hostname) lookups for your IP and hostname, usually people pay no attention to the latter, which is usually where the delay related problems originate. – cbz Mar 11 '11 at 17:23
@cbz: Theoretically, the lookup should succeed instantly even if it results in a NXDOMAIN rather than a name/address; if it times out, you have a different problem. – grawity Mar 11 '11 at 19:39
I'm not sure that's entirely correct - it won't cache NXDOMAIN results - so will do a hierarchical search each time if it never finds a valid response. – cbz Mar 11 '11 at 20:43
My hostname is and both forward and reverse IP work (I think, please check). So, how do I tell the remote sshd server my hostname? Is that in the ssh pubkey? – Sander Marechal Mar 11 '11 at 21:28
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Apparently the issue is with the remote server's DNS settings. Because it's a shared server, looking up the IP address of the server does not result in the correct hostname. Adding the address of the server to my local /etc/hosts fixed the issue.

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