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I've set up a Debian VPN server, to which I connect with my iPhone. It works perfectly, I can browse the web, and see "local" pages.

My question is, if it's possible to "reroute" traffic. Here's an example:

On the iPhone, I go to "" or something, and it reroutes me to ""

That's the general idea I have. Is it possible to achieve this?

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migrated from Jul 3 '12 at 20:35

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Are you running a local DNS server such as PowerDNS or BIND? Which one? – sarnold May 31 '12 at 21:38
Yes. Easily doable? Not so much. It would require you running a DNS server, and then setting that as the iPhone's DNS server. Then You would have to have a web server to redirect. – Corbin May 31 '12 at 21:38
@sarnold: I use the standard DNS. I haven't set up any DNS server manually. – Jeff Huijsmans May 31 '12 at 22:42
@Corbin: thanks! So no method which only needs you to connect to the VPN and everything on the iPhone/PC side will be automatically configured? – Jeff Huijsmans May 31 '12 at 22:42
@JeffHuijsmans Not unless you're willing to hijack some packets (which will be difficult, and a bit shady). – Corbin May 31 '12 at 22:44

I haven't tried this specifically with an iPhone, but the principle isn't too hard in general:

  • Set up a DNS server
    • It needs to be advertised as the DNS server to the iPhone via DHCP
    • It needs to by an authoritative server for the zone .jeff. and answer responses for wiki.jeff.
    • It needs to be able to run recursive queries itself or forward queries to another server if it is not itself a recursive server.
  • Set your DHCP server to hand out the IP of your DNS server
  • Set your webserver to also respond to the name wiki.jeff and select the correct content.

This sounds like a lot, but the pieces are all pretty small and manageable.

The pdns-recursor package installs the PowerDNS recursor which can be configured (export-etc-hosts=yes) to also serve up the contents of the /etc/hosts file -- or any other file following that same format (etc-hosts-file) on incoming requests. pdns-recursor is fantastically flexible and fast -- it can be used to paper over weak or flaky ISP-provided DNS systems and this cheapo method of serving a handful of new hostname mappings is really easy. (The full-blown PowerDNS server is something awesome to behold but is extremely overkill for this case.)

When adding a new line to your /etc/hosts file, recall that means localhost to every peer -- not this server. Give wiki.jeff an IP address that your iPhone can route.

You'll have to figure out how to modify your DHCP server to send out a specific IP address for DNS queries. This varies from server to server, but the option is known as option domain-name-servers in the ISC DHCP server. Add the IP of your newly configured pdns-recursor system. (Which could be a different machine than the IP address you're serving for wiki.jeff.)

You'll have to modify your webserver to also handle the wiki.jeff name; under nginx this is directive server_name. Apache needs ServerName or ServerAlias directives.

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