We have recently configured an Ubuntu server to act as a DHCP and DNS server on our network using bind. It is working properly in that IP addresses are assigned by the DHCP server and hosts can be resolved.

However, there is one outstanding issue that we are struggling with. When using DHCP we can ping a host by its short name (e.g. myhost) but if we are using a static IP then it is not possible to ping the short name, only the fully qualified name (e.g. myhost.internal).

I wondered if anyone could think of anything obvious that may be going wrong. I would have assumed that the DNS should operate in the same way whether using a dynamic or static IP for the client.



When setting the IP addressing manually you will also need to set the DNS-suffix manually.

In Windows, it's in IPv4 Properties. Click Advanced..., then choose the DNS tab, then DNS suffix for this connection: in your example case this would then be internal.

  • OK, thanks. Is there no way to get the server to append the suffix? – Alan Spark Oct 27 '16 at 12:36
  • Is there a reason DHCP cannot be used? There might very well be a way, but I think you could make it much easier on yourself if you just used DHCP for everyone who needed the information. – Christian B Oct 27 '16 at 12:41
  • DHCP will mostly be used for users but we want some servers to have static IP addresses. At the moment we have hosts files configured on these servers and this seems to work... we are rebuilding a system after a failure and just thought that we didn't have to do this before. – Alan Spark Oct 27 '16 at 12:46
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    Search domain configuration MUST be performed by the host, and cannot be performed on the server, without serious risk of name collisions. the only safe place to make the decision is on the host. This is in part because DNS itself has nothing to do with shortname lookups, search domains are a hack to enable shortname ops while still playing by DNSs strict rules. As for DHCP, there is a field for Domain name, but it fails to account for window's need to implement much more sophisticated domain client software. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – Frank Thomas Oct 27 '16 at 14:10
  • Thanks for the comments, I think I understand. It is not a big problem for us, just something that we were surprised by when we encountered it. – Alan Spark Oct 28 '16 at 8:56

If you add reverse DNS to your zone you will be able to ping the hostname without the FQDN

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