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Troubleshooting DNS

Hands-On Lab


Photo of Michael Christian

Michael Christian

Course Development Director in Content





In this hands-on lab, we will walk though troubleshooting DNS resolution issues on the provided host.

What are Hands-On Labs?

Hands-On Labs are scenario-based learning environments where learners can practice without consequences. Don't compromise a system or waste money on expensive downloads. Practice real-world skills without the real-world risk, no assembly required.

Setting a Static IP

The Scenario

A business unit is complaining that their job server is unable to connect to This is breaking integrations for multiple reporting applications.

Get logged in

Use the credentials and server IP in the hands-on lab overview page to log into our lab server. Once we're in, we can get moving.

Verify the Issue and Check /etc/nsswitch.conf

We'll first need to verify that the issue exists by attempting the curl the header of

[cloud_user@host]$ curl -I

Next, we'll have to verify that nothing is missing in nsswitch.conf, and we should pay attention to the ordering of the hosts value. If we edit /etc/nsswitch.conf, we'll see that something is missing:

hosts:      files myhostname

That line should go like this:

hosts:      files dns myhostname

Verify /etc/hosts Contents

We'll want to make sure there aren't any entries in this file that would cause issues:

[cloud_user@host]$ cat /etc/hosts

In there, we see a line

The server we're logged into is probably not supposed to be, so let's erase that line and save the file.

If we run our curl command again, our terminal hangs. Something is still wrong. Kill the curl with Ctrl + C and let's see what else might fix the problem.

Determine If the DNS Host is Listening on TCP Port 53

Where is our /etc/resolv.conf pointing?

[cloud_user@host]$ cat /etc/resolv.conf

Let's see if the nameserver listed in there is listening on TCP port 53. We'll know by running this:

[cloud_user@host]$ telnet 53

We're getting no response.

Check Resolution Using the DNS Host

There's another possible DNS server kicking around, on Now that we've verified that the host listed in /etc/resolv.conf isn't available on TCP port 53, check if resolution is working on the DNS host

[cloud_user@host]$ dig @

Hey, we're getting a response. This one looks good.

Change the Configuration to Use the Host

We can do this with network manager, or by editing /etc/resolv.conf. If we restart networking, this is the IP that will be used via DHCP. Let's go the network manager route and then restart the network. Afterward, we'll see what resolv.conf looks like, and try the dig command again:

[cloud_user@host]$ nmcli con mod System eth0 ipv4.dns
[cloud_user@host]$ systemctl restart network
[cloud_user@host]$ cat /etc/resolv.conf
[cloud_user@host]$ dig

The new nameserver should be in resolv.conf, and the dig command should have printed a bunch of domain server related information.


It looks like we fixed it. We had to look in a few different spots, but DNS is working on this machine now. Congratulations!