DNS on Ubuntu

For years it’s been simple to set up DNS on a Linux machine. Just add a couple of entries to /etc/resolv.conf and you’re done.

# Use Google's public DNS servers.
nameserver 8.8.4.4
nameserver 8.8.8.8

But things change and now it’s not that simple. If you now edit /etc/resolv.conf on Ubuntu you’ll find that the edits are ephemeral. If you restart (or even hibernate) your machine then they’ll be overwritten by default content.

nameserver 127.0.0.53
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Option 1: Embracing resolvconf 

The first approach is to go all in with resolvconf.

  1. Install the resolvconf package.

    sudo apt install resolvconf
  2. Enable updates.

    # Enable updates.
    sudo resolvconf --enable-updates
    
    # Check that updates are enabled.
    resolvconf --updates-are-enabled
    echo $?

    The result should be a 0.

  3. Edit /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head and add the following:

    nameserver 8.8.4.4
    nameserver 8.8.8.8

I’m using the Google name servers here, but you can replace them with your preferred servers.

  1. Restart the resolvconf service.

    sudo service resolvconf restart

Fix should be permanent.

Option 2: Removing resolvconf 

If the above approach doesn’t work for you then an alternative is to remove the resolvconf package and manage /etc/resolv.conf manually (the old way).

  1. Remove the resolvconf package.

    sudo apt purge resolvconf
  2. Delete /etc/resolv.conf (it’s probably a symlink to another file).

  3. Edit /etc/resolv.conf and add the following:

    nameserver 8.8.4.4
    nameserver 8.8.8.8