[colug-432] Ubuntu as a router?

Steve Roggenkamp roggenkamps at acm.org
Wed Sep 30 22:33:04 EDT 2009

It's not a stupid question.  I've had the same problem running Debian 
Lenny on a netbook.  I'm not sure I've completely fixed, but here goes.

I think the problem is that Linux is trying to chase Microsoft Windows - 
just plug the network cable in and you're good to go.  So you have some 
software developer's idea of how you're network should be configured, 
assuming you plug into a home router/switch that includes a DHCP 
server.  Unfortunately, there seem to be a few gotcha's if you're trying 
to configure a good statically addressed networking system.

First disable avahi.  It just messes things up, big time in my experience.

Next, do a 'man resolvconf' and RTFM.  It used to be that you could edit 
one file, /etc/resolv.conf, to set up you DNS resolver framework.  Now 
it's a whole friggen framework with multiple directories under the 
/etc/resolvconf directory.  The various files is this directory tree 
overwrite the changes you make to /etc/resolv.conf, as if the daemon 
knows better than you what you need!

Finally, blow away Ubuntu and install (Free|Net|Open)BSD that hasn't 
been chasing the Microsoft BS.  Unfortunately, it's a bit of a change 
from Linux in terms of system administration, but at least it doesn't 
try to think too much for you in this area.  Yet.


richard hornsby wrote:
> Sorry for asking such a stupid question, but I've been having a hard
> time with Ubuntu lately.  I've had it running as an ssh/apache/file
> server for a long time, no problem.  I also in the past used Coyote
> Linux and Redhat (later Fedora) as a base OS for running a home
> router.  So I've done this before.
> For some reason trying to run Ubuntu as a router is acting all sorts
> of weird - interfaces that are configured static are trying to get
> DHCP addresses, /etc/resolv.conf getting bad information, etc.  Is
> there a good/recommended guide for setting up Ubuntu as a router?  I
> basically followed this https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Router and
> it was so messed up I switched back to using my DSL modem.  I'd like
> to follow the instructions from a decent guide before asking a bunch
> of questions or asking for help troubleshooting.
> thanks!
> -rj
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