Groesbeek, view of the 'National Liberation Museum 1944-1945' in Groesbeek. © Ton Kersten
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MDNS name resolving problem

2009-11-10 (34) by Ton Kersten, tagged as old
Within a mixed Linux and Microsoft Windows network I ran into the following problem: A host with the hostname linux1.firm.local could be pinged and found with nslookup and dig, but it was impossible to start a ssh session. The result kept being: Unknown host. Playing Cherlock Holmes revealed that this had to do with Avahi and mdns, so with the .local part of the hostname. In my /etc/nsswitch.conf the hosts: line read: (Using Ubuntu 8.04, 9.04 and even 10.04)
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
This results in searching the IP address of the host through mdns4_minimal. The .local domain now spoils it for me (use strings on mdns4_minimal and be amazed. The problem can be solved very easy. Just replace the hosts: line in the /etc/nsswitch.conf with:
hosts: files dns mdns4
See also: Avahi