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You all probably know commercial dynamic DNS providers like dyndns.org or no-ip.com.

But how to create a similar service for just a handful of machines?

What server software would be best suited for such a setup (under Linux)?

Advantages:

  • the service would be under your control
  • no tracking by some opaque company

Minimal requirements:

Probably something like: you own at least one host machine with a static IP, a domain and your domain provider let you configure DNS records.

Clients:

A few machines that are connected via cable/DSL and only get dynamic IP addresses on each dial-up and/or every x hours.

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Look at the German WiKi on DynDNS [de.wikipedia.org/wiki/DynDNS]. The English WiKi is not worth visiting. –  Nils Jan 14 '12 at 21:45

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This depends on how similar to DynDNS.org this service should be.

For your seemmingly small use case I would propably set up a combined DHCP/bind-server (with Linux - what else).

The DHCP server is able to update your DNS-server that acts as primary server for a subdomain of "your" provider-domain. Make sure to register that subdomain with a short TTL or register your sub-domain at your provider as "to be forwarded to".

The more complicated part is assigning fixed names for your DSL-machines. Do you control them/have a fixed number with not changing fixed MAC-adresses?

The lease-time for DHCP should be > 1 day, so the same client gets the same IP+name again.

Update: I found someone with exactly your problem and the solution here. There is a Open Source project named GNUdip that should fulfill your requirements.

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Ok, the outline is clear - but what about the details? e.g. with which command you update a DNS server, what DNS record to set such that a host acts as a primary server etc. - how to configure 'to be forwarded to'? Regarding the DSL-machines - they have fixed MAC-addresses and I control them. –  maxschlepzig Jan 14 '12 at 11:23
    
Since you have a number of fixed MAC-adresses you can use HCP mode - i.e. you can specify which MAC-address should get which IP (and thus name). In this combination you can even used "normal", fixed DNS entries. Then you don`t have to fight your way through putting up your own DNS server that accepts dynamic updates (which is just a simple option for the DHCPD). –  Nils Jan 14 '12 at 20:08
    
well, the point is that the (external) IPs of the DSL-machines are dynamic ... –  maxschlepzig Jan 14 '12 at 20:34
    
So the DSL-machines do not dial up your server to get an IP, but just to change their CNAME to a differnent IP in you DNS subdomain. This should be doable with a (faked) DHCP-request to your server, too. Problem is that this has to be an IP level request - not Ethernet. So you need some kind of wrapper there (on client and server side). –  Nils Jan 14 '12 at 21:38

You assign an IP address using DHCP conf bound to a mac address and have their names setup in either the hosts file or your in internal view with acl in named.conf bind9 (named)/dhcpd daemons. Or if you have a real dial-in you want to consider a pppd solution.

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Take a look at the GnuDIP Project. It is old but with a little work it should perform

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