Most of the info I see online says to edit /etc/resolv.conf, but any changes I make there just get overridden.

$ cat /etc/resolv.conf 
# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)

It seems that is a local instance of dnsmasq. The dnsmasq docs say to edit /etc/resolv.conf. I tried putting custom nameservers in /etc/resolv.conf.d/base, but the changes didn't show up in /etc/resolv.conf after running sudo resolvconf -u.

FYI, I don't want to change DNS on a per-connection basis, I want to set default DNS settings to use for all connections when not otherwise specified.


I answered this question myself: https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/163506/67024

I think it's the best solution since:

  1. It works.
  2. It requires the least amount of changes and
  3. It still works in conjunction with dnsmasq's DNS cache, rather than bypassing it.
  • Better answer your question instead of update your question I think... will be easier to find the right answer you gave to your problem – Philippe Gachoud Aug 2 '18 at 18:09
  • It seems that most answers are Ubuntu-oriented, and overly complicated. A universal solution for NetworkManager users is to simply add dns=none in /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf (see details in my answer below). – Skippy le Grand Gourou Mar 5 at 9:09
  • I think this answer clarifies why the resolve.conf is overwritten, then you know how to configure it. – foman Jul 31 at 2:26

17 Answers 17


I believe if you want to override the DNS nameserver you merely add a line similar to this in your base file under resolv.conf.d.


$ sudo vim /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base

Then put your nameserver list in like so:


Finally update resolvconf:

$ sudo resolvconf -u

If you take a look at the man page for resolvconf it describes the various files under /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/.

          File  containing  basic  resolver  information.  The lines in this 
          file are included in the resolver configuration file even when no
          interfaces are configured.

          File to be prepended to the dynamically generated resolver 
          configuration file.  Normally this is just a comment line.

          File to be appended to the dynamically generated resolver 
          configuration file.  To append nothing, make this  an  empty  
          file.   This file is a good place to put a resolver options line 
          if one is needed, e.g.,

              options inet6

Even though there's a warning at the top of the head file:

$ cat /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head
# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)

this warning is is there so that when these files are constructed, the warning will ultimately work its way into the resulting resolv.conf file that these files will be used to make. So you could just as easily have added the nameserver lines that are described above for the base file, to the head file too.


  • 21
    Ubuntu 14.04 - when I put the nameservers into base and run resolvconf -u, the nameservers were not put into resolv.conf - when I put the nameservers into head, they were – HorusKol May 27 '15 at 0:48
  • 7
    Ubuntu 14.04 - Also had to comment out configuration set in /run/resolvconf/interface/NetworkManager – bitsoflogic Oct 13 '15 at 14:18
  • 3
    type nslookup google.com and the first IP in the list should be your new nameserver, if not, you did it wrong – frazras Oct 30 '17 at 1:59
  • 6
    Ubuntu 16.04: Worked if appended to /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head only, not with base. Confirmed with nslookup google.com. – Acumenus Apr 1 '18 at 18:22
  • 3
    Initially, you must have resolvconf installed. You can install it by doing sudo apt-get install resolvconf. – MAChitgarha Aug 15 '18 at 16:03

I am also interested in this question and I tried the solution proposed @sim.

To test it, I put


in /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base and


in /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head

Then I restarted the network with

sudo service network-manager restart

The result is that /etc/resolv.conf looks like

# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)

and nm-tool states that the dnsserver are


which are the ones provided by my router. On the other hand digging an address tells that

;; Query time: 28 msec

If I am right, I conclude from all this that

  1. only the "head" part is read by resolvonf: the "base" part is somehow controlled by dnsmasq
  2. the dnsserver is actually forced to regardless of the server provided by dhcp, BUT you loose the caching provided by dnsmasq, since the request is always sent to
  3. dnsmasq is still using ONLY the dnsserver provided by dhcp.

All in all, it works but I don't think it is the intended result asked for. A more close solution I think is the following. Edit

sudo vim /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf

then add

supersede domain-name-servers;

The result is the following: resolv.conf contains only, which means that dnsmasq cache is invoked and nm-tool says


which means that if the name searched for is not in the cache, then it is asked for at and not at the server provided by dhcp.

Another (perhaps better) option is to use "prepend" instead of "supersede": in this way, if the name is not resolved by, then the request falls back on the other server. In fact, nm-tool says

  • 4
    A much better answer than hacking into the NS configs. Especially the option to prepend a server in front of the dhcp provided ones. Seems like the perfect balance of solving the problem, without creating new ones! – Steve Midgley Nov 22 '14 at 21:08
  • 2
    So much clarity and thoughts into the answer and not just a command. – igaurav Dec 29 '14 at 5:00
  • 3
    Yo Man! "supersede domain-name-servers;" is THE answer – Jack Jul 27 '16 at 20:55
  • It's worth noting nm-tool has been replaced with nmcli – Fiddy Bux Jan 25 at 21:55

I found out that you can change the nameservers that dnsmasq uses by adding the following lines to /etc/dnsmasq.conf:


I didn't have a /etc/dnsmasq.conf file though, since it's installed by the dnsmasq package, but Ubuntu only comes with dnsmasq-base. I ran sudo apt-get install dnsmasq, then edited /etc/dnsmasq.conf, then sudo service dnsmasq restart and sudo service network-manager restart.

I ran sudo tail -n 200 /var/log/syslog to check my syslog and verify that dnsmasq was using the nameservers I specified:

Oct 21 23:00:54 mylaptop dnsmasq[8611]: using nameserver
Oct 21 23:00:54 mylaptop dnsmasq[8611]: using nameserver
  • 4
    There is a reason why this is marked as the best answer...because it is indeed! thanks very much! I would add that, after all the steps you mentioned, a network restart might be necessary for everything to work smoothly (it was for me.... sudo service network-manager restart) – Clint Eastwood Feb 5 '15 at 19:16
  • 3
    On Ubuntu 14.04 Server about half the time a cold boot would result no internet connectivity using a URL but an IP-Address would work. I spent a lot of time fruitlessly trying to fix it, gave up for months, then found this solution. I, too, think it is the best answer. – Nate Lockwood Sep 24 '15 at 17:42
  • It's intriguing that dnsmasq has to be installed. This indeed fixed my DNS in a normal situation, but it totally broke my VPN configuration (VPN connection now fails...) – PlasmaBinturong Apr 1 '18 at 19:40
  • there is no such file on Centos – stiv 9 hours ago

For static IP situations, the Ubuntu Server Guide says to change the file /etc/network/interfaces, which may look like this:

iface eth0 inet static
dns-search example.com

You change the IPs for the ones you want, like

https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/serverguide/serverguide.pdf Page 38

  • This certainly looks right but how do I now regenerate resolv.conf?! – Joel Berger Jan 22 '16 at 22:59
  • 3
    @JoelBerger ifdown eth0; ifup eth0. – Dzamo Norton Jul 25 '17 at 0:11
  • no /etc/network/interfaces on Centos – stiv 9 hours ago
  1. Search ' Network Connection'
  2. Open it

                        enter image description here

  3. Then select either WiFi or Ethernet, or whatever you are using, and click on edit. You'll get this:

                  enter image description here

  4. Select ipv4 in tabs

  5. Select addresses only in method
  6. Enter your DNS name below, and save it

  7. You're done

  • I'd have to do this for each network connection though. In the past you could change the default for all connections, which is what I was looking to do here. – Seán Hayes Nov 9 '14 at 18:17
  • 2
    I love you! this UI setting saved my ass from sudo and vim mess :'( – Luke Mar 28 '15 at 14:05
  • Using Mint (on Ubuntu 14.04) - but seen this with KDE, too - for some reason, setting DNS servers in the GUI Network Manager doesn't affect the DNS settings used in a terminal – HorusKol May 27 '15 at 0:51
  • 2
    Best answer imho. On Ubuntu 14.04 I got 2 external IP-addresses for DNS that wouldn't recognise clients inside my home network. Leaving Method on 'Automatic (DHCP)' for the wired connection added my router's IP-address to the existing list. For the wireless connection over wlan0, that didn't work, but Method on 'Automatic (DHCP) addresses only' replaced the external addresses with my router IP and then that worked too. Apply changes with sudo service network-manager restart, wait a bit, verify with nmcli d list | grep 'DNS\|IP-IFACE'. And ping your internal client by name. – RolfBly Jun 23 '15 at 15:09

A quick and dirty workaround that wasn't mentioned yet is setting the immutable flag on the resolv.conf file right after editing it.

$ sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf

Add this and save:



$ sudo chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf

That should do the trick. I do this on my system too.

  • 18
    Anytime your solution involves chattr, it's not really a solution. – Jeff Jirsa Jun 10 '16 at 18:23
  • 1
    this is what I do on systems where I need to temporarily change the DNS for some reason and don't want to modify the configuration. As a permanent solution I wouldn't recommend it. – hochl Oct 24 '16 at 11:19
  • 3
    "quick and dirty workaround" – YouniS Bensalah Oct 24 '16 at 13:57
  • 10
    This isn't dirty. Programs that destroy local configuration because they think they know better are dirty. – user41515 Apr 26 '17 at 21:24

DNS Config Under Linux

DNS usage on linux is done over a set of routines in the C library that provide access to the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). The resolver configuration file (resolv.conf) contains information that is read by the resolver routines the first time they are invoked by a process. In short each process requesting DNS will read /etc/resolv.conf over library. The NSS is layered on top of this, and is configured by /etc/nsswitch.conf.

Linux DNS config are located in the file /etc/resolv.conf BUT there are a number of programs/services that wants to automatically manage and handle the DNS configuration file at /etc/resolv.conf. In some situations you may want to manage this file yourself. Each program/service managing DNS have its own configuration files like /etc/dnsmasq.conf (for dnsmasq service) and append the DNS config at connection change and/or on other events... a quick solution is to lock the DNS config file with chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf but this is not recommended in certain case, a better solution is to setup correctly all the program/services using the DNS like (dnsmasq/network-manager/resolvconf/etc.)

Getting Back The Control Of DNS

Here is an exhaustive list of setups to get back the control of resolv.conf and avoid having it overwritten (how to disable/setup DNS from other location other than resolv.conf) note that resolvconf is an independent program from resolv.conf, also depending on your system/config you may not have one or many of the programs listed here.

1. Resolvconf:

Config files

cat /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head
cat /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base

Update the config

sudo resolvconf -u

Disable resolvconf

systemctl disable --now resolvconf.service 

2. Dnsmasq Service:

Config files

cat /etc/dnsmasq.conf

Update the config

sudo systemctl restart dnsmasq.service

3. Network Manager:

Config files


Disable DNS

$ cat /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/no-dns.conf

Enable DNS

$ cat /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/dns.conf



Use resolved service

$ cat /usr/lib/NetworkManager/conf.d/resolved.conf 

Use resolvconf

$ cat /usr/lib/NetworkManager/conf.d/resolvconf.conf 

Update the config

systemctl restart NetworkManager.service

4. Network Interfaces:

Config files

$ cat /etc/network/interfaces
# or dns-search like so
# dns-search x.y 

Update The Config


5. DHCP Client:

Config files

$ cat /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf
supersede domain-name-servers <dns_ip_address1>,<dns_ip_address2>;

Update The Config


6. Rdnssd Service:

Disable rdnssd

systemctl disable --now rdnssd.service

7. Resolved Service:

Disable resolved

systemctl disable --now systemd-resolved.service

8. Netconfig:

Config files


Disable netconfig

cat /etc/sysconfig/network/config

Update The Config


Setting The DNS Server

Example of a /etc/resolv.conf configuration




#Classic Config
#search lan

My issue was a bit different, I wanted to override my routers DNS servers. I found this link from Ubuntu: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OverrideDNSServers

It says: If you would like to override the DNS settings provided to you by a DHCP server, open


and add the following line:

supersede domain-name-servers <dns_ip_address1>,<dns_ip_address2>;

replacing <dns_ip_address*> items with the proper content.

  • This is the answer that solved my issue. – Michael Jan 18 '17 at 19:01
  • Perfect. Just adding that you should sudo service networking restart to enable the changes. – Nick Triantafillou Mar 20 '17 at 22:21
  • What if we don't have that dhcp3 folder? I have Xubuntu 17.10, has it moved to /etc/dhcp simply? – PlasmaBinturong Apr 1 '18 at 19:12

Maybe I'm missing something, but according to the config instructions at https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/serverguide/network-configuration.html all you do is update the following. I am not running a proxy - just a machine behind a firewall and local DNS (example shows Googles, but set it to whatever you need).

nano /etc/network/interfaces


# This file...
# and how to activate...

# The loopback...
auto local
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface 
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp


# This file...
# and how to activate...

# The loopback...
auto local
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface 
#iface eth0 inet dhcp
iface eth0 inet static
address x.x.x.x
gateway x.x.x.x

# you may not need dns-search
# I use it because I'm running this on a Windows network 
# so its useful to have
# dns-search x.y 

Reboot, if you can.


Try adding dns-nameservers XXX.XXX.XXX.X into your /etc/networking/interfaces file.

  • Leave a comment when you downvote, please. This is the method given in the manual, page 38. – Zook Jul 24 '14 at 16:07
  • 1
    The unmentioned manual shows all IPs on one line. This answer seems to suggest adding a line. And why is the last number only one X wide? I think it mostly was the extremely informal and uncertain short chat-style writing that garnered the downvotes, @Zook. – Cees Timmerman Jun 12 '15 at 10:07

Some of the answers here work just fine. However I wasn't happy with the fact I have to manually go through configuration files just to set the "proper" DNS which I already am receiving over DHCP with NetworkManager.

I did a little digging and noticed that the /etc/resolv.conf file is actually a link and it's pointing to /run/systemd/resolve/stub-resolv.conf. After some experimenting it appears that /run/systemd/resolve/ directory contains another file named resolv.conf which already contains the settings you've received via DHCP. So, instead of having to manually overwrite/create configuration files in /etc/, you can simply re-link /etc/resolv.conf to point to the /run/systemd/resolve/resolv.conf file and all should be just fine:

# sudo ln -sf /run/systemd/resolve/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf

You should now be able to edit the settings even from the Network Manager in Gnome. :)

Not sure if this will work on older ubuntu's but it does on Ubuntu 17.10.

  • when we run systemd-resolve --flush-cache the original linked file is severed apparently, the answer above restore the original functionality – hafizhanindito Mar 17 at 19:34

EDIT MAY 6,2016

I've written a script to update all settings for system connections in the /etc/Network-Manager/system-connections/ directory. The GUI that you use to edit individual connections, edits a particular file in that directory. The script updates all of the files - it just searches for those who don't have dns set with grep and sets it with awk.

Since accessing those files requires sudo access, run this script with sudo and then - restart network manager

# Author: Serg Kolo
# Date: May 6, 2015
# Description: this script checks all settings for connections in 
# /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ , and if there's no custom
# dns set , this script sets it;
# NOTE: run sudo service network-manager restart after running this script

set -x

for file in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/* ; do
        grep 'dns=;' "$file"  || ( awk '{print;if ($1=="[ipv4]"){getline; print "method=auto\ndns=208.67.220.
220;\nignore-auto-dns=true"}}' "$file" > .tmpfile && ( cat .tmpfile > "$file") )

Script in action:

enter image description here

ORIGINAL POST Some users here pointed out that DNS is somehow controlled by dnsmasq. That is indeed true. I've faced a somewhat smaller issue, where no matter how I changed head or body in /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d , my computer couldn't actually access interned by domain name - only working with IP addresses.

What I did is to edit the /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf file. Originally, it said dns=dnsmasq but I changed it to: dns= Although this way, nm-tool doesn't mention, I still was able to use domain names, not just IP addresses.

Here's how my NetworkManager.conf file looks like now:



NOTE: For more details on my problem and this solution, refer to my post on askubuntu.com.


Having returned home from the university today, I discovered that I couldn't connect to my home WiFi. I've read-up a little on man NetworkManager.conf and it turns out that dns= in [main] is actually a line for plug-ins, so line dns=dnsmasq is actually adding the dnsmasq plugin to the NetworkManager, apparently.

So my solution still worked, just not as I had expected. Here's excerpt from the man page:

dns=plugin1,plugin2, ... List DNS plugin names separated by ','. 

DNS plugins are used to provide local caching nameserver functionality (which speeds up DNS queries) and to push DNS data to applications that use it.

So by setting dns= I may have, basically, prevented NetworkManager from using that plugin, which would otherwise used the local DNS server (which apparently doesn't work).


There are two methods

Method 1

The DNS server to use can be changed by updating head file in under resolv.conf.d

$ echo 'nameserver' | sudo tee /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base

and then run

$ sudo resolvconf -u

The above will generate a generic resolv.conf file in the /etc directory. All your resolve requests will be sent to the above said nameserver. Solved.

However there are implications to this. When using resolvconf to directly query for address resolutions, the power of caching provided by dnsmasq is gone. Every request will go to

Method 2

If you don't want above to happen and use dnsmasq for DNS resolutions refer this answer. The answer is simply described here.

Add the following content in /etc/dnsmasq.conf file.


Then restart the dnsmasq service

$ sudo systemctl restart dnsmasq.service

Things will work fine. Solved.


The easy way to change DNS:

$ sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

If issues come up, install nano:

$ sudo apt-get install nano -y

then ..

  1. find this: dns-nameservers
  2. if you don't find it just type it in there
  3. I did mine like this: dns-nameservers

I hope this is the best way, I did it like this on a VPS by the way.


on root:

  1. comment dns=dnsmasq on /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf
  2. add supersede domain-name-servers,,,,,; at the end of /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf
  3. sudo service network-manager restart

The following makes the changes shown above:

$ sudo sed -i 's/dns\x3Ddnsmasq/\x23dns\x3Ddnsmasq/' \

$ echo 'supersede domain-name-servers,,,,,;' | \
   sudo tee --append /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf

$ sudo service network-manager restart

Wait 7/10 seconds to finish the restart process, check your config with "nslookup nist.gov". Works well on Ubuntu LTS 14.04.


NB : Like most answers, this one assumes the use of NetworkManager. However unlike most other answers, it doesn't assume the use of resolvconf, dhclient or anything else — beware that they may take over, though (see update).

Given the number of views of this question it's quite incredible that this 8 characters solution hasn't been posted yet : according to man NetworkManager.conf,

dns: […] none: NetworkManager will not modify resolv.conf. This implies rc-manager unmanaged

Therefore add


in the [main] section of /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf then restart NetworkManager and it won't modify /etc/resolv.conf anymore.

Note that setting rc-manager=unmanaged should be equivalent to dns=none, and that setting rc-manager=symlink along with having /etc/resolv.conf as a symbolic link may be a better idea (read above-mentioned manpage).

Update :

After NetworkManager stopped overwriting /etc/resolv.conf, I figured dhcpcd was already replacing /etc/resolv.conf by a useless empty file at boot. The manpage of dhcpcd.conf helped, it suffices to add

nohook resolv.conf

in your dhcpcd.conf (mine is in /etc/dhcpcd.conf).


On my Linux centos7 server the best way I could change this option was using


command which is not suggested in any answers here. You can edit nameservers in this tool and when you change options of networkmanager from this utility they will be automatically applied to /etc/resolv.conf after reboot. Here you can find more information.

protected by slm Jul 8 '18 at 3:42

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