I'm trying to complete the setup of my Bind9 DNS server.

Both Systems are running Debian Stretch. The serving machine ( is a VM host and the client machine ( is its virtual guest.

The server seems to be running without complaint, but I'm getting some confusing results. The host command resolves as I'd hoped:

$ host wiles.local
wiles.local has address

However I'm unable to reference the system by hostname anywhere else:

$ ssh wiles.local
ssh: Could not resolve hostname wiles.local: Name or service not known

Of course, I can ssh into the system by referencing the IP explicitly without issue.

The client machine does seem to be looking in the right place for its DNS:

$ nslookup google.com

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:   google.com

I'm hoping someone can help me figure out what the distinction here is and what I can do to fix the issue.

I'll give what relevant config information I know:

On the serving system:


zone "wiles.local" {
        type master;
        file "/etc/bind/db.wiles.local";


$TTL    86400
@       IN      SOA     wiles.local. root.localhost. (
                              1         ; Serial
                         604800         ; Refresh
                          86400         ; Retry
                        2419200         ; Expire
                          86400 )       ; Negative Cache TTL
        IN      A
@       IN      NS      localhost.
www     IN      A

On the connecting system:


auto lo enp0s3
iface lo inet loopback

iface enp0s3 inet static

And finally:


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

A note on the last file: I had to disobey the loud warnings and write that line in by hand. Until having done that, this system would not resolve host names for ANY service, external or internal. I believe this to be a separate issue, that was fixed by installing and running resolvconf, but I mention it just in case the problems are related.

  • 2
    Please don't use .local as your own private TLD. It is reserved for Multicast DNS. Apr 10, 2018 at 5:01
  • 1
    Check grep ^hosts: /etc/nsswitch.conf and see askubuntu.com/questions/843943/… Note host nslookup dig use DNS directly and do NOT use nsslib like normal programs so you cannot rely on them to give the same results. Apr 10, 2018 at 8:27
  • Check this out
    – kemotep
    Apr 10, 2018 at 13:28
  • @dave_thompson_085 I get the following output: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns myhostname This "myhostname" tag looks like it should be replaced with something else. Apr 10, 2018 at 21:47
  • @JohanMyréen changing from TLD .local to .com did the trick, thanks! Please post this as the answer. Apr 10, 2018 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


As pointed out in the comments by Johan Myréen, my issue appeared to be caused by the use of a reserved TLD. Since I'm not making use of mDNS, switching from .local to .com allowed my name resolutions to work properly.

  • that may cause unknown issues down the road as well. I use .homenet ...
    – ivanivan
    Apr 16, 2018 at 1:36
  • I've reserved the domain from a registrar. That should make sure I don't run into any issues going forward as long as I still own it, right? Apr 16, 2018 at 1:38

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