I have a Debian 8 server that has been running great for about a year. All of a sudden I am no longer getting internet access.

The server is connected over an ethernet cable and I can SSH into over the local network.

When I do ping www.google.com then I get Unknown Host. If I do ping then it works.

So I would guess that it is a DNS issue? My /etc/network/interfaces file looks like this..

auto eth0
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

Where else should I be lookgin to resolve this?

  • 1
    What does it show in /etc/resolv.conf ? – Jesse_b Feb 9 at 20:26
  • 1
    /etc/resolv.conf is blank – fightstarr20 Feb 9 at 20:30
  • Weird that it would become blank. Do you have any configuration management software in your environment, and are you hosting your own DNS servers? – Jesse_b Feb 9 at 20:39

I would try updating your /etc/resolv.conf file with the following:

search local and are Google's public DNS servers as you seem to already be aware of.

nameserver Name server IP address

Internet address of a name server that the resolver should query, either an IPv4 address (in dot notation), or an IPv6 address in colon (and possibly dot) notation as per RFC 2373. Up to MAXNS (currently 3, see ) name servers may be listed, one per keyword. If there are multiple servers, the resolver library queries them in the order listed. If no nameserver entries are present, the default is to use the name server on the local machine. (The algorithm used is to try a name server, and if the query times out, try the next, until out of name servers, then repeat trying all the name servers until a maximum number of retries are made.)

search Search list for host-name lookup.

The search list is normally determined from the local domain name; by default, it contains only the local domain name. This may be changed by listing the desired domain search path following the search keyword with spaces or tabs separating the names. Resolver queries having fewer than ndots dots (default is 1) in them will be attempted using each component of the search path in turn until a match is found. For environments with multiple subdomains please read options ndots:n below to avoid man-in-the-middle attacks and unnecessary traffic for the root-dns-servers. Note that this process may be slow and will generate a lot of network traffic if the servers for the listed domains are not local, and that queries will time out if no server is available for one of the domains. The search list is currently limited to six domains with a total of 256 characters.


  • 1
    Thank you that did it. This server has reached EOL so it only has to survive for another 3 weeks. This will do until then :) Thanks for your solution, much appreciated – fightstarr20 Feb 9 at 20:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.