Tag Archives: dns-search dns linux networksetup search domains

Save Time with DNS Search on Ubuntu and Mac OS X

Do you SSH and/or ping a lot of servers under the same domain name? Ever get tired of typing the same domain name multiple times a day? E.G.:

ssh server1.ourcompanysname.com
ssh server2.ourcompanysname.com
ping merp.ourcompanysname.com

Easily setup your machines to automatically fill it in for you. Instead you’ll be able to:

ssh server1
ssh server2
ping merp

Here’s how on Ubuntu 14.04:

  • Edit your /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base file with your favorite editor:
sudo vi /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base
  • Add lines like this and save your changes:
search ourcompanysname.com
  • Now update resolvconf with:
sudo resolvconf -u
  • That’s it!

Here’s how on Ubuntu (older versions):

  • Edit your /etc/network/interfaces file with your favorite editor:
sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
  • Under each interface (if you have more than one) look for a ‘dns-search’ line, and create it if it’s not there. The file should end up looking something like this:
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
 # dns-* options are implemented by the resolvconf package, if installed
 dns-search ourcompanysname.com
  • After saving your changes, restart networking:
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
  • That’s it!


Here’s how on Mac OS X: (I’m using Mountain Lion.)

  • Both view and edit your settings with the ‘networksetup’ command.
  • First check what network interfaces you have:
sudo networksetup -listallnetworkservices
  • If you’re like me, you’ll only need to setup search domains for the ‘Ethernet’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ interfaces.
  • Check if there are already any set; you’re likely to see “There aren’t any Search Domains set on [interface].”:
sudo networksetup -getsearchdomains Ethernet
sudo networksetup -getsearchdomains Wi-Fi
  • Set a new search domain for each interface you use:
sudo networksetup -setsearchdomains Ethernet ourcompanysname.com
sudo networksetup -setsearchdomains Wi-Fi ourcompanysname.com
  • That’s it!