getting DNS config to clients

Jeroen Massar jeroen at
Thu Apr 17 09:50:36 CEST 2008

kim at wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been researching how we get the IPs of our DNS servers to our clients
> dynamically.
> So far we've looked at config RADVD and DHCPv6 on Linux ...
> What are the accepted/widely used 'standard' ways of setting up clients?
> Particularly clients that frequently move between differnt networks.

Depends completely on your environment and what you are used to.

Currently most sites that I know of use DHCPv4 for IPv4 addresses + DNS 
config, along with other info they might send and RA for IPv6 addresses.
As most sites will be dual-stacked for a long long time to come this is 
a really easy way to transition to IPv6, just turn on RA, presto, as 
DHCPv4 was already present.

The other mode is of course to use DHCPv6 for the info, which partially 
implies you have to run an RA also to be tell the client to do DHCPv6 in 
the first place.

One can also use RA's to distribute the DNS servers using the RDNSS 
option. The problem with this, and also with DHCPv6 in a way, is that an 
OS/Distro combo which supports the RA RDNSS option, or one which comes 
per default with DHCPv6 installed and enabled is not widely available. 
Thus one has to nearly always retrofit that in.

Another way to distribute these details is something that a lot of 
ISP-folks tend to forget: Active Directory. Indeed, one can script 
nearly everything in there and nicely push configurations outbound.
Probably not something one always wants to do, but when one is a 
Microsoft shop, then it is not a too strange idea. Of course this 
requires that all the boxes are in the domain, that you have control, 
and that they are MS based, which is far from the case in a lot of 
environments, but business environments might have this option too.


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