I am running a fresh install of Linux Mint Nadia (14). I am following the instructions on Vagrant Getting Started but have gotten stuck on the Provisioning. It seems the Vagrant box cannot connect outside and so I can't install anything using either Chef or Puppet.

In the basic Vagrant resolve.conf contains nameserver But with that set I can't ping us.archive.ubuntu.com.

If I change it to then I can ping us.archive.ubuntu.com but it does not stay set, and after a reboot it changes back to - so provisioning fails again.

Ideally I would like for to work on my setup. Failing that I would like a way to permanently change resolv.conf so that I can do provisioning.

  • 2
    FYI that I just hit this same problem with the ubuntu/xenial64 box, and it turned out to be a bug with the box itself. Sep 17, 2016 at 2:56
  • @AidanFeldman same for me. Just switched to bento/ubuntu-16.04 and DNS works fine without any further fixes. Jan 11, 2017 at 16:58

4 Answers 4


You can work around this issue in one of two ways, both of which are in the VirtualBox manual:

Enabling DNS proxy in NAT mode

The NAT engine by default offers the same DNS servers to the guest that are configured on the host. In some scenarios, it can be desirable to hide the DNS server IPs from the guest, for example when this information can change on the host due to expiring DHCP leases. In this case, you can tell the NAT engine to act as DNS proxy using the following command:

VBoxManage modifyvm "VM name" --natdnsproxy1 on

Using the host's resolver as a DNS proxy in NAT mode

For resolving network names, the DHCP server of the NAT engine offers a list of registered DNS servers of the host. If for some reason you need to hide this DNS server list and use the host's resolver settings, thereby forcing the VirtualBox NAT engine to intercept DNS requests and forward them to host's resolver, use the following command:

VBoxManage modifyvm "VM name" --natdnshostresolver1 on

Note that this setting is similar to the DNS proxy mode, however whereas the proxy mode just forwards DNS requests to the appropriate servers, the resolver mode will interpret the DNS requests and use the host's DNS API to query the information and return it to the guest.

  • 1
    Thank you. "Using the host's resolver as a DNS proxy in NAT mode" did the trick. It is just a pity I have to do this for every Vagrant install. Nov 29, 2012 at 6:13
  • 1
    I almost always use bridged mode for VMs, which eliminates the problem (and a whole host of other problems). Jan 12, 2013 at 19:55
  • 3
    Just had the issue with an upgrade to the 4.2.20, "Using the host's resolver as a DNS proxy in NAT mode" did the trick for me too. Thx !
    – edomaur
    Dec 12, 2013 at 13:12
  • Neither of these work for me with hashicorp/bionic64 FML Jul 13, 2022 at 13:51

Following up on https://serverfault.com/a/453260/14832, if you're using a version 2 Vagrantfile config format, the one which starts:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|

Then you might want to add this to that config file:

config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
  vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--natdnshostresolver1", "on"]

If you're using the old config format, but are using Vagrant 1.1+, you can append this at the end of the file:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |vb|
    vb.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--natdnshostresolver1", "on"]
  • 2
    Adding this to my Vagrantfile fixed the problem where I could not run gem install... without getting silly DNS errors :) Thanks!
    – Nick
    Feb 23, 2015 at 23:37
  • 2
    did not work for me... not sure what I'm missing
    – jenkizenki
    Mar 9, 2020 at 19:47
  • @NickHall Check the VM inside if it has static IP assigned; if so -- check the reachablitiy of the nameserver from /etc/resolv.conf; if it's, check my answer ;)
    – P Marecki
    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:55

Necromancing this one as in my opinion none of the answers shed any light on the root cause of this problem, which seems quite interesting. For modern context -- the issue also happens with Debian 10, and VirtualBox 6.0.14; after default install of Deb 10 (GUI-less), with one "NAT" adapter (not "NAT Network", but the default "NAT") all seems OK with DNS. Then upon changing /etc/network/interfaces (which seems still relevant in this distro) to static IP:

#iface enp0s3 inet dhcp
iface enp0s3 inet static

(note -- the VM would have got from dhcp anyway), and powering off/on the VM,

  • DNS does not work (host google.com etc, timeout)
  • can't telnet 53 (resolv.conf has nameserver, per default after installation).

If I revert to iface enp0s3 inet dhcp and reboot the VM, DNS and telnet 53 work.

Now it gets really exciting/bizzare: if you again go for inet static, and just reboot the VM, the DNS & telnet still work OK; only if you do power off/on the VM (via virtualbox), the disappears.

So my guess at the moment is, that VirtualBox automagically turns on the DNS server/proxy at once it gets a dhcp request; and this lives for as long as the VM is not power-off-ed (but can be rebooted).

(I would check this if I knew how to fake a dhcp request on the; does anyone know how?)


Bottom line for those who do want to change IP to static (in the "NAT" adapter): just find a way to paste proper nameserver into /etc/resolv.conf (can be after startup in some init scripts).


On the VagrantVM, try:

resolvectl dns eth0 your_server_dns_ip_address

for example

resolvectl dns eth0

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