I just installed a server into a new open collocation facility yesterday. I installed server software today, but during the install I could not connect to any of the Debian mirrors to get software updates. I completed the bare minimum install from the CD.

After rebooting the system, I can ping IP addresses, but I cannot ping host names.

When I try:

ping google.com
ping: unknown host google.com 

I have resorted to changing the host names in /etc/apt/sources.list to IP addresses, so I can at least update my server, but this is less than ideal.

Has anyone experienced this problem, or knows why this is happening?


Check your DNS servers in /etc/resolv.conf or /etc/network/interfaces files. Try to ping them. Check your default route : is it OK ?

  • Check that DNS isn't being blocked by the firewall (both UDP and TCP are needed)
    – vonbrand
    Mar 9 '13 at 19:16
  • The DNS servers in /etc/resolve.conf and /etc/network/interfaces match exactly. I cannot ping the servers, but the tech here says that the servers are not pingable. Mar 9 '13 at 19:33
  • I think there is a firewall between your host and the DNS servers. Ask your network administrator if there is one.
    – Dom
    Mar 9 '13 at 19:59
  • The network admin here got a Windows based laptop and is experiencing the same issue on his side, so it's definitely not a server configuration issue. Thanks for replying. Mar 9 '13 at 20:06

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