cat FILE | resolvconf -a IFACE.PROG
resolvconf -d IFACE.PROG
resolvconf --enable-updates | --disable-updates | --updates-are-enabled
| --create-runtime-directories | --wipe-runtime-directories
The resolvconf package comprises a simple database for run-time name-
server information and a simple framework for notifying applications of
changes in that information. Resolvconf thus sets itself up as the
intermediary between programs that supply nameserver information and
applications that use that information.
Information is added to or removed from the database using the resolv-
conf program. See the OPTIONS section below for a discussion of the
SUPPLIERS OF NAMESERVER INFORMATION
Normally the resolvconf program is run only by network interface con-
figuration programs such as pppd(8) (for ppp interfaces); by DHCP
clients such as dhclient(8); by ifup(8) and ifdown; and by DNS caches
such as dnsmasq(8) (for the loopback interface). These programs obtain
nameserver information from some source and push it to resolvconf.
The dhclient program, for example, may receive nameserver addresses and
domain search list information during its negotiation with the DHCP
server; if so, its hook script /etc/dhcp/dhclient-enter-hooks.d/resolv-
conf pushes this information to resolvconf.
The ifup program can be used to configure network interfaces according
to settings in /etc/network/interfaces. To make ifup push nameserver
information to resolvconf when it configures an interface the adminis-
trator must add dns- option lines to the relevant iface stanza in
interfaces(5). The following option names are supported: dns-name-
servers, dns-search, and dns-sortlist. The dns-domain option is depre-
cated in favor of dns-search.
To add nameserver addresses, add a single line beginning with dns-name-
dns-nameservers 192.168.1.254 188.8.131.52
Note that one or more addresses can be given on this line, separated by
spaces, and note the "s" at the end of the option name, in contrast
with the resolv.conf(5) option name nameserver. Remember that in
interfaces(5) each option can be used at most once per stanza.
N.B.: On a machine where resolvconf has just been or is about to be
installed and which previously relied on a static /etc/resolv.conf
file, the nameserver information in that static file should be migrated
to the appropriate iface stanza(s) in interfaces(5).
The administrator can run resolvconf from the command line to add or
delete nameserver information, but this is not normally necessary or
CONSUMERS OF NAMESERVER INFORMATION
Nameserver information provided to resolvconf is stored for use by sub-
scribers to resolvconf's notification service. Subscriber packages
that need to know when nameserver information has changed should
install a script in /etc/resolvconf/update.d/ (or in /etc/resolv-
conf/update-libc.d/: see below). For example, DNS caches such as dns-
masq(8) and pdnsd(8) subscribe to the notification service so that they
know whither to forward queries. Client hook scripts will find the
files containing nameserver information in the current directory.
The most important software package that subscribes to the notification
service is the GNU C Library resolver(3). This library is used by many
applications that need to resolve domain names. When nameserver infor-
mation is updated, the script /etc/resolvconf/update.d/libc generates a
new version of the resolver configuration file, /run/resolv-
conf/resolv.conf, as described below. If the new version of the file
differs from the previously generated one then the hook scripts found
in /etc/resolvconf/update-libc.d/ are executed.
The dynamically generated resolver configuration file always starts
with the contents of /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head and ends with
the contents of /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/tail. Between head and
tail the libc script inserts dynamic nameserver information compiled
from, first, information provided for configured interfaces; second,
static information from /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base. Specifi-
cally, it writes:
1) up to three nameserver lines, ordered according to /etc/resolv-
conf/interface-order, possibly fewer if one of the addresses is a
loopback address and the TRUNCATE_NAMESERVER_LIST_AFTER_LOOP-
BACK_ADDRESS environment variable is affirmatively set, as dis-
cussed in the ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES section;
2) up to one search line containing the combined domain search list
from all "domain" and "search" input lines, also ordered according
3) all other non-comment input lines.
To make the resolver use this dynamically generated resolver configura-
tion file the administrator should ensure that /etc/resolv.conf is a
symbolic link to /run/resolvconf/resolv.conf. This link is normally
conf/update-libc.d/ rather than in /etc/resolvconf/update.d/. (For
example, two packages that install update-libc.d/ hook scripts are
fetchmail and squid.) This is important for synchronization purposes:
scripts in update-libc.d/ are run after resolv.conf has been updated;
the same is not necessarily true of scripts in update.d/.
Add or overwrite the record IFACE.PROG then run the update
scripts if updating is enabled. When this option is used the
information must be provided to resolvconf on its standard input
in the format of the resolv.conf(5) file. Each line in the file
must be terminated by a newline.
Delete the record IFACE.PROG then run the update scripts if
updating is enabled.
The string IFACE.PROG may not contain spaces, slashes, an initial dot,
an initial hyphen or an initial tilde. It is conventionally formed
from IFACE, the name of the interface involved, a dot, and IPROG, the
name of the interface configuration program, e.g., "eth0.dhclient".
-u Just run the update scripts (if updating is enabled).
With -a, -d or -u:
if updating is not enabled, schedule a delayed update. The
delayed update will be carried out when updates are enabled.
Set the flag indicating that resolvconf should run update
scripts when invoked in the future with -a, -d or -u. If a
delayed update was scheduled then run update scripts.
Clear the flag.
Return 0 if the flag is set, otherwise return 1.
Create the directories where resolver information records and
other run-time files are stored.
Delete everything in the directories where resolver information
records and other run-time files are stored.
The following variables can be set in the configuration file
/etc/default/resolvconf. If the file does not exist you will have to
address is that doing so inhibits unnecessary changes to
resolv.conf and thus reduces the number of instances in which
the update-libc.d/ scripts have to be run. When an interface is
brought up or down the local caching nameserver that listens on
the loopback address is still informed of the change and adapts
accordingly; the clients of the resolver which use the local
caching nameserver do not need to be notified of the change. A
disadvantage of this mode of operation is that applications have
no secondary or tertiary nameserver address to fall back on
should the local caching nameserver crash. Insofar as a local
nameserver crash can be regarded as an unlikely event, this is a
relatively minor disadvantage. Set to "no" to disable trunca-
tion. The default is "yes".
A deprecated synonym for this variable is TRUNCATE_NAME-
See the ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES section.
Determines the order of precedence of nameserver addresses and
search domain names. See above and interface-order(5).
File containing basic resolver information. The lines in this
file are included in the resolver configuration file even when
no interfaces are configured.
File to be prepended to the dynamically generated resolver con-
figuration file. Normally this is just a comment line.
File to be appended to the dynamically generated resolver con-
figuration file. To append nothing, make this an empty file.
This file is a good place to put a resolver options line if one
is needed, e.g.,
Copy of the /etc/resolv.conf file before the resolvconf package
was installed. This file has no effect on the functioning of
resolvconf; it is retained so that /etc/resolv.conf can be
restored to its original state if the resolvconf package is
Note also that a copy of this file is included in the database
until the first reboot after installation of the resolvconf
package; this ensures that nameservers reachable before instal-
lation of resolvconf are still reachable after installation of
resolvconf even though at that point not all suppliers of name-
Written by Thomas Hood <email@example.com> with contributions by Nathan
Copyright (C) 2004-2012 Thomas Hood.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.
interface-order(5), resolv.conf(5), resolver(3).
Read the resolvconf package README file for more in-depth information.
resolvconf 28 May 2012 RESOLVCONF(8)
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