Another networking problem

Mark Haney mhaney at
Thu Dec 11 15:20:23 UTC 2008

John French wrote:
> I am embarrassed because my problem is so similar to Chatagnier's. I
> have been following (with some difficulty) the advice which he was
> given, as well as reading all the manuals I can find, but I don't seem
> to find a solution. My network is :
> Netgear router                      (provides DHCP)
> Ubuntu Hardy server (fixed, wired)
> Ubuntu Intrepid        DHCP (wireless)
> XP*                 DHCP (wireless)
> W2K*                 DHCP (wired)
> W2K - laptop*        DHCP (wireless)
> (* to be Ubuntu - if I can learn enough !)
> Almost everything works fine - everyone can connect to the internet, and
> the Windows machines can see the shares on all the other systems, and I
> have even copied files from one Ubuntu system to the other when sitting
> at a Windows machine. BUT I can't see the other systems from the Ubuntu
> machines. From the server, by going to Places > Network, I can see the
> host names, but not the files on them - if I click on a system, it does
> nothing for about 30 sec. and then shows a blank screen. From the
> Intrepid desktop, I get "Windows Network", which gives "TOW.ORG.UK", but
> nothing more.
> I believe the problem is name resolution. From the Windows machines, I
> can ping any other machine by IP or name. From Ubuntu, I can ping by IP, 
> but using a name always brings up, which, I think, is 
> OpenDNS. I have tried to fix /etc/resolv.conf, but the Intrepid machine 
> always changes it back. The Hardy server lets me change it, but my 
> changes don't fix the problem. I can happily make all the IP's fixed or 
> DHCP, if so advised. I guess I have messed up my config files trying 
> different solutions. Should I re-install ?  And, if so, Intrepid or Hardy ?
> John

I'd certainly say the problem is name resolution. What I"m curious about 
is how the Windows machines can ping by name?  Is it able to ping by 
FQDN?  Or by just hostname? What does /etc/resolv.conf say?

Based on what you've said, it's /possible/ the Windows boxes are using 
DHCP to do name resolution, but typically linux boxes don't (at least in 
my experience they don't.)

My suggestion would be to do one of these:

Setup the /etc/hosts file for each host (with DHCP that makes it tough, 
unless the lease itself is unlimited).

Setup internal DNS (with same issue as above).

Or, I suppose you might be able to setup the linux boxes to use DHCP for 
name resolution, but I"ve not done that in years, nor, when I did, did I 
have a lot of luck with it.

Frustra laborant quotquot se calculationibus fatigant pro inventione 
quadraturae circuli

Mark Haney
Sr. Systems Administrator
ERC Broadband
(828) 350-2415

Call (866) ERC-7110 for after hours support

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list