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[wlug] Could not determine the server's fully qualifieddomain name

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Chris O'Halloran chris.ohalloran@m...
Tue Nov 1 09:42:29 NZDT 2005

Thanks for the responses.

I think I've solved it twice.

Although YAST2 (Suse setup tool) was appearing like if was adding my host name 
to the /etc/hosts, it wasn't and I suspect this was to do with the DHCP 
configuration expecting to be given a host name from the DHCP server. I 
forced it by manually editing /etc/hosts

And to kill it twice I then asked our IT admin to add my computers name to the 
DNS server on the company LAN so now there's no excuse.  While we are on 
DHCP, if the computer is turn on at least once a week it gets the same ip 

Now privoxy and apache run without complaint and in the case of privoxy a wee 
bit quicker.

Thanks for your help guys,


BTW, seeing as you guys (WLUG) run Ubuntu and I am a KDE fan, I was wondering 
if someone could post me a copy of Kubuntu or point me in the right 
direction.  Happy to meet your costs. Thanks.

On Sunday 30 October 2005 09:41, Shane Taylor wrote:
> First off, sorry if this comes out wrong but writing these things while
> still drunk usually isn't a good idea. I will, however, proceed anyway :P
> The process for resolving machine names, FQDN's etc is controlled by a
> number of files on your machine. It starts with the file:
> /etc/host.conf
> That file tells your machine where to goto. Mine looks like:
> order hosts, bind
> multi on
> The first line tells my system to look in the hosts file, which in *nix is
> /etc/hosts (so that's why matching the name in hosts and your apache conf
> works). If it doesn't find an entry in the hosts file then the "bind"
> option is tried next. "bind" actually means to use dns rather than the
> "bind" dns server in particular.
> So, if your servername in apache isn't in the /etc/hosts file, the OS will
> look to dns to figure out its own name. So then it will look to the file:
> /etc/resolv.conf
> to figure out where to look up the name. Mine looks like:
> domain trousers.lan
> nameserver
> nameserver
> nameserver
> The first line lets you use short machine names (not FQDN's but actual
> hostnames) and that will get tacked on the end before the lookup is done.
> So, if I were to try:
> dig pants a
> my machine will actually look up the ip for:
> pants.trousers.lan
> The 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines are ips of dns servers that my machine should
> query starting at the top and moving down in order. If it finds a match
> then sweet, otherwise it will let you know that the name can't be found.
> The ips are:
> is my machine as I run a dns server on it. It's a static ip
> because that machine is also the DHCP server
> is my adsl modem. If dns queries are passed to it then it
> will forward them on to whatever servers my ISP supply when I connect (I'm
> not running it in bridged mode)
> is Waves dns. I know that exists and always will as long as
> Wave exist, so it's the last resort
> (NOTE I use trousers.lan as my local domain because there isn't a root
> server for that top level domain, so it guarantees I'll never get an ip
> that for that domain that isn't servered up by me)
> What was happening (to Bnonn not Chris) is there wasn't an entry in either
> the hosts file nor in any dns server that matched, so apache would spit the
> error:
> httpd2-prefork: Could not determine the server's fully qualified
> Have a look at this page to find out why the servername setting is
> important:
> I'm going cross eyed and therefore back to bed to try and recover. Someone
> tell me if that was utter crap and I'll have another go .... sometime.
> man host.conf
> man hosts
> man resolv.conf
> Shane.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bnonn" <bnonn@o...>
> To: "Waikato Linux Users Group" <wlug@l...>
> Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 11:09 PM
> Subject: Re: [wlug] Could not determine the server's fully qualifieddomain
> name
> >> I started Apache on my system and the following error was returned.
> >> Apache seems to operate okay but I was getting a similar kind of error
> >> in the
> >> log files when I was running Privoxy, an advertisment and cookie
> >> crunching
> >> proxy server.
> >>
> >> When the proxy server was operating it was this error that kept
> >> slowing the
> >> response of the server.
> >>
> >> /etc/init.d/apache2 start returned 0 (success):
> >> Starting httpd2 (prefork) ..done
> >> httpd2-prefork: Could not determine the server's fully qualified
> >> domain name,
> >> using for ServerName
> >>
> >> Any clues? DNS, host file problem.
> >>
> >>From what I understand (this is how I fixed the problem), you need to
> >
> > have the <VirtualHost> entry in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/default
> > matching the hostname of your computer.
> >
> > In my case, /etc/hosts reads:
> >> violet localhost localhost.localdomain
> >
> > And the first few lines of /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/default read:
> >> NameVirtualHost violet
> >> <VirtualHost violet>
> >>         ServerAdmin bnonn@o...
> >>         ServerName
> >
> > Whether this is the correct way to do it or not I'm afraid I'm not sure.
> > I did some brief research a couple of weeks ago to see if I could figure
> > out why I was getting the same error, and altering the ServerName
> > setting in Apache resolved this. However, I don't really understand how
> > FQDN works, and how DNS really factors into it, so I'd also be grateful
> > for the technical wisdom of others who do. If I'm doing something
> > howwbly wrong it would be good to know (:
> >
> > Regards,
> > Bnonn
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > wlug mailing list | wlug@l...
> > Unsubscribe:
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