much to my surprise....

Ryan Coleman editor at
Thu Sep 22 21:29:07 UTC 2011

On Sep 22, 2011, at 3:14 PM, Robert Bonomi wrote:

>> From owner-freebsd-questions at  Thu Sep 22 14:30:49 2011
>> Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:30:54 -0700
>> From: Gary Kline <kline at>
>> To: FreeBSD Mailing List <freebsd-questions at>
>> Cc: 
>> Subject: much to my surprise....
>> guys,
>> well, after a forced, unexpected, and emergency 5 days away, i got
>> back to my desk and could not ping.  while mail seemed to be working, 
>> and my *local* ping worked---I could ping around from my freebsd server
>> to my other computers--i spent 3+ hours trying to ping various
>> sites.  Zero.  i tried everything i could think of.  NOTHING worked.  
>> i tried the -d -f -f to named and on and on and on.  nothing.
>> *Finally*, i  saw that my telco router was displaying "INT" in red
>> LED's.  i didn't know they displayed in any other color but the
>> default green, but after power-cycling, voila! back to green.  
>> and now, yes, i can ping  and i'm pretty sure other
>> network things will work too.  
>> from any/all sysadmin types or others::
>> i would like tricks, tips, insights--whatever--about named and
>> whatever else.  i thought i had collected many.  nope.    i've got
>> bind 9.8 installed and it was working fine until my recent
>> 'vacation.'  Other than checking one's routers (hub/switch), and other 
>> hardware (including server, computers, cables, etc) does anybody have a
>> checklist of what to do to diagnose this?  are there any other
>> utilities i can try besides ping and named -d 3 -f -g?   other
>> network utilities with a debug flag?  i'm running 7.3 on a dell 530.
>> tia for any insights,
> You should _really_ consider hiring a professional to maintain your 
> systems.
> Diagnosing _this_ problem should have taken no more than about 30
> *seconds*. 
> If you can't get somewhere 'by name', you try to get there 'by address'.
> If 'by address' works and 'by name' doesn't, *that* is the indication of
> a DNS problem.
> If you can't get there 'by address', it is *NOT* a DNS problem, and you 
> start looking for a 'connectivity' problem.
> The *BASIC* tools for that start with 'traceroute'.  Which would have
> *immediately* (well, within abut ten seconds :) indicated exactly _where_ 
> the problem was.
> Those  who don't understand these kind dof things are "too dangerous"
> to be trusted with the superuser password.
> Bluntly, not only do you not know the things you need to know to manage
> a (even 'personal') network, you "DON'T KNOW _what_ you don't know", and 
> until you *do* learn the basics, you'll save youself a *LOT* of hair-
> tearing if you hire someone to solve the problems for you.

I whole-heartedly agree with Robert's points.

I host in my apartment... but I have more than a decade's experience maintaining networks and systems and, while the occasional issue stumps me, I'm pretty good at getting to the root of issues in minutes vs hours.

Yes, I was once a... for lack of a better term... moron on these things and I relied heavily on the tech who pushed me (gently) towards ƒBSD from RHL and I am gracious every day for that nudge.

Experience is the best way to pick up the "quick list" of things to check on if there's a problem on your connectivity... but there's one thing I *must* stress: NEVER EVER EVER run your own DNS service. It's too much of a PITA. When I quit doing my own DNS my issues revolving around that ended. I use DynDNS to run my primary domain and all the others run through GoDaddy's free DNS manager. This is because I use the primary domain's hostname as my MX record on all the others. While GD's DNS is functional, it's also cumbersome, too cumbersome to update on a semi-regular basis.
I highly suggest that you do the same. $20/year for DynDNS' full domain service is worth the price.

My two bits (and a nibble).

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