much to my surprise....

Gary Kline kline at
Fri Sep 23 01:31:20 UTC 2011

On Thu, Sep 22, 2011 at 04:28:50PM -0500, Ryan Coleman wrote:
> Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 16:28:50 -0500
> From: Ryan Coleman <editor at>
> Subject: Re: much to my surprise....
> To: Robert Bonomi <bonomi at>
> Cc: freebsd-questions at, kline at
> X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1244.3)
> 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.

	points all well taken, robert, thanks.  i was ready to fire
	off a few shots of my colt bisley 454, then took two deep
	breaths and soldiered on.  [note that at least one other
	fellow has suggested that i just hire somebody to maintain
	my connectivity.]  but i've been doing this for a while, and
	until i was away for five days, everything had been going
	fine for over a month.  oh:: one power-out.  the UPS saved
	the server, but everything else needed to be reinitialized.

> > 
> > The *BASIC* tools for that start with 'traceroute'.  Which would have
> > *immediately* (well, within abut ten seconds :) indicated exactly _where_ 
> > the problem was.

	would traceroute have told me to check the "modem"/router?  

> > 
> > 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.

	would you believe: i'm slow at typing, ?
> 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 ?BSD from RHL and I am gracious every day for that nudge.
	i've used REAL UNIX [[$1100] for  SVR4; and before than VAT,
	a 286 version of SVR2; then chose FreeBSD  with 2.0.5.  
	things started out as a dialup BBS and evolved since july '86
	system administration is something i do reluctantly.
	adding system calls to the tera kernel plus other kernel
	work on the the hardware version of a 128-stream CPU seemed
	 infinitely easier than this....

> 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 dont want to sound like a goodie two-shoes, but i've been
	running a web site for a builder friend hereabouts.  gratis. 
	tiny business; guy and two others, and since builders are
	hurting, why not.  everything runs off my own ./master and 
	named.conf are the only file i had to bother with.  that took 
	several days to get right since i've only been on-the-net since '01.

	some guy in Dallas saved my ancient system from collapse in
	jan '08 by some voodoo.  how his DNS was set up was around
	2/3rds different than the nutshell setup i learned from the
	Cricket Liu's book.  it really was a superb read.  cricket
	thought i was being a smart alec when i said that his book
	read like a novel.  maybe i'm geekier than i thought.  

> 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.

	ok, here's just the fax, man:: since i finished me m.a.  in
	ethics, i have a truckload of philosophical-type mumblings
	continually ooozing forth.  at the same time,  i  want to
	finish my key-click project in C++, and add that to my
	speech-computer.  (i talked to whoever at the OLCP in '09
	and learned that there at 100million disabled children in
	the world.  10m or 100million, (?), something implausible
	from where i am... .  my typing-to-speech with
	keyboard click would be a win on the OLPC.  but most kids
	can learn to press the membrane keyboard hard and most watch
	the screen.   i keep my eyes on the keyboard.)  nutshell,
	when that project is done, i can make use of my philosophy

	i'm to the point where letting somebody else handle the
	dns-and-outward side sounds better by the day.  i'v got more
	question if you care to answer them.  i've been using for a few years--8 or 9 anyway.  but if switching to 
	dyndns saves a lot of my flubs,  hey.


> My two bits (and a nibble).
> --
> Ryan

 Gary Kline  kline at  Public Service Unix
           Journey Toward the Dawn, E-Book:
          The 8.51a release of Jottings:

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