SUMMARY: DNS problem: nslookup works - ping doesn't

From: Hap Hinrichs (
Date: Fri Mar 13 1998 - 08:59:00 CST

Ladies and Gentlemen:

None of the suggestions I received solved the problem.
The rather brute force approach of rebooting the machine did,
a maneuver that I try to avoid for both the disruption and
the effective admission of defeat. But, whatever works...

Many of the suggestions involved /etc/nsswitch.conf, but
since, as I stated, this machine is running SunOS 4.1.4
that is not an issue. My guess is that since this is the
NIS master that something of the previous state was being
held onto, quite possibly the previous /etc/resolv.conf.,
by the NIS (yp) daemons. If so, then killing and restarting
the daemons might have worked, but at that point the reboot
was a more inclusive option.

In response to one question, yes, you can do this in SunOS.
If you are using NIS and DNS you need to make sure that
/var/yp/Makefile has the line
set (it's near the top), and you have a correct /etc/resolv.conf.

Thanks for the responses to the following and any
others that come in later:

Karl Vogel <>
Siddiqi Farhan A <>
Frank Cusack <>
"Steven Kokinos" <> (D. Ellen March)
Joel Lee <>
Terry Anderson <Terry_Anderson@INS.COM>
Joel Lee <>
Janet Hoo <Janet.Hoo@Ebay.Sun.COM>
Ju-Lien Lim <>
Kumurasen Govindan <>
Ron Kelley <rkelly@InfoAve.Net>

======= Original question =======

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I just had to move my DNS and mail servers to
a different machine because their previous home
was becoming unstable. My DNS server is the
primary for my department and is a secondary for
the corporate domain. I coordinated with the
administrator of the corporate domain to do the
switch. My actions were as follows (I'm running
SunOS 4.1.4 on an SS20 that is also the NIS

Kill in.named on flaky machine
Copy files from flaky machine to good machine
Change <flaky-machine-name> to <good-machine-name>
Change <flaky-machine-IP> to <good-machine-IP>
Start in.named
OOPS...change entry in /etc/resolv.conf
For safety kill and restart in.named
Check /var/yp/Makefile to make sure B=-b, it is.

At this point nslookup works, mail to/from the
outside world works (this goes through the
corporate domain's firewall), but any reference
that needs DNS hangs, e.g. ping. The ping does
work using the address instead of the name.

I obviously missed something, probably simple,
but what is it?

Thanks in advance, summary to follow.

| Hap Hinrichs G W Hinrichs, III |
| Research Director |
| Nielsen Media Research|
| voice: (847) 605-3923 150 N Martingale Rd |
| fax: (847) 605-2542 Schaumburg, IL 60173 |

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