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[Set up DynDNS on Ubuntu (and other Linux)]

If you're running servers inside your network, then you really should be using a proper business-grade Internet connection that includes a Static IP Address.

But if you are just a home user on a normal residential Internet connection, it can be a pain to keep looking up your IP Address on the occasion that you want other people to have access to your computer. And for the rare occasion that someone does need access, it hardly justifies the additional cost of a business connection.

For this reason, Dynamic DNS is a very handy option. You can get a free Dynamic DNS account from a number of providers. Dynamic DNS lets you set up a name like "fred.dyndns.com" which points to whatever your network's IP Address is at the moment. It's not 100% accurate so not really appropriate for business use, but it's perfect for home users.

This page explains how I got multiple Ubuntu computers working with DynDNS, and it's really easy!

There are several software packages you can install on your Linux computer in order to update the DynDNS. Ubuntu has at least 5 in the official repositories - just do a "apt-cache search dyndns" in your terminal to find out some details.

The one I chose to use was called inadyn, and here's the steps I used to set it up.

Please note these instructions relate to Ubuntu, but would be very similar for other Linux distributions. Just to quickly point out a couple of potential differences with other distributions :

  1. In Ubuntu, "super user" access is gained by using the word "sudo" in front of any terminal command. Some other Linux distributions use a special user called root, instead of the sudo idea, so if this is the case please refer to your distribution notes
  2. The "nano" text editor, and the "apt-get" package management software, are both appropriate for Ubuntu systems. But the programs you use for text editing and/or package management might be different with other Linux distributions, so adjust the commands accordingly
  3. If you're using a Linux distribution other than Ubuntu, the "rc.local" file might work completely differently, or be in a different place. I think this file name and location is pretty standard, but I can't be sure about other distributions

Anyway, here's the instructions :

  • Sign up a free DynDNS account at http://www.dyndns.com and take note of the name you choose, plus of course your username and password
  • Open a terminal window
  • Install inadyn - at the terminal, type "sudo apt-get install inadyn" - of course if you use a Linux other than Ubuntu, refer to your software package manager instructions
  • To set up the inadyn configuration file, go to a terminal, type "sudo nano /etc/inadyn.conf"
  • Copy and paste the following text into the inadyn.conf file, of course putting your own DynDNS name, username and password in the areas underlined :

    # Basic configuration file for inadyn
    # /etc/inadyn.conf

    update_period_sec 600 # Check for a new IP every 600 seconds

    username your_username_here
    password your_password_here

    dyndns_system dyndns@dyndns.org
    alias your.dyndns.name.here


  • Save the inadyn.conf file and exit your text editor (if you're using nano, that's CTRL+O and then enter to save it, then CTRL+X to exit)
  • To make inadyn start automatically, we need to put the inadyn command into your /etc/rc.local file
  • Use your text editor to open /etc/rc.local (if you have nano, that's "sudo nano /etc/rc.local")
  • Just put the command "inadyn" in this file, above the "exit 0" line
  • Save the rc.local file and exit your text editor (if you're using nano, that's CTRL+O and then enter to save it, then CTRL+X to exit)
  • Restart the system, wait a few minutes and all should be working
  • TO TEST: go to terminal, and type the command "host your.dyndns.name.here" of course putting your proper DynDNS name in, and the result should show your correct IP Address

If you need more documentation, check out the official DynDNS.com site here.

www.linux.org firefox ubuntu Last modified: Wednesday, 01-Aug-2018 13:25:37 ACST
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