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problem found while trying to install shorewall

I am attempting to install the dcc clustering tools but can not get past
step one, install shorewall.  

after entering;
apt-get install shorewall

A dialog comes up telling me to indicate the external NIC.  No problem
accept the default eth0.  Then however, debconf gives me a new dialog that
it could not determine the proper value of EXTERNAL_IP from the output of
getent as not database exists and that I should fix the problem. 
I assume the setup for shorewall is looking for a previously setup firewall
definition but I am stumped on what it wants.  

The really irritating thing is that there is no option to cleanly say oops
and quit.  I had to kill the install process, not good.   

Sorry for the cross post I would post this to the debian beowulf or cluster
group but beowulf is nothing but spam postings and I found no cluster
group. If there is an active group dedicated to clustering, please let me


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