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Re: Need help setting up a home LAN

On 20110502_095924, Andrei Popescu wrote:
> On Lu, 02 mai 11, 00:29:24, Paul E Condon wrote:
> > A few days ago, my old consumer grade router died, or seemed to die
> > such that I decided to purchase a new consumer grade router. What I
> > remembered about how the old router was set up was insufficient to get
> > me back up and running with the new router and the old LAN
> > configuration. I think my problem has to do with DHCP. I didn't use
> > DHCP in the old set up.  Instead I had statically defined IP addresses
> > in /etc/hosts. I can see good reasons for DHCP, but I have never
> > understood how I could get my four Debian hosts to talk to each other
> > under DHCP. I see some things that can be configured to have DHCP
> > assign fixed IPs to certain devices based on their MAC address, but is
> > that what needs to be done? What I'm looking for is the ordinary and
> > accepted way to make an ssh connection from one of my boxes to another
> > one of my boxes where DHCP is happening.
> I prefere setting up "static" DHCP, if at all possible[1]. If you are 
> lucky the router can also do local DNS and you are done.
> [1] I lost that feature on the last firmware upgrade on my VDSL modem 
> > Also I used rsync to keep backups of files on two different boxes, and
> > approx to maintain a local Debian repository. The way I have done this
> > in the past is dependent on local search.
> I don't understand what you mean here. Anyway, for a SOHO lan here are a 
> few ideas
> 1. assign static IPs (either via the DHCP server or each host's config)
> + robust
> + if set up via the router it's not difficult to maintain
> - accessing by IP is not "nice" and editing each host's /etc/hosts file 
>   is a pain
> 2. local DNS server. If you're lucky the consumer router can do that, 
> then it doesn't matter if hosts are on DHCP or not. If your router runs 
> Debian or some Linux dnsmasq is excelent for this purpose and easy to 
> setup.
> + convenient
> - setup is router dependent
> 3. mDNS. No, don't throw holly water, it really works... I think :p
> Just install libnss-mdns on all hosts (which will also pull 
> avahi-daemon). If you didn't change /etc/nsswitch.conf this will 
> automatically allow you to access the host via host-name.local, 
> irrespective of DHCP or static IP
> + very convenient and easy to setup, no fiddling with config files
> + independent of any central config (useful if you have a flaky router)
> - still needs some way of assigning IPs, unless your router supports 
>   zeroconf and you also install avahi-autoipd
> - depends on hidden-magic type software
> Regards,
> Andrei

Thanks, Andrei.

This is very helpful. But while you were responding, Netgear presented
a new problem. The web interface on the router no longer works with
iceweasel. It did work fine a few hours ago but now I can only get a
one line message (folded here for email): "Please upgrade to a version
4 or higher browser so that you can use this setup tool (and see lots
of great sites on the Internet!) " Iceweasel in Squeeze seems to be
version 3.5.18 of Firefox. I find it scary that they can know that and
shut be down late a night for a violation of their vision of their own

I was going to look at the browser interface to see if I could determine
whether the router included local DNS but ... this new development.

Whatever happens with this router after the Sun comes up and I go back
to the store where I bought it, I'll still need to improve my knowledge.
I think I did have static IPs via DHCP. There was a small table in which
I could fill in IPaddr, an arbitrary name, and a MAC address. But that
by itself didn't seem to be a whole solution. I would need to hand construct
an /etc/hosts file or commit the IPaddresses to memory, or something.

Is dnsmasq the name of a program or Debian package? I could run a
daemon on one of the computers and add the IP of that host to the
list of DNS servers. I guess that is what mDNS is. I have never
heard of it. 

Anyway, I can't have a router that can have its administrative interface
shutdown without warning in the middle of the night. I'll have to
solve that before I can respond to your suggestions.


Paul E Condon           

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