Setting up OpenDNS on Mandriva

OpenDNS offers DNS resolution as an alternative to using your Internet service provider’s DNS server. OpenDNS usually processes queries more quickly, thereby increasing page retrieval speed.

TODO: Make this article distro-agnostic.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Go to OpenDNS and take note of their DNS IP numbers. As of this writing, they are located near the bottom of the page and are 208.67.220.220 and 208.67.222.222.

In the Mandriva Control Center (MCC), open Network & Internet – Network Center and choose your Internet facing device, usually eth0. Select “Configure”. If “Get DNS servers from DHCP” is checked, uncheck it. Enter the OpenDNS IP numbers noted above. Select “Ok”.

Confirm here that your computer is now using OpenDNS.

WHAT YOU MAY CHOOSE TO DO
The following is optional; it provides reports and finer grained control over the service. I suspect, but have not yet confirmed, that not doing this can cause problems for other OpenDNS users that share your DHCP IP address pool, when they are later assigned the IP address that you had previously signed up for OpenDNS with. TODO: Confirm or disprove this.

Open an account at OpenDNS and enter the dashboard (requires JavaScript and Flash). You will be prompted to enter a “network” (i.e., your public IP address). If you do not know this, obtain it at checkIP.org. You will also be prompted to provide a “network label” (a name for your network, such as “Home”).

Unless you have a static IP address (if you don’t know, then you don’t have one), install the dynamic updater ddclient: as root, “urpmi ddclient”. Configure it: as root, open /etc/ddclient/ddclient.conf and add to the end of the file:

##
## OpenDNS.com account-configuration
##
use=web, web=whatismyip.org

server=updates.opendns.com 
protocol=dyndns2           
login=[opendns_username]
password=[opendns_password]
[opendns_network_label]       # opendns_network_label

Be sure to use your own username, password, and network label. Make sure SSL is enabled near the top of the file (“ssl=yes”).

While not strictly necessary for its operation, ddclient expects a sendmail-compatible MTA to be installed and configured. If you do not already have one, consider postfix.

Once ddclient and your MTA have been installed and configured, run this diagnostic as root and check the result for errors:

/usr/sbin/ddclient -daemon=0 -debug -verbose -noquiet

Confirm in MCC that ddclient is set to run at boot.

In the OpenDNS dashboard, consider setting the following non-default options in the “Settings” tab:

Content Filtering
Enable: The filtering level of your choice. I chose “custom” (adware, phishing).
Stats and Logs
Enable: Stats and logs.
Advanced Settings
Enable: SmartCache, Suspicious Responses.

ALTERNATIVES TO OPENDNS
Using a public DNS has it’s drawbacks, as an article in The Economist points out.
Namebench attempts to hunt down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer.
I don’t consider Wikipedia to be reliable, but it has the only list of alternatives I’ve yet found.

REFERENCES
ddclient
ddclient and sendmail

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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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One Response to Setting up OpenDNS on Mandriva

  1. Pingback: Internet sharing on Linux | A maze of twisty little passages

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