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 Forum index » House Training » Bugs ( Submit bugs )
Dingo, PPPOE, No DNS
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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 29 Jun 2008, 09:51    Post subject:  Dingo, PPPOE, No DNS
Subject description: Have to remove resolv.conf symlink from /etc and /etc/ppp pointing at each other


don't know whether this is the right place to post - just wanted to share some experience with


Started Roaring Penguin PPPoE.


Started PPPoE got a connection. But DNS was not working as supposed (ping to IP addresses worked, but could not resolve hostnames).

I discovered that the symlinks of resolv.conf in /etc and /etc/ppp pointed at each other. I removed both files, disconnected and re-connected - et voila.

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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7600
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun 29 Jun 2008, 20:22    Post subject:  

Hmm, I thought that we had sorted that problem out. When you run from the menu, it runs /usr/sbin/pppoe_gui, and I recall we discussed the resolve.conf problem sometime ago and supposedly solved it.

Anyone want to volunteer to study that script and find out what has gone wrong?

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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 30 Jun 2008, 02:43    Post subject: Dingo, PPPOE, No DNS
Subject description: Revisited - repeatable. Look at pppoe-connect line 219 ff

After reboot:
/etc/resolv.conf File rw-,r--,r--/--- root root 0 B 09:35:43 03 Nov 2004
/etc/ppp/resolv.conf Link rwx,rwx,rwx/--- root root 14 B 00:05:59 05 May 2008
pointing to ../resolv.conf

Clicking on Start on the Roaring Penguin PPPoE applet seems to start /usr/sbin/pppoe-start_shell which in turn calls /usr/sbin/pppoe-start which in turn calls /usr/sbin/pppoe-connect.

line 219 ff
# Jigger DNS if required...
if test "$DNSTYPE" = "SERVER" ; then
# Sorry, dude...
rm -f /etc/resolv.conf
ln -s /etc/ppp/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf
elif test "$DNSTYPE" = "SPECIFY" ; then
# Sorry, dude...
rm -f /etc/resolv.conf
echo "nameserver $DNS1" > /etc/resolv.conf
if test -n "$DNS2" ; then
echo "nameserver $DNS2" >> /etc/resolv.conf

I did configure using the SETUP button but then went to a command prompt:
# export DEBUG=1
# /usr/sbin/pppoe-start
*** Running in debug mode... please be patient...
*** Finished debugging run. Please review the file
*** '/tmp/pppoe-debug-12299/pppoe-debug.txt' and try to
*** figure out what is going on.
*** Unfortunately, we can NO LONGER accept debugging
*** output for analysis. Please do not send this to
*** Roaring Penguin; it is too time-consuming for
*** us to deal with all the analyses we have been sent.

What I don't understand is that the debug file lists:
Contents of /etc/resolv.conf
* The following section lists DNS setup.
* If you can browse by IP address, but not name, suspect
* a DNS problem.

Hope this helps.

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Joined: 01 Nov 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat 01 Nov 2008, 13:00    Post subject: Circular resolv.conf links  

I experienced the same problem with circular resolv.conf links on a fresh boot of

I used the network setup wizard which worked flawlessly
to detect my ethernet adapter and configure auto dhcp.

I could then ping to an IP address, but not a hostname.

Luckily I have another linux machine on the network and I
was able to inspect its resolv.conf and manually enter
the dns servers into the Puppy conf file. But less experienced
people getting started may not be able to figure it out.
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Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 64
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Fri 04 Sep 2009, 04:38    Post subject: [SOLVED]  

Hi @ all,

resolv.conf also does not exist in /etc/ppp and /etc ???

I have also run the PPPoE Wizard --- can i use this also for USB Wireless modem Huawei E179 ?


look here http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=37828&start=304

Last edited by alix_board on Mon 07 Sep 2009, 01:43; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6817
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri 04 Sep 2009, 07:05    Post subject:  

@ alix_board

see you reposted here


I was just going to recommend it Laughing

well done!

@ john_roshi
.....I was able to inspect its resolv.conf and manually enter
the dns servers into the Puppy conf file. But less experienced
people getting started may not be able to figure it out.

would you care to go to the same thread and post a quick howto for noobs?

Rich [rerwin] seems a little unclear about the dns bit - & I don't have the hardware/knowledge


Aitch Smile
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Joined: 28 Dec 2009
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Wed 05 May 2010, 16:31    Post subject:  

BarryK wrote:
Hmm, I thought that we had sorted that problem out. When you run from the menu, it runs /usr/sbin/pppoe_gui, and I recall we discussed the resolve.conf problem sometime ago and supposedly solved it.

Anyone want to volunteer to study that script and find out what has gone wrong?

Okay, you have a volunteer.

This bug came up in the Users forum last week. Looking around a bit, I noticed that this bug has been coming up, off and on, for a number of years. So I thought I'd take a look to see if I could figure out why this bug seems to be so squash-resistant, and keeps coming back to haunt new users.

Because of the long history of this bug, I thought that I should first study that history a bit to get the big picture, rather than just look at the suspect scripts and perhaps propose a solution that might have already been tried and eventually failed.

So I did a lot of reading. I downloaded some early Puppies, examined release notes, poured over Barry's old news and new blogs, and studied the various related symptoms reported by forum members over the years, as well as the specific actions that led to those symptoms.

My old eyes probably read way too many posts. They were full of reports about good connections but which had "Address Not Found" errors while browsing, connections that had worked fine at one time but not after using PPPoE, and, of course, the smoking guns: circular links and "Too many levels of symbolic links". (For my convenience while studying them, I made a list of a couple of dozen threads where this issue has come up in the past, including links to them. Rather than now discarding that list, I will append it to the end of this post in case anyone else wants to dig into this a little more.)

The result is that I learned a lot (including stuff unrelated to this bug), and I have a new appreciation for how hard it must be to provide users with a wide choice of networking applications while ensuring that those apps play well with each other. And, along the way, I may have even (re)discovered the solution to this problem.

My apologies if this post is a little too long and boring, but if it helps us to finally lay this bug to rest permanently, perhaps it is worth it. (If not, you are welcome to keep a copy of this by your bedside for those nights when you need a little help getting to sleep.)


One of the options available when connecting via PPP is the ability to obtain the primary and secondary DNS nameservers from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), as described in RFC 1877. We don't need to know the details of the RFC because the PPP daemon, pppd, has handled that task for us since 1999. When given the option usepeerdns, pppd will ask the ISP server for the nameservers, and if the server provides them it will place them in the environment variables $DNS1 and $DNS2 and also create or overwrite /etc/ppp/resolv.conf with appropriate nameserver lines.

Of course those lines aren't very useful hiding in /etc/ppp/resolv.conf. They need to find their way to /etc/resolv.conf. The standard way of getting them into /etc/resolv.conf is by including appropriate code in the /etc/ppp/ip-up script. That script is run when pppd successfully completes the connection and has written to /etc/ppp/resolv.conf. The pppd package includes sample code for doing this in scripts/ip-up.local.add.


I'm fairly new to the Puppy world, and the oldest Puppy I've found is 1.0.4, so the early history of Puppy is not clear to me, but based on Barry's /etc/ppp/README.txt file in various Puppies, I think the following may be a fair picture of how things were done in pre-1.0.4 Puppies. (I'll welcome corrections from old-timers if this doesn't reflect reality.)

In June of 2003, a utility named "ppp" was used to connect via PPP. This utility generated an /etc/ppp/ip-up script. I have not been able to locate a copy of this utility, but a copy of its documentation, the /usr/share/doc/pppsetup.txt file (dated 2001-06-12) still lingers in Puppy 1.0.4. That file says that the ip-up script will update /etc/resolv.conf if it obtains a nameserver address.

(I am guessing that the script it generated might be the same as the file still included in Puppy 4.3.1 at /etc/ppp/ip-up-EXAMPLE. That script, if it finds the nameservers in $DNS1 and $DNS2, creates or overwrites /etc/resolv.conf with appropriate nameserver lines. Of course, it is just example code now, and doesn't actually get run in Puppy 4.3.1.)

In September of 2003, Barry added Gkdial. In /etc/ppp/README.txt, his comments indicate that the ip-up script is still being used (and he may edit it to eliminate an xmessage which is redundant for Gkdial).

Barry's next comment in /etc/ppp/README.txt, in November of 2004, indicates that Gkdial only writes to /etc/ppp/resolv.conf, not /etc/resolv.conf. So it would appear that either ip-up was no longer being used, or the code in it that updated /etc/resolv.conf had been removed. In the same comment he mentions that /etc/ppp/resolv.conf is a link to /etc/resolv.conf. So the current method of using this link to update /etc/resolv.conf dates from at least 2004. This way the pppd actually writes directly to /etc/resolv.conf, so that file is updated even if there is no code in ip-up (or even no ip-up) to do the update.

I've looked through Barry's news items from 2003 and 2004, and there is no mention of the removal of, or changes to, ip-up. My best guess is that the script was never specifically included on Puppy, since it was always created when "ppp -s" was run to setup the configuration. And if the user now chose to run Gkdial and never ran ppp, the script never got created, and so Gkdial didn't update /etc/resolv.conf until Barry added the link.

This link apparently worked well with the other utilities used in early Puppies for connecting via PPP. Except for ppp, many (or all?) of those utilities had no built-in mechanism for updating /etc/resolv.conf, and the symbolic link took care of that.


Then along came Roaring Penguin. Roaring Penguin does have a built-in mechanism for updating /etc/resolv.conf, which it uses if the user chooses to obtain the DNS addresses from their ISP server. Unfortunately, Roaring Penguin's way of doing things conflicted with Puppy's way of doing things. While Puppy makes /etc/ppp/resolv.conf a symlink to /etc/resolv.conf, so that when pppd writes to /etc/ppp/resolv.conf, it actually writes to /etc/resolv.conf, Roaring Penguin takes the opposite approach and uses a symlink from /etc/resolv.conf to /etc/ppp/resolv.conf so that when the resolver reads from /etc/resolv.conf it actually reads from /etc/ppp/resolv.conf. And thus sometimes we get into the situation when both are symlinks and nobody is happy.

The standard work-around was to, first, remove both symlinks. And, second, run pppoe-setup (formerly known as adsl-setup) again or simply create /etc/resolv.conf manually. (The downside of this was that if the user made a new /etc/resolv.conf, or ran pppoe-setup and didn't choose to obtain the DNS address from the ISP's server, there would be no linkage between the two resolv.conf files, and using any of Puppy's other PPP utilities would no longer automatically update /etc/resolv.conf, as they previously did. Of course, that was rarely a problem, since ISPs don't change their nameservers very often, but it could be confusing when they did, if the user expected the update to happen automatically as it was supposed to.)

On November 22, 2004, Barry put a comment in /etc/ppp/README.txt to tell Roaring Penguin users to rename /etc/ppp/resolv.conf to hide the symlink, and he pointed-out that doing so would interfere with the operation of Gkdial.

FIXED IN PUPPY 1.0.7 - - -

Before releasing Puppy 1.0.7 in December 2005, Barry edited Roaring Penguin's pppoe-connect script to disable the lines which made /etc/resolv.conf a symlink to /etc/ppp/resolv.conf. This appears to have solved the problem, as the forums became quiet on this issue for a couple of years.

REAPPEARS IN 3.0.1 - - -

Apparently that change was overlooked in October of 2007 when the Roaring Penguin pet was upgraded from 3.7 to 3.8, so those lines were no longer disabled and the problem they had caused reappeared. I've seen nothing to indicate that disabling those lines had caused a problem, nor that they were restored intentionally. I think it was just an oversight.


In April of 2008, before releasing Puppy 4.0, Barry put a warning in pppoe-setup which alerted users to the fact that choosing "server" to obtain the DNS addresses from their ISP server would probably not meet with success. If the user takes the advice to "just press the ENTER key", then when pppoe-connect is run it will not make the symlink, and all is well.

Unfortunately, there is also a suggestion to first try entering "server" to see if it will work, and run the setup script again if it doesn't. If the user does that, the symlink will be created when pppoe-connect is run, and any attempt by pppoe-setup to fix it will fail because of the "Too many levels of symbolic links" error. The link needs to be removed manually.

And that is how it still was as of Puppy 4.3.1.


My suggestion is to restore Barry's 2005 fix to pppoe-connect by changing these two lines from this:
    rm -f /etc/resolv.conf
    ln -s /etc/ppp/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf

to this:
#BK    rm -f /etc/resolv.conf
#BK    ln -s /etc/ppp/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf

Then Barry's 2008 change to pppoe-setup could be removed. That should be enough to fix this problem. Roaring Penguin will still work without that symlink because Puppy has the symlink at /etc/ppp/resolv.conf.

It might also be worth considering eliminating the symlink at /etc/ppp/resolv.conf and, instead, using ip-up to update /etc/resolv.conf, as was the done in the very first Puppies. This is apparently the way the developers of pppd intended things to be (they provide sample code for the ip-up script), and it is probably more bullet-proof because it avoids the need for other apps to set up symlinks and get into a symlink shoot-out.

In writing an ip-up script, it would be worth looking at the sample code provided in the scripts/ip-up.local.add in the pppd package. Although the code in the ip-up generated by the ppp utility (which still exists as /etc/ppp/ip-up-EXAMPLE) apparently worked okay, the sample code from the pppd package will actually make a copy of the original /etc/resolv.conf which can be restored by the ip-down script after pppd closes the connection. Thus, if a user had an alternative method of connecting to the Internet (e.g., the wireless access point at the local library) which needed a different /etc/resolv.conf, that file would not be blown-away after using PPP.

On the other hand, we know that the symlink at /etc/ppp/resolv.conf works. Adding an ip-up script might not be worth the additional testing that would be necessary. (On the third hand, if Puppy had continued to use ip-up all along, the symlink conflict would never have happened, and you might now be doing something more fun than reading this long, boring post. So perhaps ip-up could avert another conflict down the road when some new PPP utility didn't play by the same rules as the existing ones. (But (on the fourth hand?) with more and more households installing networks with routers that handle all of the PPP stuff, there may not be many new PPP utilities added to Puppy.))

If Puppy used ip-up, and the symlink at /etc/ppp/resolv.conf was removed, the symlink that Roaring Penguin places at /etc/resolv.conf might not cause a problem anymore. However, I think that Barry's 2005 fix should still be used. First of all, there still might be a way Roaring Penguin's symlink could cause a conflict with some future app. But also, consider this:

People sometimes have trouble connecting to the Internet. (Yes, I know it is hard to believe, but it is true!) When the obvious method of connecting doesn't work, people will try alternatives. Someone who has DSL, but connects via a router may properly choose "Internet by network or wireless LAN..." from the Internet Connection Wizard. And something might go wrong. So perhaps he remembers that the connection to his ISP uses PPPoE (and he also wants to see just what the heck a "Roaring Penguin" is), so he clicks on that button, and he goes through the set-up dialog and tries to connect. The Roaring Penguin proceeds to blow-away the existing /etc/resolv.conf, and replaces it with a link. Because PPPoE will not work for connecting to his router, no connection is made, and so no nameservers ever get added to any resolv.conf. Now no method of connecting will work.

My guess is that this is also one of the various reasons why people who once had everything working sometimes get into the state where they seem to be able to connect okay, but browsing now always results in "Address Not Found".

Note that the configuration file, /etc/ppp/pppoe.conf, supplied with Puppy 4.3.1 (and probably others) sets DNSTYPE=SERVER, so all a user has to do to get into this situation is:

(WARNING: You don't actually want to do this.)
Menu -> Network -> Roaring Penguin PPPoE -> Connect now: START
connect -> Internet by 'Roaring Penguin' PPPOE... -> Connect now: START


It is my opinion that the Roaring Penguins made a bad choice when they chose to link /etc/resolv.conf to /etc/ppp/resolv.conf. Barry's 2005 fix is a good one and should eliminate the current problem. Creating an ip-up script doesn't seem to be currently necessary, but if folks think that it would be worth the effort and risk, it might make for a more robust Puppy when confronted with future PPP apps, if any.


In researching this issue, I did a lot of reading of old forum posts related to it. (Both the forum and Barry's daily notes are wonderful resources to have available.) Anyway, for my convenience I made a list of a couple of dozen of the threads, with HTML links to them. Rather than just tossing it out now I offer it here in case anyone else wants to look into the issue as well. (Or use it as a sleep aid, if this post wasn't enough.)

I also made a partial time-line of events in Puppy's early history related to PPP. I hate throwing things away, so I'll add it here in case it might be helpful to someone else.

Okay, now I'm off to file a report on another PPP-related bug that I stumbled over when researching this one. Hopefully that report will be shorter than this one.

Description  Forum posts related to Roaring Penguin /etc/resolv.conf symlink issue

Filename  roaring_penguin_posts.html.bz2 
Filesize  1.83 KB 
Downloaded  430 Time(s) 
Description  Partial time-line of PPP related events in Puppy's early history

Filename  puppy_ppp_timeline.txt.bz2 
Filesize  864 Bytes 
Downloaded  582 Time(s) 
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Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6817
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 05 May 2010, 20:07    Post subject:  

npierce - good job!

I look forward to Barry's confirmation of your seemingly thorough research

Aitch Smile
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PostPosted: Tue 11 May 2010, 13:55    Post subject:  

Ah - thank you npierce - this article has just helped me finally solve my connection problem that has had me frustrated for the last 10 days.

I am new to linux, and this is my 2nd serious attempt to start migrating from Windows, but I don't know my way around the file system - or pretty much anything. I did know, however, that I had no internet access, even though the Connection was said to be live, and I had discovered that the DNS wasn't sticking for me and kinda had a hunch this might be the problem, but I had no idea there were copies of resolv.conf in two places, or that there were symlinks - so your article has taught me a lot today.

When I went to /etc/ppp/ I found 4 copies of resolv.conf-type files (.old, .bak, etc) including one made by the DHCP server. I deleted all but one (the one with my preferred OpenDNS servers listed), renamed it appropriately and voila.... internet access !!

Hopefully it'll stick now, but if not, I'll know where to go.
Ran it for over 24 hrs no problem, but when I rebooted it today it was back to square one. Clearly I didn't understand what I had done. Eventually it seems OK back now:
1) made /etc/resolv.conf with the entries for DNS1 & DNS2
2) made a link to /etc/resolv.conf as /etc/ppp/resolv.conf
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Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 06 Nov 2012, 15:06    Post subject: Precise Puppy PPPoE
Subject description: Puppy PPPoE with User ID, Password, fixed MAC, fixed Service Name

I am new to Linux. The following worked for me.

1. As soon as your Puppy boots to the desktop, it connects to network by AutoDHCP. Right-click the network button on the tray (bottom-right), and select 'disconnect from network'.

2. If your Service Provider gave you no fixed MAC, skip this step. Else you need to download macchanger pet. Using another device, even cellphone will do, download 'macchanger-1.5.0-i486.pet' and 'macchanger-gui.pet version 1.1' from http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=64216. Save to cell phones usb card. Connect the card with a card reader, DO NOT remove your Precise Puppy USB. Hope there is another USB port on your system. The card will show on the desktop when connected. Click to go to where you saved the two files. Click on each of these files on at a time, agree to everything. Once both the files get installed on your Puppy, go to Menu>Utility>Macchanger and edit your MAC and save.

3. Right-click the 'connect' button on desktop and go to 'Execute the Internet Connection Wizard'. Under 'Desktop/tray' in the wizard select "Roaring Penguin" and In 'Connect to Internet by' click on 'Roaring Penguin' which should open the configuration pet for PPPOE. Click 'Setup', leave everything default except User ID, Password (give twice), and for Firewall select '1' i.e. Standalone. Once Setup is done, do not start it yet.

4. If your Service Provider gave you no fixed Service Name, skip this step: talk to your Provider to confirm you on this. If there is a fixed Service Name, go to 'file' on desktop. Go to Parent directory by clicking the "up" button (likely to be a green arrow pointing upward). Then go to /etc/ppp. In this directory you will find pppoe.conf file. Click to open. If you see 'eth0', your user id, etc. you are in the right place. Scroll down. Just between ACNAME and PING, you will see SERVICENAME. Write your Service Name here in exactly the same way your Service Provider tells you, case sensitive, no space after '='. Save the pppoe.conf file and close it.

5. Click on 'connect' on desktop, the PPPOE opens where you can click 'Start' to get connected.

6. Remeber to 'SAVE' at system Power-off, else you take this hassle on the next boot as well!
Description  macchanger pet GUI...special thanks to sc0ttman

Filename  macchanger-gui.pet 
Filesize  2.01 KB 
Downloaded  529 Time(s) 
Description  macchanger pet

Filename  macchanger-1.5.0-i486.pet 
Filesize  81.68 KB 
Downloaded  524 Time(s) 
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