Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Thu Apr 11 06:18:39 PDT 2002

On Thu, 4 Apr 2002, Adrian Garcia Garcia wrote:

> Ok I understand most of the tips, but I have some doubts about the domain
> name, I used the domain name "cluster.org" because every documentation
> about DHCP had a domain name in the configuration so ...
> Is it necesary to have a domain name server (like BIND) working together
> with the dhcp server??????

We're getting to where I don't know the answers -- just try it with and
without.  At a guess, the answer is no, you don't need a domain name and
if you use one it can likely be made up -- mine always have been, and
IIRC I've used names that didn't correspond to anything in hosts and
didn't even have an approved ending.  If you do make one up I'd suggest
you stay away from any name (unfortunately like cluster.org or
cluster.net) that MIGHT be registered in nameservice so you can avoid
any possibility of name resolution confusion in the future.  You
definitely don't need a nameserver -- my hosts are all on a private
internal network anyway and not in nameservice.  If you want them to
resolve by name you have to ensure that they are resolvable one of the
ways given for hosts in /etc/nsswitch.conf and the library calls will
take care of the rest.

> One more thing...
> I don´t have Internet in my LAN and I don´t know if is it necesary the
> domain name?????
> Thanks a lot. I'm newbe and my english is not good =)

Probably not.  It depends on what services you want to run elsewhere.
Mail servers/clients will likely get unhappy without some sort of domain
name defined, maybe a few other things like this.  It is also possible
some distribution-installed tools (assuming in their preconfiguration
that they are on an open LAN) will bitch or break if no domain name is
defined -- I've not tried it so can't tell you.  /etc/hosts based name
resolution per se couldn't care less.

Domain names are used primarily for routing or domain administration.
The correspondance between a domain name and a subnet block or union of
subnet blocks is often useful for both.  If you have a private network,
no routing except between hosts on the same wire/switch, and no need to
differentiate subnet blocks for administrative purposes you can probably
live without.

If you think that there is any reasonable chance that your cluster might
one day end up on a public network it is reasonable to define one
anyway.  If any installed tools complain because there isn't one it is
certainly harmless enough to define one.  I generally do out of sheer
habit and inertia even within my private lan at home.


> Adrián .
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Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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