dig works, ping doesn't


macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2007
Not sure where to post this question... but I have a DNS name resolution problem with OS X and it's driving me nuts. I'm trying to PING a host on my local network using the DNS host name, NOT the IP address. A ping by IP address does work however. Also, I DO NOT WANT TO ADD THE NAME TO THE HOSTS FILE. This defeats the purpose of DHCP (the D means Dynamic)...

The lookupd configuration looks correct, dig and nslookup operate properly but PING does not. The name of the local host I'm trying to ping is 'files'.

Here is a relevant terminal session (if there's a better place to put this, PLEASE let me know):

mymachine:~ cliff$ lookupd -configuration

ConfigSource: file://etc/lookupd
LookupOrder: Cache NI DS
MaxIdleServers: 4
MaxIdleThreads: 2
MaxThreads: 64
TimeToLive: 43200
Timeout: 30
ValidateCache: YES
ValidationLatency: 15
_config_name: Global Configuration

LookupOrder: Cache FF DNS NI DS
_config_name: Host Configuration

LookupOrder: Cache FF NI DS
_config_name: Service Configuration

LookupOrder: Cache FF NI DS
_config_name: Protocol Configuration

LookupOrder: Cache FF NI DS
_config_name: Rpc Configuration

TimeToLive: 60
ValidateCache: NO
_config_name: Group Configuration

TimeToLive: 300
ValidateCache: NO
_config_name: Initgroup Configuration

LookupOrder: Cache FF DNS NI DS
_config_name: Network Configuration

mymachine:~ cliff$ ping files
ping: cannot resolve files: Unknown host
mymachine:~ cliff$ ping files.local
ping: cannot resolve files.local: Unknown host
mymachine:~ cliff$ ping files.localdomain
ping: cannot resolve files.localdomain: Unknown host
mymachine:~ cliff$
mymachine:~ cliff$ dig files

; <<>> DiG 9.3.4 <<>> files
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 16769
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;files. IN A

files. 0 IN A

;; Query time: 2 msec
;; WHEN: Mon Aug 6 11:31:23 2007
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 39

mymachine:~ cliff$ nslookup
> files

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: files
> exit

Any ideas? I've tried creating LookupOrder entries for every possible lookupd setting in /etc/lookupd but to no avail.

This is extraordinarily frustrating and given the darwin roots of OSX this should be very very easy...



macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
I am not very proficient in networking, but I believe you need to define a server in your .rhosts file or somewhere like that for your computer to ask for the IP address of a "named" host.

The IP address in your "nslookup" looks like your base station, but it may not be suitable for this function. Most base stations distribute IP addresses, but does not keep a "this name" is actually "this IP address" type of list. More like "I'll assign this IP address to this MAC address".


macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 24, 2007
thanks for the suggestion... but that's not the problem... anyone else??


macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2007
Same thing for me!

I have exactly the same problem.

I used to have a Windows XP machine set up as a DHCP server, and my Mac was able to ping local hostnames. Earlier in the week I changed to a router which is now set up as a DHCP server. All the Windows machines on the network are able to ping local host names quite happily but the Mac isn't resolving these names anymore. :mad:

The Mac is able to connect to drives on other machines by using hostnames, but I can't Ping, or use Remote Desktop Connection to a PC, using a host name. IP addresses work fine.

I am at a loss!