Question

How do I switch my DNS resolvers away from Google?

Recently many users have had issues with Google’s DNS resolution, which have really highlighted the need for a distributed internet! With that in mind, I wanted to write up a guide on how to update your DNS resolvers to a custom DNS provider. We’ll use OpenDNS for this guide, but you can find several options here:

https://www.lifewire.com/free-and-public-dns-servers-2626062

Temporary fix:

Don’t know if you want to switch away from Google, but need to get back up and running? There’s a file on your server called:

/etc/resolv.conf 

Which should look something like this:

nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4

If you change those lines to the OpenDNS resolver IPs:

nameserver 208.67.222.222 
nameserver 208.67.220.220

Then you’re done! That will direct all of your DNS resolution requests to OpenDNS until your next reboot, when resolv.conf is regenerated based on your networking configuration.

Permanent fix:

So how do you edit that networking configuration? Well the syntax is the same, but the location differs based on your distribution.

Ubuntu/Debian

First check for this file and make changes here:

/etc/network/interfaces.d/50-cloud-init.cfg

But on some older versions that won’t exist, so you can just make changes here:

/etc/network/interfaces

The current settings should look something like this:

dns-nameservers 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4

You can update them with the OpenDNS resolvers to look like this:

dns-nameservers 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220

Then restart networking with:

sudo systemctl restart network.service

Or simply reboot your Droplet to have those changes take effect.

CentOS/RHEL

This can all be managed at:

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

The current settings should look something like this:

DNS1=8.8.8.8
DNS2=8.8.4.4

You can update them with the OpenDNS resolvers to look like this:

DNS1=208.67.222.222 
DNS2=208.67.220.220

Then restart networking with:

sudo systemctl restart network.service

Or simply reboot your Droplet to have those changes take effect.

I hope that’s helpful! If you’re having a DNS issue that changing your resolvers doesn’t… ahem… resolve… Then please feel free to open a ticket so we can take a look:

https://cloud.digitalocean.com/support/tickets/new

And don’t hesitate to post your questions below :)

Regards, Darian Platform Support Advocate


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My /etc/network/interfaces.d/50-cloud-init.cfg file uses IPv6 addresses in the DNS settings:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
    dns-nameservers 8.8.8.8 2001:4860:4860::8844 2001:4860:4860::8888

Does OpenDNS support these types of addresses as an alternative to Google?

This worked for my droplet, thank you very much!

@dwilkin

Since the DigitalOcean Team has a presence here in the community and posts such as this, as well as those previous, apply to such a large base, it might be worth having them stick out a little more.

To those of us who like to help others in the community, they simply look like every other question. If there was a tag next to the post title, some color variation (different link color), or separation (such as making the thread sticky for X or XX days / week(s)) – or a combination of all three – I think that’d be far more helpful in ensuring that others are able to identify such posts.

I know there’s a search function, but even when searching, it still looks like every other thread :-).