Pi-hole project is a DNS sinkhole that compiles a blocklist of domains from multiple third-party sources. Pi-hole uses AUR (dnsmasq fork) to seamlessly drop any and all requests for domains in its blocklist. Running it effectively deploys network-wide ad-blocking without the need to configure individual clients. The package comes with an optional web and a CLI interfaces.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Pi-hole server
- 3 Pi-hole standalone
- 4 Usage
- 5 Tips & Tricks
- 6 Troubleshooting
- 7 See also
There are 2 versions of Pi-Hole available for Arch Linux:
- #Pi-hole server - This is default and well-known Pi-Hole server that most users are looking for. It is designed to be used as a DNS server for other devices on the LAN.
- #Pi-hole standalone - This is alternative lightweight Pi-Hole installation, designed for a mobile context. It is intended to be used on the same device (e.g. laptop), where no external and centralised Pi-Hole server is available. It also has no web interface and automatically updates.
Install the AUR package.
It is a DNS resolver/forwarder and a database-like wrapper/API that provides long-term storage of requests which users can query through the "long-term data" section of the WebGUI. Data are collected and stored in two places:
- Daily data are stored in RAM and are captured in real-time within
- Historical data (i.e. over multiple days/weeks/months) are stored on the file system
/etc/pihole/pihole-FTL.dbwritten out at a user-specified interval.
pihole-FTL.service is statically enabled; re/start it. For FTL configuration, see upstream documentation.
pihole-FTL.serviceis likelly going to fail. See #Failed to start Pi-hole FTLDNS engine.
Pi-hole has a very powerful, user friendly, but completely optional web interface. It allows not only to change settings, but analyse and visualise DNS queries performed by other devices.
Install( will be installed automatically) and enable the relevant extensions detailed here:
[...] extension=pdo_sqlite [...] extension=sockets extension=sqlite3 [...]
Explicitly permit directories for php-fpm
For security reasons, one can optionally populate the PHP open_basedir directive however, the Pi-hole administration web interface will need access to following files and directories:
/srv/http/pihole /run/pihole-ftl/pihole-FTL.port /run/log/pihole/pihole.log /run/log/pihole-ftl/pihole-FTL.log /etc/pihole /etc/hosts /etc/hostname /etc/dnsmasq.d/02-pihole-dhcp.conf /etc/dnsmasq.d/03-pihole-wildcard.conf /etc/dnsmasq.d/04-pihole-static-dhcp.conf /var/log/lighttpd/error.log /proc/meminfo /proc/cpuinfo /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp /tmp
Install and .
Copy the package provided default config for Pi-hole:
# cp /usr/share/pihole/configs/lighttpd.example.conf /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
lighttpd.service and re/start it.
Update hosts file
ships with an empty
/etc/hosts file which is known to prevent Pi-hole from fetching block lists. One must append the following to this file to ensure correct operation, noting that ip.address.of.pihole should be the actual IP address of the machine running Pi-hole (e.g. 192.168.1.250) and myhostname should be the actual hostname of the machine running Pi-hole:
127.0.0.1 localhost ip.address.of.pihole pi.hole myhostname
For more, see Issue#1800.
Making devices use Pi-hole
To use Pi-Hole, make sure that your devices use Pi-Hole's IP address as their only DNS server. To accomplish this, there are generally 2 methods to make it happen:
- In router's LAN DHCP settings, set Pi-Hole's IP address as the only DNS server available for connected devices.
- Manually configure each device to use Pi-Hole's IP address as their only DNS server.
More information about making other devices use Pi-Hole can be found at upstream documentation.
Install the AUR package.
The Pi-hole standalone package install a statically enabled timer (and relative service) will weekly update Pi-hole blacklisted servers list.
If you do not like default timer timings (from upstrem project) you can, of course, edit it or preventing from being executed by masking it.
You need to manually start
pi-hole-gravity.timer or simply reboot after your configuration is finished.
Change the computer's network settings so the only DNS server in use is
Both standalone and server versions can be controlled via CLI, but only server version can be controlled via web interface.
Using web interface
Go to pi.hole or
<Pi-Hole IP address>/admin/ to access web interface.
Pi-hole DNS management
By default Pi-hole uses the Google DNS server. You can change which DNS servers Pi-hole uses with:
$ pihole -a setdns server
You can specify multiple DNS servers by separating their addresses with commas.
Forced update of ad-serving domains list
If you need to update the blocked domain list, on the machine running Pi-hole you can execute
$ pihole -g
Temporarily disable Pi-hole
Pi-hole can be paused via CLI by executing:
$ pihole disable [time]
If you leave
time blank disabling will be permanent until later manual reenabling.
time can be expressed in seconds or minutes with syntax #s and #m. For example, to disable Pi-hole for 5 minutes only, you can execute
$ pihole disable 5m
At any time you can reenable Pi-hole by executing
$ pihole enable
Tips & Tricks
Password-protected web interface
You might want to password-protect the Pi-hole web interface. Run the following command and enter your password:
$ pihole -a -p
To disable the password protection, set a blank password.
To make Cloudflared work with Pi-Hole, edit
cloudflared.yml file and change settings as per below:
... proxy-dns-port: 5053 proxy-dns-address: 127.0.0.1
email@example.com. Now you can use
127.0.0.1#5053 as the only DNS server entry in Pi-Hole.
Optimise for solid state drives
If Pi-hole is running on a solid state drive (SD card, SSD etc..) it is recommended to uncomment the
DBINTERVAL value and change it to at least
60.0 to minimize writes to the database:
... ## Database Interval ## How often do we store queries in FTL's database -minutes-? ## See: https://docs.pi-hole.net/ftldns/database/ ## Options: number of minutes DBINTERVAL=60.0 ...
After changes have been performed, restart
If you select the more restrictive DNS resolver privacy levels from within the web administration (Settings > Privacy) (even 'Anonymous mode' or 'No Statistics mode') the query log (/var/log/pihole.log) is still logging all queries in full detail. To disable this, type the following command:
# pihole logging off
Info: With logging disabled, the pihole will loose all statistics on reboot in case a level higher or equal to 'Anonymous mode' is selected
Use with VPN server
Pi-Hole can be used by connected VPN clients.
An OpenVPN server can be configured to advertise a Pi-hole instance to its clients. Add the following two lines to your
push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp" push "dhcp-option DNS Pi-Hole-IP"
If it still does not work, try creating a file
/etc/dnsmasq.d/00-openvpn.conf with the following content:
It may be necessary to make
dnsmasq listen on
WireGuard clients can be configured to use Pi-Hole DNS server. In the client configuration file, specify the following line:
DNS = Pi-Hole-IP
See more information in WireGuard#Client config.
Nginx instead of Lighttpd
Install and .
/etc/nginx/nginx.conf to contain the following in the http section:
Copy the package provided default config for Pi-hole:
# mkdir /etc/nginx/conf.d # cp /usr/share/pihole/configs/nginx.example.conf /etc/nginx/conf.d/pihole.conf
/etc/nginx/conf.d/pihole.conf and change the fastcgi_pass directive to the following:
Set VIRTUAL_HOST to the CNAME of Pi-hole if you intend to run multiple virtual hosts on nginx.
fastcgi_param VIRTUAL_HOST "pihole.example.com";
Since version 7.4 php-fpm is hardened per default and revokes read/write access on
/usr (and sub-directories).
# systemctl edit php-fpm.service
Add and save following content.
[Service] ReadWritePaths = /srv/http/pihole ReadWritePaths = /run/pihole-ftl/pihole-FTL.port ReadWritePaths = /run/log/pihole/pihole.log ReadWritePaths = /run/log/pihole-ftl/pihole-FTL.log ReadWritePaths = /etc/pihole ReadWritePaths = /etc/hosts ReadWritePaths = /etc/hostname ReadWritePaths = /etc/dnsmasq.d/ ReadWritePaths = /proc/meminfo ReadWritePaths = /proc/cpuinfo ReadWritePaths = /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp ReadWritePaths = /tmp
php-fpm.service and re/start them.
Pi-Hole was intended to block ads, but it can also be used to block other unwanted content:
- Tracking domains
- Malware domains
- Piracy sites
- Fake news sites
- Phishing sites
Data loss on reboot
Systems without a RTC such as some ARM devices will likely experience loss of data in the query log upon rebooting. When systems lacking a RTC boot, the time is set after the network and resolver come up. Aspects of Pi-hole can get started before this happens leading to the data loss. An incorrectly set RTC can also cause problems. See: Installation guide#Time zone and System time.
For devices lacking a RTC:
A hacky work-around for this is to use Systemd#Drop-in files against
pihole-FTL.service wherein a delay is built in calling
/usr/bin/sleep x in a
ExecStartPre statement. Note that the value of "x" in the sleep time depends on how long your specific hardware takes to establish the time sync.
Issue#11008 against systemd-timesyncd is currently preventing the use of the time-sync.target to automate this.
Failed to start Pi-hole FTLDNS engine
It might be that
systemd-resolved.service already occupied port 53, which is required for
pihole-FTL.service. To resolve this, stop and disable
systemd-resolved.service and restart
DNSMasq package conflict
Since Pi-hole-FTL 4.0, a private fork of dnsmasq is integrated in the FTL sub-project. The original
conf-dir=/etc/dnsmasq.d/,*.conf in the original
/etc/dnsmasq.conf is not commented out.
Unknown Status and changes not being saved
The issue, as seen in Task#63704, is with SystemD-created user
http, which is created in expired state. To fix it, run:
# chage --expiredate -1 http
Slow loading times
If you constantly notice that browser says "Resolving host" or it just takes longer to load pages than usual, ensure that your
/etc/resolv.conf looks exactly like this: