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OpenDNS is an alternative DNS service.

DNS in Linux

Your ISP (usually) provides working DNS servers, and a router may also add an extra DNS server in case you have your own cache server. Switching between DNS servers does not represent a problem for Windows users, because if a DNS server is slow or does not work it will immediately switch to a better one. However, Linux usually takes longer to timeout, which could be the reason why you are getting a delay.

Use dig (provided by package dnsutils) before any changes, repeat after making the adjustments in the section below and compare the query time(s):

$ dig

You can also specify a nameserver:

$ dig
Warning: The OpenDNS servers ALWAYS respond with an IP address for any query, even if the domain or DNS record doesn't exist. This can cause problems when debugging network issues.

Using OpenDNS

Edit /etc/resolv.conf and add the OpenDNS nameservers to the top of the file so they are used first, optionally removing already listed servers in order to only use OpenDNS:

# OpenDNS nameservers
Note: Changes made to /etc/resolv.conf take effect immediately.

Protect /etc/resolv.conf

See Resolv.conf#Preserve_DNS_settings for how to preserve your settings in resolv.conf.


If you use dhclient, you will need to add to (or create) to /etc/dhclient.conf:

prepend domain-name-servers;


See Pdnsd#OpenDNS.

Tip: You may also specify these IPs in your router's configuration interface and merely point to your router's IP from /etc/resolv.conf.

Fixing problems with Google

OpenDNS hijacks Google-searches by routing all queries through their own servers first. This can be annoying because Google searches may slow down noticeably and it also breaks Google's FeelingLucky feature (e.g., entering digg in your adress bar will open For the latter, there is a Firefox-addon that brings back the original behaviour. A more elegant solution is to redirect all queries for Google exclusively to your ISP's DNS Server. This can be done with dnsmasq (see Speeding up DNS with dnsmasq for more information).