Pi-hole project is a DNS sinkhole that compiles a blocklist of domains from multiple third-party sources. Pi-hole uses AUR (a 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 administration interface.
Two versions are available for Arch Linux:
- #Pi-hole server – This is the default and well-known Pi-hole server that most users are looking for. It provides a DNS server for other devices on the LAN.
- #Pi-hole standalone – This is an alternative lightweight Pi-hole installation, designed for a mobile context. It is intended to be used on the same device (e.g. a laptop), where no external and centralised Pi-hole server is available. It has no web interface, and automatically updates itself.
Install the AUR package.
FTL (Faster Than Light)
Pi-hole's FTL 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 (several days/weeks/months) are stored on the file system
/etc/pihole/pihole-FTL.dband written out at a user-specified interval.
pihole-FTL.service is statically enabled; re/start it. For FTL configuration, see upstream documentation.
Pi-hole has a powerful, user-friendly, but completely optional web interface. As well as changing settings, the user can analyse and visualise DNS queries handled by Pi-hole.
Set up PHP
Install( will be installed automatically) and enable the relevant extensions detailed here:
[...] extension=pdo_sqlite [...] extension=sockets [...] extension=sqlite3 [...]
Optional: read permissions for PHP
In php 7.0 and newer, the PHP open_basedir directive defaults to empty, meaning PHP can access every directory and file that can be read by the webserver's userid. For greater security, uncomment open_basedir in
/etc/php/php.ini and add the list of directories and files accessed by the Pi-hole administration web interface. The list is quite long:
/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-pihole.log /proc/cpuinfo /proc/loadavg /proc/meminfo /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp /tmp
The open_basedir directive expects a colon-separated list:
open_basedir = /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-pihole.log:/proc/loadavg:/proc/meminfo:/proc/cpuinfo:/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp:/tmp
Install and .
Copy the package provided default configuration for Pi-hole:
# cp /usr/share/pihole/configs/lighttpd.example.conf /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf
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, devices within the network should use Pi-hole's IP address as their sole DNS server. To accomplish this, there are generally two methods:
- In the 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.
The default values can be changed via an edit to the service or it can be prevented from being executed by masking it.
Remember to manually start
pi-hole-gravity.timer or simply reboot after editing.
Change the computer's network settings so the only DNS server in use is
If using DHCP to lease IP addresses from an external router, append
/etc/dnsmasq.conf for DNS queries to resolve.
Test DNS queries independently of network-configured nameserver in
drill @127.0.0.1 archlinux.org .
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. Change which DNS servers Pi-hole uses with:
$ pihole -a setdns server
Specify multiple DNS servers by separating their addresses with commas.
Forced update of ad-serving domains list
To update the blocked domain list, execute:
$ pihole -g
Temporarily disable Pi-hole
Pi-hole can be paused via CLI by executing:
$ pihole disable [time]
Leaving the value for
time blank, the 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:
$ pihole disable 5m
At any time, reenable Pi-hole by executing:
$ pihole enable
Tips and tricks
Password-protected web interface
To password-protect the Pi-hole web interface, run the following command and enter the 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: 53000 proxy-dns-address: 127.0.0.1
firstname.lastname@example.org. Now use
127.0.0.1#53000 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
Disable query logging
Both daily and historic data collected by default contain query data that might be considered sensitive.
To disable the query database for historic data, set privacy level to the maximum Anonymous mode either in the web administration (Settings > Privacy) or in the configuration file
/etc/pihole/pihole-FTL.conf by editing the line:
To also disable the logging for daily data, use the following command:
$ pihole logging off
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
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 the Pi-hole DNS server. In the client configuration file, specify the following line:
DNS = Pi-hole-IP
In order for the DNS to be functional from the VPN, Pi-hole has to listen to all local interfaces:
pihole -a -i local
See more information in WireGuard#Client configuration.
Nginx instead of Lighttpd
Install and .
/etc/nginx/nginx.conf to contain the following in the http section:
Copy the package provided default configuration 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:
VIRTUAL_HOST to the CNAME of Pi-hole if the intention is to run multiple virtual hosts on Nginx.
fastcgi_param VIRTUAL_HOST "pihole.example.com";
Since version 7.4 php-fpm is hardened by default and revokes read/write access on
/usr (and sub-directories).
Create an drop-in file for
php-fpm with the 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/01-pihole.conf ReadWritePaths = /proc/meminfo ReadWritePaths = /proc/cpuinfo ReadWritePaths = /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp ReadWritePaths = /tmp
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
Use Unbound as upstream DNS server
Odd behavior in the web interface after an upgrade
Some strange/unexplained rendering issues in the web GUI can often be fixed by clearing one's browser cache.
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 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 the 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
# lsof -i :53.
It might be that
systemd-resolved.service already occupied port 53, which is required for
To resolve this, disable the stub listener by creating a drop-in snippet form systemd-resolved's configuration file:
For more information, see.
Alternatively, tell dnsmasq to bind to each interface explicitly, instead of the wildcard
0.0.0.0:53, by uncommenting the line
/etc/dnsmasq.conf. This will avoid conflicting with
systemd-resolved which listens on
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 FS#63704, is with systemd-sysusers created user
http, which is created in expired state. To fix it, run:
# chage --expiredate -1 http
Slow loading times
If browsers report "Resolving host" or it just takes longer to load pages than usual, ensure that
/etc/resolv.conf looks exactly like this:
If it takes very long to load pages, it can be a problem with
lsof call in pihole script
(/usr/bin/pihole) called through php. Verify it while loading page with:
ps -ef | grep lsof. Kill it and if the page is displayed, replace
lsof call in pihole script (there is only one) with:
ss -lnp '( sport = 53 )'
Prevent DNS resolution issues for other virtual hosts
By default, the DNS service (pihole-FTL) will be bind to the 0.0.0.0 IP address :
# netstat -ltnp | grep 53
tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:53 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN 2196/pihole-FTL tcp6 0 0 :::53 :::* LISTEN 2196/pihole-FTL
In order to solve this, you need to create a config file in
/etc/dnsmasq.d/ with the following content (where
X.X.X.X is the IP address of your pi-hole) :
Then, you need to restart the
pihole-FTL.service to apply changes.