Posted by & filed under Linux.

I recently purchased a Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1, which has been an absolutely stellar laptop so far, after immediately replacing Windows with Linux (specifically, Mint).

One of the unfortunate things about Linux Mint is that it chooses to fallback DNS resolution to OpenDNS, which in the world of DNS is a sort of spyware. If the user requests a domain which doesn’t exist, instead of getting an error back, OpenDNS will display one of their webpages. This has the benefit (for OpenDNS) of getting more eyes on their websites, and if I had to guess, Mint might make some sort of cut as well. The side effect is that this breaks the internet, and any scripts you may be running to check for nonexistent domains will fail.

The configuration for OpenDNS servers is stored in the following file:

/etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/tail

You have two options. The first is to delete the file entirely, and no fallback DNS servers will be used. Another option is to replace the two IP addresses in the file with the DNS server of another service. I chose to do the latter, and use the Google DNS settings of 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4, and now I bask in the glory of an error screen when I mistype a domain name, instead of the shitty OpenDNS service.

Thomas Hunter II

Thomas is a published author and a prolific public speaker with a passion for reducing complex problems into simple language and diagrams. His career includes working at Fortune 50's in the Midwest, co-founding a successful startup, and everything in between.