Well, my slow connections problem has been resolved. Thanks to you all for your
help, particularly to Kevin whose suggestion to see what nslookup thought was
what put me on the right trail. nslookup on machine A failed because there's no
route to the specified name servers when the PPP link to the provider isn't up.
On machine B, nslookup timed out eventually, but it didn't refuse to start. I
had a default route on B pointing to A (A's default gateway is one of the
provider's machines, and ifup won't add a default route to it because it doesn't
know how to get there which I think is reasonable behaviour) so B "knew" how to
get to the name server. But this begs some questions - nslookup on A fails
immediately because A knows there is no route to the nameserver. B's route to
the nameserver was via A which of course couldn't forward the packets . . . .
So the questions . . . .
Why does B attempt to reach the nameserver when the hostname and address of A
are in its host file, and order hosts bind is in resolv.conf ?
Why does B take so long to timeout - is it because A just throws away IP
packets which it should forward but can't - I presume this is the case but I've
looked in the crab book and I don't find any mention of that - perhaps it's so
obvious that it doesn't need to be mentioned :-(
What is the "right" way of configuring a small network of machines which use a
private LAN address and have one gateway to the world which they use via IP
masquerading ? It seems like overkill to me to run a caching nameserver on the
gateway for a small local net, but maybe that is the "right" way.
Thaks for your assistance already, and please don't hesitate to point me to any
relevant HowTo's - I've no problem with RTFM if I can only find the FM :-)
Niall O Broin
UNIX Network Administrator nobroin at esoc.esa.de
Ground Systems Engineering Department Ph./Fax +49 6151 90 3619/2179
European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany
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