[lug] Cannot connect to the Internet with a web browser when trying to use an URL -- solved!

bof bof at pcisys.net
Wed Oct 9 10:02:22 MDT 2002

>> BOF wrote:
>>> I am running RH 8.0 (Pyscho) and cannot connect to the Internet with 
>>> a web browser when trying to use an URL.
>>> When using Netscape, the error message is (for example when trying 
>>> to reach Red Hat)
>>>    www.redhat.com could not be found
>>> When using Konquerer, the message is
>>>    hostname lookup failure
>>> I can load the Redhat site if I give its IP address ( 
>>> in either browser. I can also ping varous sites using either the URL 
>>> or the IP address.
>>> My /etc/resolv.conf file is
>>>    search pcisys.net
>>>    nameserver
>>> Which is the same file that works with my RH 7.3 system.
>>> It seems that there is something not working with the nameserver 
>>> lookup but I can not figure it out.
>>> Any suggestions?
>>> BOF

Well, after further investigation, I've managed to solve this problem.

It turns out to be a matter of permissions. I logged on as root, and was 
able to connect with the web browser. I also noticed that an error 
message "hostname not found" that occurred when loading X as a user also 
did not occur. This gave me a clue.

After much wandering around the hard disk, I found that RH 8.0 
apparently installs copies of /etc/hosts and /etc/resolv.conf in a 
directory etc/sysconfig/networking/profiles/default and uses these 
instead of the ones in /etc to determine hostname and nameserver 
information (or at least my copy does). Once I changed the permissions 
on them from 600 to 644, the problems disappeared.

Now, what I am curious about is that this setup does not occur on RH7.3. 
The directory etc/sysconfig/networking/profiles/default is there but is 
empty.  So is this "feature" new to RH 8.0, and is using the files here 
to override the files in /etc normal, or is it just my system and 
somehow I have screwed it up? I would think that if this was deliberate, 
than the files between /etc and 
etc/sysconfig/networking/profiles/default would be links, not distinct 

Would anyone with RH8.0 take a moment and see if 
etc/sysconfig/networking/profiles/default exists on their system and 
what is in it, if anything.

To all those who took the time to help, including offering a lesson on 
the difference between an URL and a FQDN, my thanx.

And to those who designed Red Hat 8.0 (Psycho), if this is a deliberate 
feature, a resounding Bronx cheer for the three days lost over this issue.


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