Accessing a computer within a Local Area Network (LAN) often involves knowing its IP address. While it's possible to use IP addresses directly, it's often more intuitive and memorable to use a hostname instead. This guide will show you how to set up hostnames in the IPFire Web User Interface (WUI).
This process modifies the configuration files for Unbound1, a highly efficient DNS cache server. Unbound validates, caches, and resolves DNS queries, including the resolution of local hostnames. This means that once you set up hostnames using this process, Unbound will handle converting those hostnames back into their corresponding IP addresses when needed, facilitating seamless network navigation.
If you have a local machine in your private network that does not request an IP address using DHCP, but instead assigns itself a fixed IP, you can instruct IPFire to attribute a hostname to that IP address through this WUI page.
Host IP Address: Enter the IP address of the device on your network that you want to assign a hostname to, for example,
Hostname: Enter the new name that you want to assign to the IP address mentioned above. Choose a name that is easy to remember and relevant to the device's function or identity.
Domain Name: You can either leave the domain name field as it is or leave it empty. However, if you want the hostname to be associated with a specific domain, you can enter that domain name here.
Generate PTR Record: If you enable this option, IPFire will automatically create a DNS pointer record (PTR). A PTR record is used for reverse DNS lookups, which convert IP addresses back into hostnames.
Enabled: Check this box to activate the hostname. If this box isn't checked, the system will not use or recognise the hostname you've defined.
If you have set up the hostnames correctly, your settings should look similar to the screenshot below.
Click on Add to save your settings and update Unbound's configuration files.
Once the above process is successfully completed, any computer within the local network that employs the local Unbound DNS server will be able to communicate with these machines using their local hostnames. Instead of remembering complex IP addresses, users can rely on these more intuitive and user-friendly hostnames, making the overall navigation and intercommunication within the network simpler and more efficient.
The above text was generated with the assistance of ChatGPT4, an AI language model developed by OpenAI.