In this article, we will delve into the reasons why you might be unable to SSH using the host name instead of the IP address and how to troubleshoot this issue. This problem can occur due to various reasons such as incorrect DNS configuration, missing hostname entry in the /etc/hosts file, or network connectivity issues.
Understanding the Issue
SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol used to securely connect to a remote server. Normally, you can connect using either the IP address or the hostname of the server. However, sometimes you might find that while you can SSH using an IP address, you cannot do the same with a hostname. This is typically due to issues with hostname resolution, where the system is unable to map the hostname to its corresponding IP address.
Troubleshooting the Problem
1. Adding hostname to /etc/hosts
The first step in troubleshooting this issue is to check if the hostname is correctly listed in the /etc/hosts file. This file is used by the operating system to map hostnames to IP addresses. If the hostname is not listed in this file, the system will not be able to resolve it to an IP address.
To add the hostname to the /etc/hosts file, open the file in a text editor with root privileges:
sudo nano /etc/hosts
Then, add an entry for the server’s hostname and IP address:
Save and close the file, then try to SSH again using the hostname.
2. Checking DNS Configuration
If the hostname is correctly listed in the /etc/hosts file but you are still unable to SSH using the hostname, the issue might be with the DNS configuration.
You can check if the hostname is listed in the DNS by using the
This command will return the IP address associated with the hostname. If it does not, it indicates a DNS configuration issue that needs to be resolved.
3. Using avahi-daemon
If the above solutions do not work, you can try installing the
avahi-daemon package. Avahi is a system which facilitates service discovery on a local network. This means that you can plug your laptop or computer into a network and instantly be able to view other people who you can chat with, find printers to print to or find files being shared.
To install avahi-daemon, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon
After installing, restart the service:
sudo systemctl restart avahi-daemon
4. Checking Network Connectivity
Lastly, ensure that the server and the computer you are connecting from are on the same network and can communicate with each other. Network connectivity issues can prevent hostname resolution.
You can check network connectivity by pinging the server’s IP address:
If the ping is successful, it indicates that there are no network connectivity issues.
While SSH connections using IP addresses are more reliable as they do not rely on DNS resolution, using hostnames can be more convenient and flexible, especially in dynamic network environments. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve issues with SSHing using hostnames. Remember, the key is to ensure that the hostname is correctly mapped to the IP address in both the /etc/hosts file and the DNS, and that there are no network connectivity issues.
There can be several reasons why you are unable to SSH using the host name. It could be due to incorrect DNS configuration, a missing hostname entry in the /etc/hosts file, or network connectivity issues.
To troubleshoot this issue, you can start by checking if the hostname is correctly listed in the /etc/hosts file. If not, you can add it manually. You should also check the DNS configuration to ensure that the hostname is listed there. Additionally, you can try installing the
avahi-daemon package and check for any network connectivity issues.
To add a hostname to the /etc/hosts file, you can open the file in a text editor with root privileges, such as using the command
sudo nano /etc/hosts. Then, add an entry for the server’s hostname and IP address. Save and close the file, and then try SSHing again using the hostname.
You can use the
nslookup command to check if the hostname is listed in the DNS. Simply run
nslookup <hostname> in the terminal, and it will return the IP address associated with the hostname. If it does not return any IP address, there might be a DNS configuration issue that needs to be resolved.
Avahi-daemon is a system that facilitates service discovery on a local network. By installing and configuring avahi-daemon, it can help with hostname resolution for SSH connections. It allows devices on the network to discover and connect to each other using hostnames instead of IP addresses.
You can check network connectivity by pinging the server’s IP address. Use the command
ping <IP address> in the terminal. If the ping is successful, it indicates that there are no network connectivity issues between your computer and the server.
SSHing using IP addresses is generally more reliable as it does not rely on DNS resolution. However, using hostnames can be more convenient and flexible, especially in dynamic network environments where IP addresses might change frequently.