Since Lion, I have used the AlwaysAppendSearchDomains trick on mDNSresponder to resolve names with dots in search domains.

In yosemite this doesn't work any more. In fact, mDNSresponder doesn't seem to be running:

$ ps ax | grep -i dns | grep -v grep

I found the answer as I posted this:

To enable mDNSResponder, edit /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist and remove the lines


Then add -AlwaysAppendSearchDomains to the arguments list further down in the same file:


Finally run

$ sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist
$ sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist

You can then verify mDNSResponder is running:

$ ps ax | grep -i dns | grep -v grep
10456   ??  Ss     0:00.44 /usr/sbin/mDNSResponder -AlwaysAppendSearchDomains

Subdomains of search domains can then be resolved.

  • It looks like mDNSResponder has been replaced by discoveryd in the latest Yosemite DP. Any idea how to achieve that with the new subsystem? – cassianoleal Sep 19 '14 at 13:38
  • @cassianoleal, I, too, am curious about this. I posted a follow-up question asking essentially the same thing. Here's hoping that the only option isn't to have to type FQDNs. – Sigsegv Oct 17 '14 at 19:40
  • Also wanting to know how to achieve this with discoveryd – cavalcade Apr 8 '15 at 22:59

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