I am running OSX Lion.

I've looked all over the web for solutions to the issue I'm having and can't find a fix. I've found several entries where uses are trying to resolve custom_hostname.dev (etc, etc), but I'm actually trying to use the search domains for FQDN. I do not have access to the DNS systems, so my system is assigned some DNS server IPs, but I have to manually set all the search domains for some of the hosts. For example:

search loc1.sitea.example.net, loc2.sitea.example.net, loc1siteb.example.net

Let's say host mytesthost is in loc2.sitea.example.net. I would have expected that when I type in mytesthost, that it would search the search domains and resolve an IP, however, in order for this to work, I actually have to type in mytesthost.loc2.sitea.example.net.

The "error" I get is "unknown host", which tells me that it is not resolving the hostname.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


The domains in the search directive should be separated by whitespace only, not commas. So replace

search loc1.sitea.example.net, loc2.sitea.example.net, loc1siteb.example.net


search loc1.sitea.example.net loc2.sitea.example.net loc1siteb.example.net

and try it again. Note that in general it is better supported if you set these things up via System Preferences and then you don't get syntax problems like this.

System Preferences -> Network -> [Select the interface from the list on the left] -> Advanced... -> DNS -> Search Domains:

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