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No FTP or Telnet unless client in host file

Posted on 1998-11-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Grab a cup of coffee, this is long winded...

I have a Gateway Solo2300 which has a Gateway Telepath Como Card (33.6 + 10base-T).  I have installed RH5.1 3 times and have had the same problem each time.

During install I do not configure the Network beacuse my card is not avialable in the list to choose from.

After I re-boot I run netconf to configure the LAN, Under Client tasks-adapter setup I add the TCP/IP info; however, for the adapter I simply enter eth0 (I do not specify a driver, IRQ or memory location).

I reboot the computer and Whola, PCMCIA service finds my Gateway combo card and assigns the 10base-T port the name eth0.  I can connect to the network no problem, I can FTP and Telnet out, I can use Netscape etc.  I can also connect to the Apache web server running on the laptop from other clients on the network; however, HERE IS THE PROBLEM.

When I try to FTP or Telnet to the laptop my client PC (WinNT) just hangs; however, if I enter the client PC in the laptop's hosts file WHOLA, I'm in.  That's nice but that's not how it is supposed to work.  Why can I not FTP or Telnet from clients that are not in the hosts file ?  I have installed RH on serveral PC's and I have never seen this happen.

Question by:hbrady
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Author Comment

ID: 1587621
Edited text of question
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 1587622
Because the IP addresses of the hosts you are coming from
do not have IN PTR records in the DNS server you are using.
When you specify them in the hosts file, it doesn't have
to look them up since the default resolution order is

If the addresses are routable internet IPs, then have your
service provider add reverse mappings for them.  If they
are private IPs, then you'll have to enter them in the hosts
file, or run DNS locally.

Incidentally, if you wait long enough on one of those hung
telnet/ftp sessions, it will time out and let you in

Author Comment

ID: 1587623
Sorry Chief, this is a LAN and we do not use DNS let me elaborate some....

I have a laptop with RH5.1 (
I have an NT WS (
I sit at my NT Workstaion and type Ping and I get a speedy reply...
I go to Netscape and type and I get the old Apache "IT WORKED"
I type at a DOS prompt ftp and Its nap time (no go).
Telnet-Same Deal

I swing around to the laptop and enter:     bonesii.the_zone.com    bonesii

in the /etc/hosts file and FTP and Telnet work great from the NT Box.

Somewhere, buried in my Laptops network configuration is a setting that will not allow you to open a terminal session unless you exist in the host file....  ??

Keep diggin', I need an answer and it's good points :-)
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

xterm earned 1200 total points
ID: 1587624
You may not use DNS, but your in.ftpd & in.telnetd sure do
(like it or not).  In your /etc/host.conf, you'll find the
line "order hosts,bind".  This means it consults your hosts
file for lookup first & then DNS (whether you use it or not).

Yes, httpd works, but go into httpd.conf & turn "HostLookups"
to "on", sig HUP your web server & watch the slowdown begin
(it won't hang it to the extent of ftp/telnet since the timeout
is set shorter,  but it should be noticeable)

I understood your original question, and my answer is correct.
When you added that line to your /etc/hosts, you supplied your
server daemons with a name lookup on the originating IP of the
connection, whether you meant to or not.

I've run into the identical problem many a time over the
past 5 years - its way more common than you think.

Author Comment

ID: 1587625
Thanks Xterm.  I feel like a guy caring his sunglasses around on my head and asking people "Have you seen my sunglasses?"  Sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious

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