How to fix temporary failure in name resolution

This is part of the Semicolon&Sons Code Diary - consisting of lessons learned on the job. You're in the networking category.

Last Updated: 2021-05-16

After changing the IP address of my virtual machine (using Vagrant), I stumbled across a name resolution issue, both in my PHP program and from the command line of my virtual machine. Essentially I could not long access external URLs.


  $sftp->login($username, $key) || $sftp->login($username, $password)

  PHP Warning:  fsockopen(): php_network_getaddresses: 
    getaddrinfo failed: 
    Temporary failure in name resolution 
    in /home/vagrant/code/vendor/phpseclib/phpseclib/phpseclib/Net/SSH2.php on line 1163

Equivalent failure from the command line:

$ ping
ping: Temporary failure in name resolution

What was up?

The issue was that I had changed the Vagrant box to use the IP address, and this IP address was seemingly used by the router for getting DCHP settings. Therefore my virtual machine could not get a name server.

I temporarily fixed by appending /etc/resolv.conf (the DNS file) in the Vagrant machine with the Google Public DNS server, thereby replacing the one provided by DHCP which proved problematic.

# The >/dev/null bit stops it printing to screen as well
echo "nameserver" | sudo tee /etc/resolv.conf > /dev/null

This is not a long-term fix, because when DCHP is used, this file (i.e. the nameservers) should, amongst other things, be automatically filled with the right info for the network.