View Full Version : [ubuntu] Ubuntu Server Edition was unable to configure DHCP during install, now cannot connect

April 12th, 2010, 05:10 AM
I am trying to install Ubuntu server edition on an old HP XT963 that recently came into my possession. I mainly just wanted to use it as a home file server and print server. I have been running ubuntu desktop on my laptop for a little under a year, but this is my first go at the server edition.

While ubuntu was installing it said "network autoconfiguration failed," I hit continue, thinking I could figure out how to configure it later. After lots of googling I still haven't figured out what exactly is wrong.

/etc/network/interfaces (just after installation):

auto lo
iface lo inet loopack

after googling around I made it look like:

# The primary network interface - use DHCP to find our address
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp]

pinging my laptop on the same network yields:

connect: Network is unreachable

and pinging google yields:

ping google.com
ping: unknown host google.com

I would like to provide more information such as ifconfig and any other commands but I'm not exactly sure how I would do that without being able to copy/paste. I guess I would have the command dump the output to a file, but I'm not familiar with the -options this being my first time CLI-only.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

April 12th, 2010, 05:46 AM
Do you have physical link between the new box and the network?

Is your network card being detected by the install? dmesg may be of some help in this.

Does ifconfig show any interfaces besides lo?

April 12th, 2010, 06:08 AM
Hey, thanks for the quick reply.

Yes I do have the box connected via ethernet to the network.

dmesg prints a long output. What specifically am I looking for? Although, looking at it a second time just now, towards the end I see:

[ 14.945909] eth0: Setting full-duplex based on MII#1 link partner capability of 45e1.
[ 22.624028] eth0: no I{v6 routers present
Does that help at all?

And yes, ifconfig does show eht0 and a list containing inet addr, Bcast, Mask, etc...

April 12th, 2010, 06:09 AM
have you done the same with the second network card

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto eth1
iface eth1 inet dhcp

if you whant to give internet have you shared your internet connection
is dhcp server installed and configured

in desktop version you have network manager where you can edit eth1 and on ipv4 tab you can " select shared to others " and they will have automatic ip and internet

sorry for questions
hope this helps you and give you a fresh ideea

April 12th, 2010, 06:15 AM
Um, I guess I don't quite understand.

Should I have two network cards? Does that second eth1 go in /etc/network/interfaces ?

How can I tell if DHCP server is installed?

Sorry, again I'm new at using the command line only and at networking in general.

April 12th, 2010, 06:21 AM
well you have a computer that you whant to connect with other computers and create a lan
you whant to connect that computer via wireless or cable ?
if your internet connection is wireless and whant to create a lan via cable you don`t need second network card
or vice versa your internet coes on cable and create a wireless network
but other pc`s that you whant to connect must have wireless card also
if your internet comes with cable and you whant to make a lan cable you need 2 cards 1 for internet and 1 for lan connection

if you don`t need internet just connect the lan cable in network card

and see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Internet/ConnectionSharing
hope this helps

April 12th, 2010, 06:55 AM
# The primary network interface - use DHCP to find our address
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp]

Not sure if this is a typo, but a trailing ] will mess up the config. It should just read:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

You can type in the following to test dhcp on your machine, regardless of config settings:

sudo dhclient eth0

This will show you what is happening when the machine is trying to get an address.

April 12th, 2010, 08:34 PM

Yes you're right that was a typo, there is no trailing ]:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopack

# The primary network interface - use DHCP to find our address
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

sudo dhclient eth0 results in a long list of DHCP offers, requests and discoveries. For example:

DHCPREQUEST of on eth0 to
DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to port 67 interval 4
and on and on and on like that

Also if its of any relevance trying to connect via ssh from my laptop results in:

danny@danny-laptop:~$ ssh
ssh: connect to host port 22: Connection refused

April 13th, 2010, 12:23 AM
Use ifconfig -a to list your interfaces and their addresses. You suggest the server has the address, but try to ssh to
You can use ps -ef |grep dhcp to see what if a DHCP process is running. My server uses DNSMasq - so the above command doesn't work.
There is normally only one DHCP server on a (small) network (not including redundant, failover- type networks). Is this machine supposed to be a DHCP server - or did it just fail to get DHCP address?

April 13th, 2010, 06:35 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, is there a way to dump the output of those commands to a file so I can copy/paste theme here easier? It seems like there is too much margin for error if I try to retype their outputs.

I guess I should have explained what I was trying to do a little better in my OP. The machine isn't supposed to be a DHCP server, it just failed to get a DHCP address. Really all I wanted to do was set up a simple home file server for backups and to transfer files between laptops and to my desktop. Later I thought I might try some more advanced stuff too which is why I chose server edition, I thought it would be a good learning experience. I'm starting to feel like I jumped in over my head though, and maybe I should just install desktop Ubuntu, that way if I ran into the same problem I could fix it easier.

April 14th, 2010, 02:39 AM
I get lost in some details, but try this:

ifconfig -a >ifconfig.txt

ps -ef |grep dhcp > dhcp.txt
The latter one is probably unnecessary if you're not trying to run a DHCP server. After you get the file(s), you can copy them to a removable drive (floppy or USB stick) and transfer them to another machine to post.
Whether you choose server or desktop, you'll be able to learn a lot. I have a couple of machines set up as servers - one primarily as a web server "toy". It gets IP address via DHCP - but since the DHCP server (the "other" server) is configured to give static lease based on MAC address, the "toy" server always gets the same IP.
The server edition takes Network Manager out of the equation, and lets you configure the server "the way things used to be configured..." Although it might not specifically answer current issues, the Server Guide (https://help.ubuntu.com/9.10/serverguide/C/index.html) is worth reading (bookmarking, even :) )
By the time you're done, you may want to install a DHCP server - I like DNSMasq...

April 14th, 2010, 05:33 PM
Okay, so here is the output of ifconfig -a:

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:04:5a:67:38:03
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::204:5aff:fe67:3803/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:6398 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:5508 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:1059420 (1.0 MB) TX bytes:399488 (399.4 KB)
Interrupt:17 Base address:0x3000

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:1668 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1668 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:538580 (538.5 KB) TX bytes:538580 (538.5 KB)

Thanks for the help, I have looked at the server guide, I came here when I still couldn't get and internet connection. Once its up and running I'll take another look at it and see what other cool stuff I can do.

April 15th, 2010, 01:16 AM
Thanks for being patient while the info soaks in. ifconfig suggests the machine has an IP address (the one you mentioned ;) ). route -n should show the routing table. Do the machines (server and laptop) connect to router or switch (they're not connected directly to each other)? We've decided the server has only one network card?

April 16th, 2010, 12:14 AM
Yes, the server has only one network card. It is connected to the router via ethernet cable and the laptop is connected to the router via wireless.

Here is the output for route -n:

Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface U 0 0 0 eth0 UG 100 0 0 eth0