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From: Florian Weimer <>
To: linux-man <>
Subject: [PATCH] resolv.conf(5): Attempt clarify domain/search interaction
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2019 13:05:14 +0100
Message-ID: <> (raw)

The domain directive is historic at this point; it should not be used.
 man5/resolv.conf.5 | 41 ++++++++++++++++++++---------------------
 1 file changed, 20 insertions(+), 21 deletions(-)

diff --git a/man5/resolv.conf.5 b/man5/resolv.conf.5
index 49a8eed4c..2ffe973a1 100644
--- a/man5/resolv.conf.5
+++ b/man5/resolv.conf.5
@@ -39,10 +39,9 @@ The configuration file is considered a trusted source of DNS information
 (e.g., DNSSEC AD-bit information will be returned unmodified from this
-If this file does not exist,
-only the name server on the local machine will be queried;
-the domain name is determined from the hostname
-and the domain search path is constructed from the domain name.
+If this file does not exist, only the name server on the local machine
+will be queried, and the search list contains the local domain name
+determined from the hostname.
 The different configuration options are:
@@ -63,20 +62,14 @@ try the next, until out of name servers,
 then repeat trying all the name servers
 until a maximum number of retries are made.)
-\fBdomain\fP Local domain name.
-Most queries for names within this domain can use short names
-relative to the local domain.
-If set to \(aq.\(aq, the root domain is considered.
-If no \fBdomain\fP entry is present, the domain is determined
-from the local hostname returned by
-.BR gethostname (2);
-the domain part is taken to be everything after the first \(aq.\(aq.
-Finally, if the hostname does not contain a domain part, the root
-domain is assumed.
 \fBsearch\fP Search list for host-name lookup.
-The search list is normally determined from the local domain name;
-by default, it contains only the local domain name.
+By default, the search list contains one entry, the local domain name.
+It is determined from the local hostname returned by
+.BR gethostname (2);
+the local domain name is taken to be everything after the first
+\(aq.\(aq.  Finally, if the hostname does not contain a \(aq.\(aq, the
+root domain is assumed as the local domain name.
 This may be changed by listing the desired domain search path
 following the \fIsearch\fP keyword with spaces or tabs separating
 the names.
@@ -104,11 +97,21 @@ traffic if the servers for the listed domains are not local,
 and that queries will time out if no server is available
 for one of the domains.
+If there are multiple
+.B search
+directives, only the search list from the last instance is used.
 In glibc 2.25 and earlier, the search list is limited to six domains
 with a total of 256 characters.
 Since glibc 2.26,
 .\" glibc commit 3f853f22c87f0b671c0366eb290919719fa56c0e
 the search list is unlimited.
+.B domain
+directive is an obsolete name for the
+.B search
+directive that handles one search list entry only.
 This option allows addresses returned by
@@ -315,10 +318,6 @@ in
 This option disables automatic reloading of a changed configuration file.
-The \fIdomain\fP and \fIsearch\fP keywords are mutually exclusive.
-If more than one instance of these keywords is present,
-the last instance wins.
 The \fIsearch\fP keyword of a system's \fIresolv.conf\fP file can be
 overridden on a per-process basis by setting the environment variable

             reply index

Thread overview: 2+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-11-07 12:05 Florian Weimer [this message]
2019-11-07 12:22 ` Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)

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