Solving the Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache Error in Debian Systems


Hello Debian users! Today, we are going to discuss a common issue that might appear when working with Debian-based web servers – the "Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache" error.

This particular error isn't as daunting as it might seem at first glance. In a nutshell, it means that your server tried to look up a hostname (either a domain or a particular IP address) in its local DNS cache but couldn't find it. The DNS cache plays a critical role in speeding up web requests by storing the domain name and corresponding IP address. However, if the details are missing in the cache, the server needs to do a complete DNS lookup from a DNS server, and sometimes, this process fails, leading to the error message.

<h2>Understanding the DNS Cache</h2>

By storing hostnames and IP addresses, the DNS cache can swiftly provide the necessary data for hostname resolution instead of querying a remote DNS server every time. A DNS lookup error can occur if the hostname isn't in the cache or the cache has become corrupted. However, both these issues can be resolved with a relatively simple process.

<h2>Clearing the DNS Cache on Debian</h2>

The solution usually involves using the "su" command to change the system user to root and then flushing or clearing the DNS cache. Here is a step-by-step approach to dealing with this kind of issue.

First, open your terminal window and switch to the root user by typing the following command:

<code>su -</code>

You'll be asked for your root password, type it in, and press Enter.

In most cases of a "Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache" error, it's beneficial to clear the DNS cache. As the root user, type the following command in the terminal to clear the DNS cache:

<code>/etc/init.d/nscd restart</code>

This command will restart the Name Service Cache Daemon (nscd), responsible for managing the DNS cache. In restarting, it'll clear out the cache and resolve any corruption issues.

<h2>Verify changes</h2>

Once the nscd service is restarted, your Debian system should begin building a new cache for DNS lookups. To check whether our operation was successful, you can attempt to visit the hostname that was previously causing issues to see if the error still persists.


A clear understanding of DNS cache and how to manage it can help web server administrators respond promptly and effectively to potential issues. Resolving the "Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache" error is, fortunately, one of the simpler tasks, requiring no more than a few commands. Keep experimenting, learning and enjoy working on Debian-based systems!

<span style="color:grey;font-size:0.8em;">Disclaimer: Do not forget to exercise caution whenever you're performing system changes as the root user. It's a powerful level of access that, if misused, can have significant consequences for system stability and security. Always double-check your commands before executing them!</span>

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