Article submitted by Toni Zimmer.
There will be a day when you need access to your Debian box from another place than home, for example to get files from your home server with scp or if you’re running a webserver, an irc proxy, a ftp server, a mail server…
Most likely your ISP gives you a dynamic IP address. This problem can be solved by getting a static DNS name, so you can connect to your home even if your IP keeps changing. First of all you have to create an account with your favourite dyndns provider. I use dyndns.org but there are others, such as easydns.com, dslreports.com or zoneedit.com. You can use others if you know ddclient supports its protocol.
There you can specify the hostname (combined with a domain name) for your computer. You can enable mail routing if you want to setup a home mail server.
When you install ddclient you will be asked for the dyndns service provider where you created your account. After that you must enter the complete (or fully qualified) domain name of your computer (something like dpotd.gotdns.org) and your account name (including the password, which will be stored in plaintext in
/etc/ddclient.conf!). Now you have to chose the interface that connects you to internet. ddclient will get your IP address from there, so you shouldn’t be behind a NAT. Afterwards you will be asked if you want to start ddclient when connecting with PPP and if you want ddclient to run on system startup or not (probably you will use the first or the second choice). If you choose to run ddclient on startup, you can enter a delay between address checks (default are five minutes, so every five minutes your system will tell your current IP address to your dyndns service provider).
Your settings are stored in
/etc/ddclient.conf and look like this:
# Configuration file for ddclient generated by debconf # # /etc/ddclient.conf pid=/var/run/ddclient.pid protocol=dyndns2 use=if, if=eth0 server=members.dyndns.org login=dyndnsloginname password='dyndnsloginpassword' dpotd.gotdns.org
If everything is okay, wait a couple of minutes for the DNS information to populate and then you will be able to do something like ssh dpotd.gotdns.org or w3m dpotd.gotdns.org