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Running mock up servers at home

And setting up DNS to access them easily



4:10 pm on Feb 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I wonder if anyone can help me with this one. I work on my own websites with my partner in crime situated in Belgium.

We have a number of servers, exact "working copies" of which are situated in my attic on the back of my ADSL connection. We find these really useful to beta test stuff prior to deployment.

I now work predominantly from my laptop in two different locations. I have a static IP address at home.

I edited my hosts file (I'm on Windows with the laptop btw) so that I could name the working copy server boxes (3 of them) to make it easier to SSH, FTP and VNC to them:- huey, duey and louis.

So hosts file is something like this:-


When I'm at home (and accordingly on the local net) this all works fine. When I'm at location #2, accessing through the internet, it of course stops working. Secondly, when I'm not at home, having only one IP address, I have to run all three services running on different ports to the standard ones.

I want to make life easier.

Can I run a DNS server on my local net somewhere (plenty of linux boxes here to use) that will point me to the right machine accordingly?

Ideally, I want to be able to connect to, say:-

huey.example.com via SSH (port 22)


duey.example.com via SSH (also on port 22)

And have it all work either from home or via the internet. I guess I need a DNS server that is authoritative for example.com which can then route the requests accordingly?

Hope I'm making sense here. Is this possible?




3:07 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm not sure you need a DNS server. You could simply use your router to portmap to each machine.. then use a .htaccess file to lock out everyone except yourself.


4:49 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It may not be the "best" answer, but I do something similar, and I use dyndns.org to manage the DNS stuff for me.

I registered a domain and set it up to point to dyndns.org. They then setup a wildcard pointer for me that goes to my home IP. This allows be to do things like:


URLs like that are easy enough that I can give them out to partners or clients. Works well.

I only have one server, but you could get the router to parse between multiple if that's what you need.

Good luck!


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