Issue with Virtual Server DNS

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#1 Fri, 03/13/2015 - 14:02

Issue with Virtual Server DNS

Due to some issues with my server where I am hosting a clients website, I have decided to reinstall the OS and virtualmin on my ubuntu VPS.

Things went smoothly, Virtualmin set up etc. But DNS is giving issues.

If I go to, virtualmin loads correctly. If I go to, I get 403 forbidden error. If I go to the IP of my clients website directly, I get the apache start page.

I am really confused because how could the domain work for virtualmin but not the virtual server itself?

I'm assuming this is some sort of DNS issue but i have not been able to resolve it, any help would be appreciated!

(Also, FTP is not starting up properly, I am assuming it is becuase of this issue. I will troubleshoot that after if it still persists.)

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 15:45


Well, one cause of seeing a 403 forbidden error when going to your website may simply be that there isn't a website setup there yet.

If there isn't a website uploaded, try putting one in there and then try accessing "" in your browser again.


Fri, 03/13/2015 - 16:18 (Reply to #2)

Thanks for responding Eric.

How can I try to put a website there? I am not even able to connect through FTP. FTP server will not start and has an error: "unable to determine ip address of clientwebsite".

I am attempting to reinstall again, hoping for better luck this time.

Regarding the DNS, if I want both the admin panel and the site itself to be at, what settings should I have in the DNS?

When installing, Virtualmin setup asks for the primary nameserver. Should I be using here?

Also, where in Virtualmin exactly should I be looking for the configuration for the virtual servers DNS itself, rather than the Virtualmin panel's?

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 16:52

So I reinstalled and attempted again, and this time if i go to, it gives the default apache page.

If I go to the IP, it gives me default apache page.

FTP is working, but when i upload something to public html it does not appear!

So it seems this is just the default apache page for the site itself ,and not the virtual server...

I'm not sure what is going on. I made instructions on how to use webmin incase I forgot and have done it around 10 different times. All of a sudden this time I am having DNS issues and inconsistent results each reinstall?

Not sure what to do.... All I want is to install Virtualmin on my machine with subdomains working properly... Spend 7 hours on this so far today with no luck at all... No idea what to do, the DNS for virtuals just is simply not working...

Fri, 03/13/2015 - 18:11


Well, you were very close to having it working before -- it was possible to upload a website using the built-in filemanager, or using SFTP/SSH.

I generally don't recommend reinstalling -- instead, it's better to learn what's going awry and fix those things.

It doesn't sound like you're having a DNS issue though, it sounds like an Apache configuration issue.

Which distro/version is it that you're using now?

A place to start though would be to review the "The Wrong Site Shows Up" section of this document:

Sat, 03/14/2015 - 03:46

That link was the first place I checked, didn't help though.

I'm not sure what I did but I got the domain working properly, but now the server isn't able to resolve external IP addresses anymore...

Going to reinstall yet another time.

Could anyone just give some basic advice on the most straight forward way I should be able to get things working properly with the panel & virtual server on the same domain?

My process I had used in the past:was simply installing ubuntu, updating etc, installing virtualmin, host name with the domain name for the panel (which will be same domain URL as the virtual), updating virtualmin packages, create virtual server for the domain name, and at that point testing servers.

Am I missing a step from that process?

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 08:38


There's no need to reinstall, that'll just make this more difficult to resolve -- I'd instead recommend troubleshooting the specific issue you're seeing.

It's likely a simple thing, but until we figure out what isn't working, you may just keep running into the same issue, whether you reinstall or not.

It may just be that BIND isn't running for some reason. Or the nameservers were somehow changed. Both of those are simple fixes though -- take a look at your /etc/resolv.conf, what is in that file?


Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:50

Eric, it seems you are the only person responding here, so I really appreciate your responses. Thanks so much for your assistance and time, I hope you can help me resolve this.

Okay well I already did the reinstall, but here is a direct walkthrough of my configuration:

1) Login SSH 2) apt-get update 3) apt-get upgrade 4) reboot 5) installed virtualmin 6) On virtualmin install in SSH, when asked for host name, used 7) Logged in to virtualmin on 8) On virtualmin configuration at start, did default options on all, except for when asked for primary nameserver, entered 9) Created admin email/pw to get mailman working properly. 10) Ran virtualmin package updates. 11) Re-checked and refreshed configuration. 12) Created a virtual server for, default options. 13) Restarted server.

I also temporarily disabled SSL until I can get this working. Only other change I did.

Right now the status of the server:

Going to IP directly: Apache default page. Going to forbidden: you do not have permission to access / on this server. Going to clientsDomain:10000: virtualmin panel.

Problems right now:

1) FTP server is not starting. It gives the following error:

Failed to start service : * Starting ftp server proftpd 2015-03-16 08:04:53,215 clientsDomain proftpd[4559]: warning: unable to determine IP address of 'clientsDomain ' 2015-03-16 08:04:53,215 clientsDomain proftpd[4559]: error: no valid servers configured 2015-03-16 08:04:53,215 clientsDomain proftpd[4559]: Fatal: error processing configuration file '/etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf'!

2) I do not know if the virtual server is working properly, as I can not upload on to it through FTP to make any files public to the browser, so I do not know how to test this. 3) I need SSL to be working on both the admin panel and virtual server.

Any advice on this would be appreciated! Thank you

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 13:31 (Reply to #8)

Replying to myself... In some experimenting i noticed my hosts file was missing the path.. I added the data correctly and things seem to be working so far.

Sorry for all the trouble over such a simple solution!

Thanks again for your attempts to help Eric. Hopefully all goes smooth from here!

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 13:38
Welshman's picture

How did you /etc/hosts file go missing the path ?

Chaos Reigns Within, Reflect, Repent and Reboot, Order Shall Return.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 13:47 (Reply to #10)

Not sure how it happened, it must not have setup by virtualmin correctly.

The only data in the hosts file was, when it was looking for paths for "clientDomain" and "" apparently.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 13:55

OKay just discovered another issue.

Trying to update some packages now, and I am getting the error: Could not resolve ''.

Trying to ping does not work, but pinging the ip directly does work.

Seems DNS issues are still lurking.

Going to try to solve this, but if anyone else knows a quick solution I would appreciate it =)

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 14:00

Regarding the DNS issue -- that's either a problem with BIND, or the nameservers your system is using.

What are the contents of your /etc/resolv.conf file?

You'd normally want one of the entries to be "nameserver".


Mon, 03/16/2015 - 15:06 (Reply to #13)

Just checked it and the ONLY entry in there right now is nameserver

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 15:22
Welshman's picture

That looks a bit empty. Missing hostname?

Edit, sorry was thinking of /etc/hosts

But it should have your dns servers there as well.

Chaos Reigns Within, Reflect, Repent and Reboot, Order Shall Return.

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 15:26 (Reply to #15)

Nope. Only other thing it mentions is something along the lines of "do not edit this file by hand as changes will be overwritten"... I'm assuming that is from webmin or virtualmin considering i do not have anything else installed yet.

Any ideas on how to fix this? I'm not sure the best road to repairing this. Shouldn't it be fairly easy to let it know an IP for dns lookup? Or do I have to do DNS through my domain or...?

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:23

Could it be my domain itself that is not setup correctly? I just checked the configuration and it is only pointing "@" to the IP of the server.

Also, I do not believe I entered the nameservers of the domain anywhere in virtualmin? I do not think it ever asked for them, it only asked for the host name & domain I believe. is there a place I am supposed to configure and list the address of the nameserver's listed for the domain I am using?


Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:44


During installation, Virtualmin adds that line with "" in there automatically.

With BIND running on your server, it then performs the lookups, rather than using your ISP's DNS servers.

So the question at the moment, is why is BIND not handling DNS lookups?

You could always try restarting BIND, just to make sure it's really running.

Which distro/version is it that you're using there?


Mon, 03/16/2015 - 17:16 (Reply to #18)

Operating system Ubuntu Linux 14.04.2 Webmin version 1.740 Virtualmin version 4.15.gpl

According to system information panel, bind is running. When I hit restart it seems to update correctly.

And... just tried again and I think it may be retrieving the dns correctly? I did not change anything... Maybe restarting it fixed the problem?

I will follow up to confirm...

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 22:02 (Reply to #19)

Great yeah let us know if that helps!

If DNS is working, you should be able to run a command like this on the command line:


And what's output should be a list of Google's IP addresses.


Mon, 03/16/2015 - 17:34
Welshman's picture

Basic DNS

www to IP @ to IP * to IP if wildcard allowed.

Then you take it from there.

Chaos Reigns Within, Reflect, Repent and Reboot, Order Shall Return.

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 18:37

So it's been 24 hours and everything is still working great, got the site (mostly) up and running (only havent tested email).

Thanks again for your help everyone!

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