Installing and Running nmcontrol
I recently installed the program nmcontrol. Doing so was non-trivial, so I am documenting the process I took here.
For those that don’t know, nmcontrol is a daemon that communicates with namecoind and provides services. In particular, I wanted to use the DNS service it provides for accessing .bit domain names. The .bit TLD is used by Namecoin. Namecoin is a decentalized key-value store and among its uses is decentalized DNS.
git clone https://github.com/namecoin/nmcontrol.git.
- Make sure namecoind is running in the background. You can do so by running
namecoind -daemon. Also make sure you have a namecoin.conf file in ~/.namecoin/namecoin.conf prior to running namecoind.
- You need to run nmcontrol as root for the DNS server to run on port 53, but you probably have Namecoin installed for your non-root user. So you need to link /root/.namecoin to point to ~/.namecoin. So run
sudo ln -s ~/.namecoin /root/.namecoin.
- Run nmcontrol by entering
sudo python nmcontrol.py.
- Now you need to make sure your DNS is configured to use 127.0.0.1. You only need 127.0.0.1, because nmcontrol will use Google DNS servers to resolve non-.bit domain names. The exact instructions depend on which method of managing your network connections you use. I use Network Manager, so I right-clicked on the Network Manager applet and selected “Edit Connections…”. Next I clicked on “Wireless”, selected my network, and clicked on “Edit…”. I went to “IPv4 Settings”, and changed the “Method” to “Automatic (DHCP) addresses only”. In “DNS servers” I entered 127.0.0.1 and clicked on the “Save…” button. Then I clicked on “Close”.
- Now you need to restart Network Manager so that the changes will take effect. On Debian Wheezy, go to the terminal and type
sudo service network-manager restart.
- Now go ahead and browse .bit domain names!