How to configure equivalent of Linux /etc/resolv.conf search in MS Windows – DNS Suffix

Thursday, 26th June 2014


Linux's default file that defines what DNS servers will be used /etc/resolv.conf typically contains directives with the default search domain or domains; used for FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) completion when no domain suffix is supplied as part of the  DNS query. Lets say sub-domains under  has to be accessed (in /etc/resolv.conf) there is:


That is very handy whether you have to ssh or open in web browser (sites) or multiple servers each residing under a single main domain name (for example:,, etc.) by typing in browser or SSH by only passing the sub-domain name i.e.:



ssh user@server1
ssh user@server2

Here is /etc/resolv.conf from

# cat /etc/resolv.conf



Here is example of what I mean, ascii-games is a sub-domain of ( and is resolved with no need to type full FQDN


# host ascii-games has address

The DNS server knows that all failed to resolve queries by set DNS should be searched (resolved) under the defined search domain, i.e. each DNS query for server2, serverX (would try to be resolved as a subdomain of

Therefore, a very good question is what is Microsoft Windows (2000, 2003, 8) OS equivalent way to define search into /etc/resolv.conf?

In Windows the same /etc/resolv.conf hosts search is done using the so called "DNS Suffixes".

DNS Suffixes are used for resolv of (domain name strings with no dots).

Adding a new DNS Suffix in Windows is done from



Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change Adapter Settings


Here select LAN card Adapter used to bring Internet to Win host,be it Local Area Connection or

Wireless Network Connection

 and choose:






Network Connection Properties

dialog select

Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

and again click on




On next dialog click on


Advanced (button) -> DNS (tab)


In field

DNS Suffix for this connection

fill in host which you would like to resolve with no need for FQDN and press the


(exactly like adding search in  /etc/resolv.conf on Linux host). Add multiple hosts DNS Suffix, if you want to access subdomains naming from multiple base domain.

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