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This is a bit of a weird one. I'm running ubuntu on a Windows domain. If I type "ping server" I can ping correctly and I can connect without any problems. It looks up my search domain (domain.local) and everything is hunky dory.

Problem is when I try to ping server.domain.local. It just can't look up the server and comes back with "ping: unknown host server.domain.local"

Part of me thinks that the name servers aren't set correctly, but I wonder if there is something I can do to get around it.

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If you haven't a valuable name resolution (DNS) in your network add the needed addresses to /etc/hosts.

See man hosts

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