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I use Ubuntu 17.10 and regularly encounter problems whilst connecting to public WiFi networks, especially those redirecting to a login portal.

When working on my personnal network, /etc/resolv.conf contains a nameserver pointing to 127.0.0.53, which (if I'm not mistaken) corresponds to the systemd-resolved service. And it works really well.

On a public Wifi, for some reason, this doesn't seem to help, and when trying to reach a page with Firefox, it loads for a long time before telling me it couldn't find the URL I gave it.

Right now, I figured this situation out by:

  1. Setting dns=none in /etc/Networkmanager/Networkmanager.conf

    [main]
    plugins=ifupdown,keyfile,ofono
    dns=none
    
    [ifupdown]
    managed=false
    
    [device]
    wifi.scan-rand-mac-address=no
    
  2. Disabling the systemd-resolved service: sudo systemctl enable systemd-resolved.service

  3. Restarting network-manager: sudo service network-manager restart
  4. Manually filling /etc/resolv.conf, I first need to enter the IP of the public router as nameserver. This loads the portal when entering the router's IP in Firefox. Then, I login.

    #Generated by NetworkManager
    nameserver 192.168.44.1
    
  5. Edit /etc/resolv.conf back with public DNS adresses (usually 8.8.8.8)

    # Generated by NetworkManager
    nameserver 8.8.8.8
    nameserver 8.8.8.4
    

After this procedure, I never encountered any problems for the rest of the session, but I wanted to know if there was a not so painful way to fix this annyoing problem. I know dnsmasq exists, but didn't use it for a long time since it conflicted regularly with my university's VPN.

I've kind of figured out how Ubuntu (and Linux in general) work by myself every time a new problem appears since I installed it, so if you couldn't get too deep in technical details, I would appreciate! :)

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