With Gnome Ubuntu 14.04, it was possible to specify additional search domains for the resolv.conf, when editing a network connection, like so:

Network Settings dialog in Gnome Ubuntu 14.04

But where do I find this field for the "additional search domains" in Ubuntu 16.04?

Is the only "real" way to modify /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base or /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/head? Is there no GUI way to do this?


In Ubuntu GNOME 16.04, you are correct that the ability to edit or add additional search domains is unavailable, but this is only true for the 'default' network editing system that you see. This 'newer' one was put in place, according to Jeremy Bicha in the #ubuntu-gnome IRC chat channel on Freenode, because the default editor in Settings should be easier to use for most end-users:

jbicha: sorry it's hidden by default because most people don't need two network GUIs and the one in the Settings app should be easier to use for most people

And of course you can't see search domains in the default editor:

enter image description here

However, the original network editing GUI is still available. Just run nm-connection-editor. This will launch the same, good-old Network Manager editing window that you expect to see. That has the ability to do search domains. (Thanks to the #ubuntu-gnome IRC channel on Freenode for this!)

enter image description here

This procedure/answer also works in 18.04 and 20.04 as well (tested myself).

  • Note that the only reason I went to the IRC channel for help there is because at my workplace there's a single Ubuntu GNOME system that needs to query Windows AD based DNS servers, and that's in the middle of a domain changeover, so I needed search domains updated as well. – Thomas Ward Apr 25 '18 at 13:46
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    The same thing seems to apply to 18.04 – Sebastian Stark Apr 25 '18 at 13:53
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    It's really annoying that the Windows-like policy of hiding important things because "they might confuse most users" is increasingly poisoning the Linux world. At least give us an easy to reach advanced mode that is available without having to dig the web. – Hinz Mar 5 '19 at 8:34

This was driving me mad in 16.04, then I managed to follow the instructions that I found here, and they seemed to work.


It does look like a hack though and it's certainly not a "GUI" way.


Beside updating or downgrading your Ubuntu and/or network manager, the only GUI solution i can think about is WICD (link to Ubuntu Community Wiki)


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