Importance of Loopback Device

There are times when I simply create problems unintentionally. I spent probably close to an hour wondering why I couldn't bind to localhost to some arbitrary port. It never occurred to me that 'lo' was missing. Playing around with Debian / Unstable I noticed that networking seems to be handled differently than on Slackware.

While I know that Debian is most similar to SysV and Slackware has always modeled the BSD system of start-up scripts. It sure would be nice if networking was handled in some uniform way on all Linux Distros. Though this issue is not central to the problem that I experienced a couple weeks ago, nonetheless, it can be annoying. For instance, when you wish to make sure that your DNS information is set correctly the average CLI junkie will simply fire up your favorite editor and modify /etc/resolv.conf and modify nameserver and search path and IP address as appropriate. I believe this is universal on all distros. What I have noticed is on Debian systems, it appears that 3rd party programs can utilize wrappers to prevent direct editing of this file without using some weird switch.

Clearly a different behavior, that I have never witnessed on a Slackware system. Perhaps this is because I never needed to use any sort of wrapper on a Slackware box? Who knows? Very strange, indeed.

Anyway, to address the loopback problem, on my Debian system I simply ran 'ifconfig -a' as root and noticed that ' lo ' was missing. As root running ' ifconfig lo up ' solved the problem.
So now I can bind to port 8118 and TOR / Privoxy play quite nicely.

  • Importance of Loopback Device
  • Anatomy of Hack (Revisited)
  • ssh tunneling and socks proxy forwarding goodness
  • Slackware Excursions - Rescuing a failed LUKS / LVM install
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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on December 14, 2008 7:25 AM.

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