How to Easily Set Up Third Party DNS on Linux

Are you a Linux user? Want to try an alternative DNS service but are unsure how to do it? Not to worry! In this tutorial we’ll go over how to change the DNS settings in Linux via a network manager. Additionally, we’ll outline why it might be better to switch your entire router over rather than just doing it on individual computers manually.

Not sure what an “alternative DNS” service is? Check out this article that outlines in detail why these services exist and why users should strongly consider using them!

Adding alternative DNS servers on Linux

Start by clicking the “Edit connections” option. Since each Linux distribution and desktop environment is different, you’ll need to find this setting yourself. A good rule of thumb is to find the “WiFi icon” and right-click on it. If you use a wired connection, right-click that option instead.


Inside the “Edit connections” area select the main Internet connection in use. If this is a WiFi network, select it and click “Edit.” Do the same thing for an ethernet connection.

Note: you may need to apply these DNS settings to each WiFi network you are connected to.

Find “IPv4 settings,” then “Method.” In the drop-down select “Automatic (DHCP) addresses only.” Then in “DNS servers” enter the desired server IP addresses to use. Separate them with commas, then select save.


Why you should do it on the router level instead

Though setting up third-party DNS servers within Linux makes sense for some cases (when the user has no control over the network hardware), this really shouldn’t be the main way you apply DNS servers to devices. Going to every single Linux machine to change DNS settings is tedious, not to mention it is very easy to forget to add these servers.

This is why it is best to log into the router on your network; look around and find the DNS settings. Obviously each home router (wireless and otherwise) have wildly different user interfaces, so making a tutorial dedicated to doing this would be tedious.

Still, log into your router’s web interface console by visiting (or whatever it may be, some are different), and find the DNS settings. Once found, add one of the third-party DNS services mentioned in this article here. Once added, apply the settings and restart the router.

The benefit of this method is that no matter what device accesses your network, it will be using the third-party DNS servers. To revert these changes, just delete the changes then restart the router.


Though Linux has a very bad reputation for being “less than user friendly,” many will be surprised to find how easy it is to change advanced network settings. Settings such as “what Domain Name Servers should be used,” and even many others, are incredibly easy to tweak on Linux. As the intention of Internet service providers become muddled, I hope that more users will embrace using alternative DNS services.

Derrik Diener
Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

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