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Drupal web development and other stuff


Accessing Pantheon via Google Public DNS on Ubuntu in VirtualBox for Local Drupal Development

I am working on a Drupal project for the Columbia University Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, and I was unable to connect to the Pantheon servers from the Ubuntu command line from home.

I have Ubuntu Linux installed in an Oracle VirtualBox, because the laptop provided by Columbia is pretty locked down and I don't have admin rights, but they installed VirtualBox so I could add an Ubuntu machine and configure it as needed.

It worked fine while I was on site, but now that I am working remotely I could not connect.

Pantheon support suggested that my ISP is unable to connect to their IPs in DNS, and I might be able to connect using Google Public DNS:

There are two steps in debugging the problem you are experiencing.

1. Check to see if you are getting an I.P. address returned when you run the following command, replacing “<xxx>” with your site’s UUID:


If there is no I.P. in the output then the ISP on the network you are currently on is failing to recognize the hostname of the database.

2. For some users that may fail so the next step is to test this command with name server, in this case Google’s I.P address:

dig @<xxx>
(ex:dig @

If that returns an I.P. address, this means that using Google’s DNS you were able to resolve the hostname. To resolve the issue you can set your DNS to use Google’s service and you should be able to connect:

It works fine, but the directions for a VirtualBox instance are a little different than what Google has posted in the instuctions for Ubuntu:

Ubuntu in the VirtualBox is using its eth0 wired connection to the host OS to piggyback on the Windows wireless network adapter.
I had to configure the Ubuntu wired connection (there is no wireless connection defined). The rest of the guide is applicable, and I changed Method: "Automatic (DHCP)" to "Automatic (DHCP) addresses only"
configuring Google public dns for Ubuntu in VirtualBox

About Randall Goya

aka decibel.places & netsperience dba Randall Goya, LLC

I have been creating web sites since 1996.

I have been a Drupal "Gun-for-Hire" expert consultant for Enterprise clients in Business, Entertainment, Education, and Non-profit for several years.

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