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The Newbie's Guide to the No-IP™ Linux Client

The Newbie's Guide to the No-IP™ Linux Client

Alright, you've just installed linux for the first time and want to prove to all of your friends that you are elite by installing, configuring, and constantly running the no-ip client on your linux machine! Great plan, but oh yeah, you have no idea what to do since all of the documentation you find expects you to know how to work around in the linux console. Sure, you installed RedHat or Mandrake with no sweat (ok, maybe a little), but doing things in a console with commands and compiling things? Don't worry it's not as bad as it sounds! I'm here to walk ya' through it step by step.

The first thing we need to do is launch a terminal. A terminal is a method to let you use a console (a place where you can type commands to get things done). I'm assuming you're using RedHat or Mandrake or some other 'easy' distribution of linux. Launching a terminal may be different on different machines. If you're using KDE, poke around the system menus until you see something that says "term" or "terminal". If you're at your linux machine and all you see is text (no mouse) and all you can do is type, you're already at a terminal! For my examples I'm using a terminal that I've customized. It will probably look slightly different for you, however if you type the same things it should all work out fine. If something in one of my pictures is highlighted in yellow, that means you are expected to type the highlighted regions. The rest is done automatically.

buckle your seatbelts!

step 1: launch a terminal by whatever means you can.

Once again let me emphasize your terminal will probably look different than mine. Your might just say $ instead or something other than bash-2.05b$, but it really doesn't matter. As long as it has a $ at the end, it should work out fine. If it has a # at the end, you'll want to type "exit" until it turns into a $. If you type exit and it logs you out before you see a $, then log back in as a user other than root.

step 2: make a noip directory and download the linux client

I suggest you make a directory that we can work in for downloading and installing the no-ip linux client. Once you've opened a terminal, it should be in the directory of "/home/yourname/". To see if that's where you are, type pwd and linux will spit out the location of where you are. If you're somewhere other than your home directory, type cd /home/yourname/ and you'll be in your home directory.
To make a directory for noip to live in, type mkdir noip && cd noip . This will make a directory with the name "noip" and move you into the directory once finished.
Next, we've got to download the linux no-ip client. The most current version of the linux client will always be located at To download the file, type wget
note: your linux distribution might not have the program 'wget' installed, if this is the case try using 'fetch' (on a bsd system) or even launch your browser and download the file and save it in /home/yourname/noip/ then go back to the console for the next step.

step 3: decompress the archive then move into its directory

Assuming everything's gone well so far, the downloaded file should be in /home/yourname/noip. The next step is to decompress it. The file ends in .tar.gz, this is called a "tarball". The .tar ending shows that there are multiple files smacked into one. The .gz ending tells you that the .tar file has been compressed. To decompress this file and separate the individual files, use the command tar zvxf file . Replace 'file' with the exact filename of the file you just downloaded. To see the files in this directory (in case you forgot the filename) type ls and a list will be shown.
When the file is being extracted, it'll list the files and directories that are being created. Once it is finished it'll return you to the $, and allow you to type again. You'll want to enter the new directory that's been created. To do this, type cd noip-duc-linux (the directory will be the name of the file, without the .tar.gz ending)

step 4: become root

Next we need to compile and install the client, to do that we need to login as the user 'root'. Simply type su and you will be prompted for your root password. Once you have entered the correct password and pressed enter, you will notice a little something has changed. Instead of a $ being at the end of the line, the line will end with #. The # is how you know you are logged in as root.
note: If you have forgotten your root password, you will be jumped on by twenty-four mexican llamas.

step 5: compile and crank up the installer

The first thing we'll do while logged in as root is compile the no-ip client. To do this simply type make while in the no-ip directory (you should be there already). It'll spit out some gibberish and pause for a little while, just let it be. Once it finishes it'll drop you off at a # again. This time, type make install. Now you're ready for step six!

I got an error message!! what now?!?

If you didn't get an error while doing step five, skip this section and go to step six. If you got an error, all it means is your system doesn't have the software it needs to compile applications from their source code. The easiest way to use noip2 without compiling it from its sources is to use the binary file they give you. Type ls binaries to see the files in the binaries folder. There will probably be only one file listed. This is the filename you will use in the next command cp binaries/filename ./noip2 and once that's finished, you can type make install and head over to step six!

step 6: configuration

You'll notice a few lines of code have appeared and now you're being prompted for your login string. Don't worry it's not anything hard =o) Just enter the email address you used when you signed up for the no-ip service. If you have not signed up for the no-ip service, you can do so here.
Next you'll be prompted for your password. Enter it perfectly, and mind your capitalization! If your password is rejected, run make install again, and try until you can type it correctly. If you think you have forgotten your password, no-ip can have your password mailed to you!
Right after your password is verified you'll be prompted for an update interval. What the..? Don't panic, I'll explain. The no-ip service works by constantly checking your IP address and sending it to the no-ip server. All you're being asked is "how often (in minutes) do you want us to update your ip?". Thirty should be fine. Type 30 and press enter to complete the installation process!

I got an error message "no such file or directory" what can I do?!?!?

Do this step ONLY if you got an error message like the one above highlighted in red. This simply means the configuration file needs to live in /usr/local/etc/ to work properly, but there is no /usr/local/etc/ on the system. To correct this, simply (still as root) type mkdir /usr/local/etc and the directory will be created. Run make install again and repeat step 6.

step 7: make the noip client run every time the system boots

Alright, so we've correctly configured and installed the noip client. Technically we could run it by typing noip2 every time we wanted to update our ip address in no-ip's databases. But that's incredibly un-cool. You'll want to make the noip2 program run automatically every time the pc boots, am I right? Luckily this is a breeze to do. Linux looks at the "rc.local" file every time the computer starts and runs all programs in the list. Some might argue there are better ways to have programs start at boot time, but this is by far the easiest and it works just fine. To find the location of the noip2 client, type whereis noip2 and the console will show you where the file is located. Use this information in the next step if it differs from mine. While you're still logged in as root, type echo '/usr/local/bin/noip2' >> /etc/rc.local and proceed to step eight.

step 8: quietly celebrate, then show all of your friends what you just did

Run to the kitchen, grab some goldfish and a big fat coke, plop down at your desk, put sunglasses on, and call all your friends telling them what you've just accomplished! Your linux machine will sync with the central noip database automatically! You are now the noip master! Congrats!

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