[SOLVED] Pi-hole not working, no interface, no command, Pi now unable to resolve DNS

I bought a new RPi 3+ starter kit today with an SD that came preinstalled with Raspbian. Started it up and it booted straight up, all good. Ran sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get dist-upgrade to get all packages up to date, then ran the Pihole installation seemingly without a problem. Through the update and install process I was getting "locale errors" like this:

perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_MESSAGES to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory

So I ran the fix here: debian - locale not found/setting locale failed - what should I do? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange

The locale errors seemed to be warnings only so I didn't think they would have been a problem. I then continued - I gave the Pi a static IP (.254) and set it as the DNS server in the router

Expected Behaviour:

Expected it to just start working as it's supposed to

Actual Behaviour:

  • Can’t access admin panel (connection refused)
  • Running pihole returns "bash: pihole: command not found"
  • Pi now can't access the internet, DNS won't resolve
  • Devices using the Pi as a DNS can't resolve sites
  • Connecting to ExpressVPN on PC results in websites working as it forces use of its own DNS (an issue I can fix, but won't until the Pi works)
  • Unable to re-run installation (or ANY installations) as domains can't be resolved
  • Pihole does not show up in the list of installed packages
  • Attempted to run install command with pi-hole.net IP address instead of hostname, security certificate does not match. Attempted with http:// instead and got a DNS resolution error.

Debug Token:

Unable to run pihole -d

Recommendation: format the SD card and do a fresh install of Raspbian from the Pi website. Then you know it's a good install. Get your locale, time zone, languages set for your location. Assign a static/reserved IP from the router.

Then re-install Pi-Hole on that fresh install.

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The purchase probably cam with a Noob image.
Correcting this failed install is wasting time. Agree with jfb: that is much faster.

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Thanks for the quick replies. I downloaded the Raspbian image and used Etcher to install to the SD card, then put it in the Pi.

I set locale on install, and IP address is already assigned by MAC address in the router.

Installed Pihole and I can run the pihole command now, but I still get no DNS lookup.

During installation I got the following lines:

Downloading and installing FTL
Error: unable to get latest release location from GitHub
FTL Engine not installed

No other errors during installation.

Any ideas?

What locale do you have set?

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Australia, en_AU.UTF-8

Found this: Issue with FTL Engine not installed

resolv.conf has no IP addresses, only three lines of comments

Two lines of comments are normal. What is the third?

Here is what is usually seen:

cat /etc/resolv.conf
# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)
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I found this: FTL engine not installed latest everything SOLVED

This solution worked and the repair installer did all sorts of cool stuff. I can ping google now.

Do I need to change the resolv.conf file again as it's got Google's DNS server in there?

EDIT: Never mind, re-running the installer has changed the resolv.conf to exactly what you pasted.

Never mind, the installer has changed the resolv.conf to exactly what you pasted.

Excellent. Pi-Hole working as expected now?

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Yep. ExpressVPN app still pushes the PC to their DNS server but there should be an easy fix for that, if not I've got a new router arriving in a few days and I'll be able to set up network-level VPN so the app will go once that arrives.

Thanks for the help :slight_smile:

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