Solving 'FTL inactive' using Debian-9 (Strech)


First of all: thank you very much for creating pi-hole!

I started with pi-hole on an ARM-eva-board (iMX53QSB), which was running with Debian-8 (Jessie). Pi-hole worked like a charm.
After updating the system to Debian-9 (Strech) I got the error ‘FTL inactive’ in the dash-board. Searching your forum brought up many threads about this, but no direct solution for my issue.

The basic issue I found out, was that the DNS-port 53 obviously was occupied by a different service. Using

sudo ss -tulpn

I could identify ‘connman’ blocking port 53. In Debian-9 ‘conmann’ handles all services concerning network. Completely blocking it via ‘systemctl’ blocks the whole network services.

Fortunately I could find the solution under this link:

Here a configuration file is given to deactivate the DNS-proxy function of ‘connman’ only. In that way port 53 is free for pihole-FTL. After a restart of the board pi-hole and pihole-FTL were working again as expected.

One note to the config-file mentioned above:

On one line it is said:

ExecStart=/usr/bin/connmand -n –nodnsproxy

In my system the ‘conmann’-daemon is located at:


Hope this might help other users to get pi-hole running when using Debian-9.

With best regards from Germany