How Do You Use Pi-Hole as a DNS Server?


Larry Thompson

Welcome to this in-depth tutorial on how to use Pi-Hole as a DNS server. If you’re tired of ads and want to have more control over your internet browsing experience, Pi-Hole is the solution for you.

What is Pi-Hole?

Pi-Hole is a network-wide ad blocker that acts as a DNS sinkhole. It intercepts requests for advertisements and prevents them from being downloaded, reducing the number of ads you see while browsing the web.

Setting up Pi-Hole

To get started with Pi-Hole, follow these steps:

  1. Install Raspberry Pi OS: Begin by installing Raspberry Pi OS on your Raspberry Pi device. This will serve as the foundation for running Pi-Hole.
  2. Update and upgrade: Once the OS installation is complete, open a terminal session and run the following commands:
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt upgrade
  3. Install Pi-Hole: Run the following command in the terminal to install Pi-Hole:
    • curl -sSL | bash
  4. Configure Pi-Hole: During the installation process, you will be prompted to configure various settings such as upstream DNS providers and blocklists.

    Make sure to choose options that suit your needs.

  5. Note down IP address: After installation, note down the IP address of your Raspberry Pi running Pi-Hole. You will need this to configure your devices to use Pi-Hole as the DNS server.
  6. Update router settings: Access your router’s settings and change the DNS server to the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. This will ensure that all devices connected to your network use Pi-Hole for DNS resolution.

Verifying Pi-Hole Setup

Once you have completed the setup, you can verify if Pi-Hole is working correctly:

  1. Open a browser: Open a web browser on any device connected to your network.
  2. Type in a test URL: In the address bar, type in a test URL like “”.
  3. Check for blocked ads: If Pi-Hole is functioning correctly, you should not see any ads on the website. The ad requests would have been intercepted and blocked by Pi-Hole.

Tips and Troubleshooting

If you encounter any issues or want to make further customizations with Pi-Hole, here are some tips and troubleshooting steps:

1. Whitelisting Websites

If you notice that certain websites are not working correctly due to blocking, you can whitelist them by accessing the Pi-Hole admin interface in your web browser. Navigate to “Settings” > “Whitelist” and add the URLs of the websites you want to exclude from blocking.

2. Updating Blocklists

Pi-Hole relies on blocklists to know which domains to block. You can update these blocklists periodically by running the following command in the terminal:

pihole -g

3. Accessing Pi-Hole Admin Interface

To access the Pi-Hole admin interface, open a web browser and type in the IP address of your Raspberry Pi followed by “/admin” (e.g., From here, you can monitor the status of Pi-Hole and make additional configurations.

4. Restarting Pi-Hole

If you need to restart the Pi-Hole service, run the following command in the terminal:

sudo service pihole-FTL restart

That’s it! You have successfully set up and configured Pi-Hole as a DNS server on your network. Enjoy ad-free browsing and take control of your internet experience with Pi-Hole!

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