Android issue - Tailscale VPN no longer setting DNS on Google Pixel 5

Tailscale version: (phone) 1.8.3 (Tailscale server) 1.8.5

Your operating system & version: Android 11 with Android security update May 5, 2021

I have tailscale setup to be used basically as a DNS tunnel to a PIHole container I have setup on an Oracle Free VM. I have several other systems also using it this way which are Windows and Linux machines.

My tailscale is setup to push the IP address of my PIHole VM as the VPN DNS server. Tailscale is also setup to push the route of the subnet for that machine as well.

On my other non-Pixel machine, the routing and DNS works as expected and PIhole does its thing.

On my phone recently, Tailscale is no longer setting the DNS IP address on the VPN connection it sets up. That DNS config is now blank:

I have Nebulo setup as well but only use it from time to time. I turned that on to see what its VPN configuration looked like and it sets up its VPN DNS for IPv4 and IPv6 just fine.

I even tried deleting my DNS server in my Tailscale config, re-adding it, stopping and starting Tailscale on my phone but Tailscale is no longer setting up its VPN DNS server anymore … and so my phone is getting AD spam !!! (crying in a corner …)

I have the same problem on my Pixel 5 but also on my chromebook (running the android tailscale app).

I have a custom DNS server set up and it appears the resolution does not work. Directly connecting to the tailscale IPs works fine.

Also I am using relay nodes and can also access the relayed network IPs.

Unfortunately I don’t see what DNS is actually used while on mobile data, which is very annoying with Android.

I’m having exactly the same issue. Pixel 4 XL and Chromebook. It was working as it should up until recently. The devices don’t respect or the app doesn’t seem to set the DNS correctly.

I found the corresponding issue on github: MagicDNS seems broken on Android with v1.8.3 · Issue #1956 · tailscale/tailscale · GitHub

A workaround that seems to work for me is to downgrade to version 1.6.0.

You can find it on f-droid Tailscale | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository

That will probably address it in the short term. Annoying though as you have to side load the downgrade after enabling third-party updates in Android :frowning:

A bit annoying but not the end of the world! :smiley: The github issue seems to have been picked up by someone so it might get fixed soon.

Thankfully F-droid is a well trusted app store and makes it easy to install the app and updates! :smiley:

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@tledakis, if you get a tool like “Network Analyzer” on your phone you can easily see what you network configuration is. That is the tool I used to make the screen snap I posted with my original question to this forum. Nebulo is another DNS changer on Android that uses VPN to make that change possible. Bringing that up and then “Network Analyzer” made it very clear that Tailscale is not setting the DNS setting like it used to pre-1.8.#.

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Fixed using downgraded version. Hopefully Tailscale will get someone to address this issue.

Recent v1.8.6 update appears to have addressed this issue for me.

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