Ubuntu as a DNS Server

If you have a direct, full-time connection to the Internet, you may want to host your own DNS server for your domain. You can easily do this with your Ubuntu server and the BIND software package.

The DNS server software program in BIND is called named. When you select the DNS server option in the Ubuntu server installation, Ubuntu installs the named package automatically. All you need to do is configure it for your specific network requirements.

The named software is completely configurable, allowing you to create several different types of DNS server environments. There are two common configuration setups for DNS servers:

♦ Local cache server: The Ubuntu server acts as an intermediary between the local network and a remote DNS server. The named software receives DNS requests from local clients and hosts and forwards them to a remote DNS server, but it keeps the responses in a local cache. The next time a client or host on your local network requests the IP address for the same hostname, the named software returns the answer from the local cache without having to contact the remote DNS server.

♦ A zone DNS server: The Ubuntu server is responsible for maintaining the IP address and hostname information for all hosts on a local network. It must respond to DNS requests from the root-level DNS servers requesting name lookup for hosts on your local network.

The named package contains several configuration files that you must set to tell it how to operate. The tricky part of configuring the named package is getting the correct DNS settings in the correct configuration file.

The followings sections describe the layout of the named environment in Ubuntu and demonstrate how to implement both of these DNS server methods for using the DNS named program on an Ubuntu server.

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