Distributed Networks Distributed Networks

Configuring DNS   «Prev  Next»
Lesson 1

Introduction to Configuring (DNS) Domain Name Server

This module addresses the problem of setting up a name server on a UNIX computer. The UNIX name server software (and most other implementations of name server software) derives from the package known as Berkeley Internet Name Daemon (BIND). The BIND software is free, and the latest version is always available on the Internet. See the course Resources page for more information on where you can get BIND.
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
  1. List the components required for configuring a DNS server
  2. List the steps of the DNS server configuration process
  3. Collect the information you need to create the zone files
  4. Create and position your zone files
  5. Set up the proper directives in the named.boot file
  6. Start and troubleshoot the name server process
  7. Configure the DNS clients and troubleshooting the DNS configuration

Zone files use several record types, including:
  1. SOA (Start of Authority)
  2. NS (Name Server)
  3. MX (Mail eXchanger, which identifies a mail server in the domain)
  4. A (host name to Address mapping)
  5. CNAME (Canonical Name, which defines an alias for a hostname in an A record)
  6. PTR (Pointer, which maps addresses to names)
It is not necessary to try to memorize or understand these record types at this point. You will have ample opportunity to use them as we dig deeper into this subject.

Name Resolution

Name resolution systems provide the translation between alphanumeric names and numerical addresses, alleviating the need for users and administrators to memorize long strings of numbers. There are two common methods for implementing name resolution:
  1. A static file on each host on the network, containing all the name-toaddress translations (examples include the HOSTS and LMHOSTS files).
  2. A centralized server that all hosts on the network connect to for name resolution.
The two most common name resolution systems are Domain Name System (DNS) and Windows Internet Name Service (WINS). WINS was used in Microsoft networks to translate IP addresses to NetBIOS names, and is mostly deprecated. DNS is heavily utilized on the Internet and on systems such as Active Directory.