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Configuring Your Own Nameservers: A Step-by-Step Guide



Configuring your own nameservers can be a technical process and depends on the context in which you're setting them up — whether it's for a local network, a private server, or for a web hosting environment. Here's a general guide on how to configure your own nameservers based on the information provided:

Choose Your DNS Software

Firstly, choose a DNS server software. BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is the most widely used DNS software on the Internet and on Unix systems. Other options include Microsoft DNS for Windows servers and PowerDNS, among others.

Installing DNS Server Software

For Linux using BIND, you can install it via your package manager. On Ubuntu, for example, you'd use:

sudo apt update sudo apt install bind9 bind9utils bind9-doc

Configure the DNS Service

1. Main Configuration File

Edit the named.conf (or equivalent) file to specify the role of your DNS server. It is located in /etc/bind/ in Linux systems using BIND.

Here's an example snippet for a primary nameserver:

zone "" IN { type master; file "/etc/bind/zones/"; allow-transfer { none; }; // For security, restrict zone transfers };

2. Zone Files

Create a zone file for your domain in /etc/bind/zones/ (this directory may vary). This file will contain DNS records such as A records, CNAMEs, and NS records.

Example /etc/bind/zones/

$TTL 86400 @ IN SOA ( 2023010101 ; Serial 604800 ; Refresh 86400 ; Retry 2419200 ; Expire 86400 ) ; Negative Cache TTL ; @ IN NS @ IN NS ns1 IN A <IP-of-ns1> ns2 IN A <IP-of-ns2> @ IN A <IP-of-your-server> www IN A <IP-of-your-server>

Replace <IP-of-ns1>, <IP-of-ns2>, and <IP-of-your-server> with the actual IP addresses.

3. Reverse DNS

You might also need to configure reverse DNS by creating a PTR record. This is often required for mail servers.

Set Up Secondary Nameservers

You should have at least one secondary DNS server for redundancy. This is configured similarly to the primary but will have type slave; in its named.conf zone definition, and it will reference the primary nameserver for zone transfers.

Testing Your DNS Configuration

Use tools like dig, nslookup, or host to test the DNS resolution of your new nameserver.

Example test command:


Registering Your Nameservers

Once you have set up and tested your nameservers, you need to register them with your domain registrar. This process varies with each registrar, but generally, you will have to provide the names and IP addresses of your nameservers.

Keeping it Secure

Ensure to:

  • Keep your DNS software up to date to mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Configure DNSSEC to protect against DNS spoofing.
  • Limit recursive queries to trusted IPs.
  • Monitor query logs for unusual patterns which might indicate a DNS amplification attack.

This is a very high-level overview, and each step contains more detail that you will need to fill in depending on your specific environment and requirements. Remember to refer to the official documentation of the DNS software you’re using for the most accurate and detailed guidance.



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