Help for UNIX System Administrators

Paul Albitz, Cricket Liu

Publisher: O'Reilly, 1994, 381 pages

ISBN: 1-56592-010-4

Keywords: System Administration

Last modified: June 17, 2021, 9:34 p.m.

DNS and BIND discusses one of the Internet's fundamental building blocks: the distributed host information database that's responsible for translating names into addresses, routing mail to its proper destination, and many other services. As the authors write in the preface, you're already using DNS — even if you don't know it. However, its one of the darker, more obscure areas of network administration. This book covers all you need to know about DNS and its UNIX implementation.

Whether you're an administrator involved with DNS on a daily basis, or a user who wants to be more informed about the Internet and how it works, you'll find that this book is essential reading.

Topics include:

  • What DNS does, how it works, and when you need to use it
  • How to find your own place in the Internet's name space
  • Setting up name servers
  • Using MX records to route mail
  • Configuring hosts to use DNS name servers
  • Subdividing domains (parenting)
  • Long-term maintenance
  • Troubleshooting: using nslookup, reading debugging output, common problems
  • Low-level programming with the resolver library
  1. Background
    • A (Very) Brief History of the Internet
    • On the Internet and internets
    • The History of the Domain Name System
    • The Domain Name System, in a Nutshell
    • The History of BIND
    • But Do I Need It?
      • If you're connected to the Internet
      • If you have a UUCP connection to a host on the Internet
      • If you have your own TCP/IP-based internet
      • If you have your won local area network or site network
  2. How Does DNS Work?
    • The Domain Name Space
      • Domain Names
      • Domains
      • Resource Records
    • The Internet Domain Name Space
      • Top-Level Domains
      • Further Down
      • Reading Domain Names
    • Delegation
    • Name Servers
      • Delegating Domains
      • Types of Name Servers
      • Data Files
    • Resolvers
    • Resolution
      • Root Name Servers
      • Recursion
      • Iteration
      • Mapping Addresses to Names
      • Inverse Queries
    • Caching
      • Time to Live
  3. Where Do I Start?
    • Getting BIND
      • Handy Mailing Lists
      • Finding IP Addresses
    • Choosing a Domain Name
      • Where in the World Do I Fit?
      • Elsewhere in the World
      • Checking that Your Network Number is Registered
      • Registering with Your Parent
  4. Setting Up BIND
    • Our Domain
    • Setting Up DNS Data
      • The db Files
      • Comments
      • SOA Records
      • NS Records
      • Address and Alias Records
      • PTR Records
      • The Completed Data Files
      • The Loopback Address
      • The Cache Data
    • Setting Up a BIND Boot File
    • Abbreviations
      • Appending Domains
      • @ Notation
      • Repeat Last Name
      • The Shortened db Files
    • Tools
    • Running a Primary Name Server
      • Starting Up the Name Server
      • Check for Syslog Errors
      • Testing Your Setup with nslookup
      • Editing the Startup Files
    • Running a Secondary Name Server
      • Setup
      • Backup Files
      • Multiple Master Servers
      • SOA Values
    • Additional db File Entries
      • Host Information
      • General Text Information
      • Well-Known Services
    • What Next?
  5. DNS and Electronic Mail
    • MX Records
      • What's a Mail Exchanger, Again?
      • The MX Algorithm
    • Structuring MX Lists
      • MX Lists for UUCP-connected Hosts
      • MX Lists for Diskless Clusters
      • MX Lists to Deal with Security
      • MX for Mail Hubs
    • Internal Domain Addresses
  6. Configuring Hosts
    • The Resolver
      • The Default Domain
      • The Search List
      • The Search Directive
      • The Name Server Directive
    • Sample Resolver Configurations
      • Resolver-Only
      • Local Name Server
    • Minimizing Pain and Suffering
      • Differences in Service Behavior
      • Electronic Mail
      • Updating .rhosts, hosts.equiv, etc
      • Providing Aliases
    • Vendor-specific options
      • Sun's SunOS
      • HP's HP-UX
      • IBM's AIX
      • DEC's Ultrix
      • Silicon Graphics's Irix
      • SCO's SCO UNIX
      • FTP's PC/TCP
  7. Maintaining BIND
    • BIND Name Server Signals
    • Updating db Files
      • Adding and Deleting Hosts
      • SOA Serial Numbers
      • Generating the BIND Database from the Host Tables
      • Keeping db.cache Current
    • db File Control Entries
      • Changing the Origin
      • Including Other Database Files
    • Additional Boot File Directives
      • Address Sorting
      • Building up a Large Site-wide Cache with Forwarders
      • A More Restricted Name Server
    • Keeping Everything Running Smoothly
      • Common Syslog Error Messages
      • Understanding the BIND Statistics
  8. Growing Your Domain
    • How Many Name Servers?
      • Where Do I Put My Name Servers?
      • Capacity Planning
    • Adding More Name Servers
      • Primary and Secondary Servers
      • Caching-only Servers
      • Partial-secondary Servers
    • Registering Name Servers
    • Changing TTLs
      • Changing Other SOA Values
    • Planning for Disasters
      • Outages
      • Recommendations
    • Coping with Disaster
      • Short Outages (Hours)
      • Longer Outages (Days)
      • Really Long Outages (Weeks)
  9. Parenting
    • When to Become a Parent
    • How Many Children?
    • What to Name Your Children
    • How to Become a Parent: Creating Subdomains
      • Creating a Subdomain in the Parent's Zone
      • Creating and Delegating a Subdomain
      • An fx.movie.edu Secondary
      • On the movie.edu Primary
      • Delegating an in-addr.arpa Domain
    • Good Parenting
      • Using check_del
      • Managing Delegation
    • Managing the Transition to Subdomains
      • Removing Parent Aliases
    • The Life of a Parent
  10. nslookup
    • Is nslookup a Good Tool?
      • Multiple Servers
      • Timeouts
      • Domains Searches
      • Zone Transfers
      • Using NIS and /etc/hosts
    • Interactive Versus Non-interactive
    • Option Settings
      • The .nslookuprc File
    • Avoiding the Search List
    • Common Tasks
      • Looking Up Different Data Types
      • Authoritative Versus Non-authoritative Answers
      • Switching Servers
    • Less Common Tasks
      • Seeing the Query and Response Packets
      • Querying Like a BIND Name Server
      • Zone Transfers
    • Troubleshooting nslookup Problems
      • Looking Up the Right Data
      • No Responses from Server
      • No PTR Data for Name Server's Address
      • First resolv.conf Name Server Not Responding
      • Finding Out What Is Being Looked Up
      • Unspecified Error
  11. Reading BIND Debugging Output
    • Debugging Levels
      • What Information Is at Each Level
    • Turning on Debugging
      • Debugging Command Line Option
      • Changing the Debugging Level with Signals
    • Reading Debugging Output
      • Name Server Startup (Debug Level 1)
      • A Successful Lookup (Debug Level 1)
      • A Successful Lookup WIth Retransmissions (Debug Level 1)
      • A Successful Lookup With Retransmissions (Debug Level 3)
      • A Secondary Name Server Checking Its Zone (Debug Level 1)
      • The Resolver Search Algorithm (Debug Level 1)
    • Tools and Trivia
  12. Troubleshooting DNS and BIND
    • IS NIS Really Your Problem?
    • Troubleshooting Tools and Techniques
      • How to Use named-xfer
      • How to Read a Database Dump
    • Potential Problem List
      1. Forget to increment Serial Number
      2. Forget to Signal Primary
      3. Secondary Can't Load Zone Data
      4. Add Name to Database File, but Forget to Add PTR Record
      5. Syntax Error in the Boot File or DNS Database File
      6. Missing Dot at the End of a Name in a DNS Database File
      7. Missing Cache Data
      8. Loss of Network Connectivity
      9. Missing Subdomain Delegation
      10. Incorrect Subdomain Delegation
      11. Syntax Error in resolv.conf
      12. Default Domain Not Set
    • Problem Symptoms
      • Local Name Can't Be Looked Up
      • Remote Names Can't be Looked Up
      • Wrong or Inconsistent Answer
      • Lookups Take a Long Time
      • rlogin and rsh to Hosts Fails Access Checks
      • Access to Services Denied
      • Name Servers is Infected with Bogus Root Server Data
      • Name Server Keeps Loading Old Data
  13. Programming with the Resolver Library Routines
    • Shell Script Programming with nslookup
      • A Typical Problem
      • Solving this Problem with a Script
    • C Programming with the Resolver Library Routines
      • DNS Packet Format
      • Domain Name Storage
      • Domain Name Compression
      • The Resolver Library Routines
      • The Undocumented Library Routines
      • The _res Structure
      • Parsing DNS Responses
      • A Sample Program: check_soa
  14. Miscellaneous
    • CNAMEs
      • CNAMEs Pointing to Interior Nodes
      • CNAMEs Pointing to CNAMEs
      • CNAMEs in the Resource Record Data
      • Looking Up CNAMEs
      • Finding Out a Host's Aliases
    • Wildcards
    • A Limitation of MX Records
    • Non-Internet Connected Domains
      • Firewall Name Servers Only
      • Internal Roots
    • Network Names and Numbers
    • RFC 1183 (New RR Types)
      • AFSDB
      • RP
      • X25, ISDN, and RT
    • Negative Caching
    • DNS Versus X.509
    • The Relationship Between NetBIOS and DNS
  1. DNS Message Format and Resource Records
    • Master File Format
      • Character Case
      • Types
      • New Types from RFC 1183
      • Classes
    • DNS Message
      • Format
      • Header Section Format
      • Question Section Format
      • Answer, Authority, and Additional Section Format
      • Data Transmission Order
    • Resource Record Data
      • Data Format
  2. Compiling and Installing BIND on a Sun
    • get the Source Code
    • Unpack the Source Code
    • Build the Resolver Library
    • Build the Name Server
    • Compile nslookup
  3. Top-level Domains
  4. Domain Registration Form
  5. IN-ADDR.ARPA Registration



Reviewed by Roland Buresund

OK ***** (5 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3 a.m.

The book about Domain Name Service.


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