DNS Defined, 2nd Edition


If you are or want to be on the Internet, or run TCP/IP applications that require you to contact other IP addresses and hosts, it’s likely that you’re using the Domain Name System (DNS). DNS was developed to provide a standard mechanism for host naming so that you can reach or obtain information about remote hosts on the Internet. And DNS does this in a distributed rather than in a central authoritative kind of way.

This document can help you understand the various aspects of DNS, how to use it, and how to manage domain name services that implement DNS.

All in all, documentation resources for DNS are rather scarce. Users find that they have to fend for themselves in most cases. Many learn DNS by trial and error and others find that they have to reinvent the wheel every time.

Hence this booklet. Although this one guide doesn’t replace any textbook about DNS or the services (and there are a few good ones), it’s meant to give you a solid introduction and some practical tips.

Chapter 1 is an introduction to DNS, its advantages and concepts.

Chapter 2 explains how to get started with DNS — how to acquire the software, set up and register domains, and set up a client server — and describes the responsibilities of system managers.

Chapter 3 describes how to maintain a DNS database — how to boot primary and secondary servers, database files, and resource records — and provides special tips for users.

Chapter 4 describes how to use DNS with certain Internet e-mail facilities. You’ll also find a handy glossary at the end of this booklet.


Table of Contents


1. Domain Name System

2. Getting Started with DNS
3. Maintaining the DNS Database
4. DNS and Mail
5. Additional Resources