Describe the format of SOA, A, PTR, HINFO, CNAME, and NS records.
State of Authority (SOA) records
An SOA record sets up basic parameters for a DNS zone of authority and marks the beginning of a zone.
Every zone or subzone must have exactly one SOA record and the zone continues until another SOA record is encountered.
The fields in an SOA record have the following meanings:
Address records specify a mapping from the host name to the IP address. These records are the heart of the DNS database.
Address records appear in the forward lookup zone file (for corporation.com in our previous example), and PTR records appear in the reverse file (the in-addr.arpa zone file).
Host information (HINFO) records
Host information records give the operating system and architecture for the specified host.
Many sites do not put this information in their DNS database because it provides extra information to hackers. However, it can be quite convenient on networks with many different kinds of machines. The format is:
KEY IN HINFO Architecture O/S
The valid names for architecture and operating system are the official names supplied by the system. You can get these names by using the uname command.
Canonical name (CNAME) records
Canonical name records define an alias. Looking at our previous example, the record:
www IN CNAME vanderbilt.corporation.com
declares that www.corporation.com (remember the $ORIGIN keyword) is an alias for the machine vanderbilt.corporation.com.
Name server (NS) records
A name server (NS) record declares a machine to be a name server for a specified zone.
The KEY is the name of the zone, and the value is the FQDN for the name server.
Usually, the NS records immediately follow the SOA record, with the first NS record pointing to the authoritative name server for the zone.
Zone files use Fully Qualified Domain Names, so be very careful to make sure that you use periods at the end of
host names when they occur as VALUE fields in A records, and in the SOA record.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, a problem with a zone file is due to a missing period.