Configuring DNS   «Prev  Next»
Lesson 4 Gathering information needed to create zone files
Objective Collect the information you need to create the zone files.

Gathering Information needed to Create Zone Files

First, collect the information you need to create the zone files. This task includes choosing a domain name for your network. For example, you could choose the name You will need the addresses and names of the name server machines for your network, and for each host on the network you will need to know:
  1. IP address
  2. Host name
If, in addition, you choose to include HINFO records describing the hosts on your network, you will need, for each host, to know the:

  1. Operating system
  2. System architecture (for example, Sparc, Intel, PPC, and so on)
If your network is divided into subnetworks, you need the names of the subnetworks and their name servers, with addresses, as well.
Compile the host information by creating a table, such as the example shown below. This table is meant to quickly encapsulate the network hosts on the subnet.

Configuring an Authoritative DNS Server

If you want to find Glenn Gould's telephone number in a digital phone book, the phone company publishes that information. But if you want to be able to find, a system administrator has to come forward with the domain name and number (IP address) and make them part of the distributed DNS directory. Administrators do this by creating listings in what DNS experts call zone files. A zone holds the information for a domain or, continuing with our earlier telephone analogy, for a household. Say there are 13 kids living in your house, and someone who islooking for one of them calls you. Each child has a cell phone, but you do not know all of their numbers by heart. Instead, you have a listing of your own, a directory you look in to find the cell phone number for the child the caller is trying to reach.
Similarly, you might have 13 servers living in your data center, or 13 web sites hosted on your server. To illustrate this, let ussay you administer a server that hosts five different web sites, each with a completely different domain name.
Suppose one is, while the others are,,, and All the owners of the web sites ask you to manage their DNS records. BIND's versatility allows you to manage several DNS servers at once, and to manage multiple domains independently on one server. Each web site is in a different domain, so you have to write a zone file for each web site. In the databases of the registrars, your DNS server will be listed as the nameserver for those domain names. In other words, will be listed as the person outsiders can contact to find the other children in the house (,, and the others).

Host Name IP Address System Info
james Solaris; Sun SparcStation
sandi Windows NT Workstation; Intel
jamey Free BSD; Intel
jacob HP-UX on a AS/400
joel Macintosh; PowerPC

Keep your version of this table handy as you create the zone files.