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11. How to become a bigger time DNS admin.

Documentation and tools.

Real Documentation exists. Online and in print. The reading of several of these is required to make the step from small time DNS admin to a big time one.

I have written The Concise Guide to DNS and BIND (by Nicolai Langfeldt, me), published by Que (ISBN 0-7897-2273-9). The book is much like this HOWTO, just more details, and a lot more of everything. It has also been translated to Polish and published as DNS i BIND by Helion (, ISBN 83-7197-446-9). Now in 4th edition is DNS and BIND by Cricket Liu and P. Albitz from O'Reilly & Associates (ISBN 0-937175-82-X, affectionately known as the Cricket book). Another book is Linux DNS Server Administration, by Craig Hunt, published by Sybex (ISBN 0782127363), I have not read it yet. Another must for good DNS administration (or good anything for that matter) is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig.

Online you will find my book, along with tons of other books, available electronically as a subscription service at There is stuff on (DNS Resources Directory),; A FAQ, a reference manual (the ARM should be enclosed in the BIND distribution as well) as well as papers and protocol definitions and DNS hacks (these, and most, if not all, of the RFCs mentioned below, are also contained in the BIND distribution). I have not read most of these. The newsgroup is about DNS. In addition there are a number of RFCs about DNS, the most important are probably the ones listed here. Those that have BCP (Best Current Practice) numbers are highly recommended.

RFC 2671

P. Vixie, Extension Mechanisms for DNS (EDNS0) August 1999.

RFC 2317

BCP 20, H. Eidnes et. al. Classless IN-ADDR.ARPA delegation, March 1998. This is about CIDR, or classless subnet reverse lookups.

RFC 2308

M. Andrews, Negative Caching of DNS Queries, March 1998. About negative caching and the $TTL zone file directive.

RFC 2219

BCP 17, M. Hamilton and R. Wright, Use of DNS Aliases for Network Services, October 1997. About CNAME usage.

RFC 2182

BCP 16, R. Elz et. al., Selection and Operation of Secondary DNS Servers, July 1997.

RFC 2052

A. Gulbrandsen, P. Vixie, A DNS RR for specifying the location of services (DNS SRV), October 1996

RFC 1918

Y. Rekhter, R. Moskowitz, D. Karrenberg, G. de Groot, E. Lear, Address Allocation for Private Internets, 02/29/1996.

RFC 1912

D. Barr, Common DNS Operational and Configuration Errors, 02/28/1996.

RFC 1912 Errors

B. Barr Errors in RFC 1912. Only available at

RFC 1713

A. Romao, Tools for DNS debugging, 11/03/1994.

RFC 1712

C. Farrell, M. Schulze, S. Pleitner, D. Baldoni, DNS Encoding of Geographical Location, 11/01/1994.

RFC 1183

R. Ullmann, P. Mockapetris, L. Mamakos, C. Everhart, New DNS RR Definitions, 10/08/1990.

RFC 1035

P. Mockapetris, Domain names - implementation and specification, 11/01/1987.

RFC 1034

P. Mockapetris, Domain names - concepts and facilities, 11/01/1987.

RFC 1033

M. Lottor, Domain administrators operations guide, 11/01/1987.

RFC 1032

M. Stahl, Domain administrators guide, 11/01/1987.

RFC 974

C. Partridge, Mail routing and the domain system, 01/01/1986.

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