How Do I Configure DNS Cache Server?


Angela Bailey

Configuring a DNS cache server is an essential task for network administrators. DNS caching reduces the response time for domain name resolution, improves network performance, and reduces the load on authoritative DNS servers. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of setting up a DNS cache server.


Before getting started, ensure that you have the following:

  • A server running a Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu or CentOS)
  • Root access to the server

Step 1: Update System Packages

The first step is to update your system packages to ensure that you have the latest updates and security patches. Open your terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y

If you are using CentOS, use:

sudo yum update
sudo yum upgrade -y

Step 2: Install DNS Cache Server

Next, we need to install the DNS cache server software. We will be using dnsmasq, which is a lightweight and easy-to-configure DNS forwarder and DHCP server.

sudo apt install dnsmasq -y

sudo yum install dnsmasq -y

Step 3: Configure DNS Cache Server

Once installed, we need to configure dnsmasq to act as a DNS cache server. Open the dnsmasq configuration file using your preferred text editor:

sudo nano /etc/dnsmasq.conf

Uncomment the line that starts with #cache-size= and set the cache size according to your needs. For example, if you want to allocate 100MB for caching, change the line to:


You can also specify the DNS server(s) you want dnsmasq to use for resolving queries. Uncomment the line that starts with #server= and add the IP address(es) of your preferred DNS server(s). For example:


Save and close the file.

Step 4: Restart DNS Cache Server

To apply the changes, restart dnsmasq by running:

sudo systemctl restart dnsmasq

Step 5: Configure Client Devices

Finally, we need to configure our client devices to use our newly configured DNS cache server. This can usually be done through network settings or DHCP options on your router.

If you are manually configuring a device, set its DNS server(s) to the IP address of your DNS cache server.

If you are using DHCP, update the DHCP settings on your router or DHCP server to provide the IP address of your DNS cache server as a DNS option.

Note that it may take some time for client devices to start using the DNS cache server, as they may still have the old DNS server information cached.


By following this tutorial, you have successfully configured a DNS cache server using dnsmasq. DNS caching can greatly improve network performance and reduce the load on authoritative DNS servers. Remember to periodically update your system packages and monitor the DNS cache server for optimal performance.

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