How Do I Install a DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

Installing a DNS server is an essential step in managing your own network and ensuring smooth communication between devices. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the installation process and help you set up your very own DNS server.

Why do I need a DNS server?

If you are unfamiliar with the term, DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is responsible for translating domain names (e.g., into IP addresses that computers can understand. Without a functioning DNS server, accessing websites or any other network resource would be nearly impossible.

Step 1: Choose your DNS server software

There are several popular options when it comes to DNS server software. Two of the most widely used options are BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) and Microsoft’s Windows Server DNS service.

  • BIND: BIND is an open-source DNS software that runs on Unix-like operating systems. It provides excellent flexibility and is highly configurable.
  • Windows Server DNS service: This option is suitable for those who prefer a Windows-based solution. It comes bundled with the Windows Server operating system and offers seamless integration with other Windows services.

Step 2: Install the chosen DNS server software

The installation process may vary depending on the software you choose. Here, we will provide a general overview:


  1. Download BIND: Visit the official BIND website ( and download the latest stable release of BIND for your operating system.
  2. Install BIND: Follow the installation instructions provided by ISC to install BIND on your system.

For Windows Server DNS service:

  1. Enable DNS server role: Open the Server Manager on your Windows Server and navigate to the “Add Roles and Features” section. Select the DNS server role and follow the on-screen instructions to enable it.
  2. Configure DNS: Once the DNS server role is enabled, you can configure it by accessing the DNS Manager tool. Here, you can define your zones, add records, and manage various DNS settings.

Step 3: Configure your DNS server

After installing the DNS server software, it’s time to configure it according to your requirements. The exact configuration steps may differ based on the software you are using. However, some common configurations include:

  • Creating zones: Zones define the boundaries of authority for a particular domain. You can create primary zones for domains you control or secondary zones for domains managed by other name servers.
  • Adding resource records: Resource records map domain names to IP addresses or perform other functions within the DNS system.

    Common types of resource records include A (address) records, CNAME (canonical name) records, and MX (mail exchange) records.

  • Configuring forwarders: Forwarders allow your DNS server to query external servers when it cannot resolve a query locally. You can specify one or more forwarders to handle such requests.

Step 4: Test your DNS server

To ensure that your newly installed DNS server is functioning correctly, you should perform some tests. Here are a few essential tests you can conduct:

  • Resolve domain names: Use the nslookup command or any DNS lookup tool to verify that your DNS server can resolve domain names into IP addresses correctly.
  • Zone transfers: If you have secondary zones, perform zone transfer tests to confirm that the secondary server can successfully retrieve zone data from the primary server.

By following these steps, you can install and configure your own DNS server. Having a reliable DNS infrastructure is crucial for efficient network management and ensuring smooth communication between devices.

Note: It’s essential to regularly update and maintain your DNS server to keep it secure and up-to-date with the latest patches released by the software developers. Regular monitoring and troubleshooting are also necessary to address any potential issues that may arise.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful in guiding you through the installation process of a DNS server. With a properly configured DNS server, you can enjoy improved network performance and seamless access to various resources on your network.

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