How Do I Make My DNS Server Authoritative for Zone?


Larry Thompson

When it comes to managing DNS servers, one important task is making your server authoritative for a particular zone. This means that your DNS server will be responsible for answering queries and providing information about that specific zone. In this article, we will explore the steps to make your DNS server authoritative for a zone.

Understanding Zones

Before diving into the process, it is essential to understand what a zone is in the context of DNS. A zone represents a portion of the DNS namespace where administrative control lies with a specific set of name servers. Each zone can contain various resource records that define how domain names map to IP addresses and other related data.

Step 1: Choose a Software

To make your DNS server authoritative for a zone, you need to have suitable software installed on your server. There are several options available, including popular choices like BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) and Microsoft’s DNS Server. Choose the software that best suits your needs and install it on your server.

Step 2: Configure Zone Files

Once you have the DNS software installed, you need to configure the zone files for the desired domain. These files contain information about the domain name hierarchy within the zone, along with resource records defining various mappings.

In most cases, you will have two types of zone files: a forward lookup file and a reverse lookup file. The forward lookup file maps domain names to IP addresses, while the reverse lookup file performs the opposite mapping – mapping IP addresses back to domain names.

Configuring Forward Lookup Zone File

  • Create Zone File: Start by creating a new file with an appropriate filename for your forward lookup zone. For example, if you want to make your server authoritative for the “” domain, you can name the file “”.
  • Define Zone: In the zone file, add a zone directive to specify the domain name and other parameters.

    For example:
    $TTL 86400
    @ IN SOA ns1.example. admin. (
    2022010101 ; Serial
    3600 ; Refresh
    1800 ; Retry
    604800 ; Expire
    86400 ) ; Minimum TTL

    @ IN NS ns1.
    IN NS ns2.

    ns1 IN A
    ns2 IN A 192.2

    www IN A 192.3

  • Add Resource Records: After defining the zone, you can add resource records to map domain names to IP addresses or perform other mappings as needed.

Configuring Reverse Lookup Zone File

  • Create Zone File: Create a new file with an appropriate filename for your reverse lookup zone. The filename should be based on your IP address range and follow a specific format defined by your DNS software.
  • Define Zone: Similar to the forward lookup zone file, add a zone directive in the reverse lookup zone file, specifying the IP address range and other parameters.
  • Add Resource Records: Add resource records in the reverse lookup zone file to map IP addresses back to domain names.

Step 3: Update DNS Server Configuration

After configuring the zone files, you need to update the DNS server configuration to include these files and make your server authoritative for the respective zones. The exact steps for updating the configuration may vary depending on your DNS software.

Step 4: Test and Verify

Once you have completed the above steps, it is crucial to test and verify that your DNS server is now authoritative for the specified zone. You can use various DNS lookup tools or commands, such as “nslookup” or “dig,” to query your DNS server and ensure that it responds with the expected results.

Note: It may take some time for DNS changes to propagate across the internet. So, don’t be alarmed if you don’t see immediate results after making your DNS server authoritative for a zone. Be patient and allow sufficient time for the changes to take effect.


Making your DNS server authoritative for a zone is an important aspect of managing your own DNS infrastructure. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can configure your DNS software, set up zone files, update server configurations, and ensure that your server responds as expected for queries related to a specific zone.

This level of control over a zone’s DNS records allows you to manage and customize its mappings according to your requirements. Remember to regularly monitor and maintain your authoritative zones as part of ongoing DNS management.

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