How Do I Set My DNS Server?


Angela Bailey

Setting up a DNS server is an essential step in managing your website’s domain name system. The DNS server acts as a directory that translates human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. In this tutorial, we will explore how to set up your DNS server effectively.

Why Set Up Your Own DNS Server?

If you are running a website or multiple websites, having your own DNS server offers several advantages. Firstly, it provides you with greater control and flexibility over your domain names. You can easily manage and update DNS records without relying on third-party providers.

Secondly, setting up your DNS server can improve the performance of your website. By hosting the DNS server on the same network as your website, you can reduce latency and improve response times for visitors accessing your site.

Step 1: Choose the Right Software

Before setting up your DNS server, you need to select the appropriate software. There are several options available, but two popular choices are BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) and PowerDNS.


  • Step 1: Install BIND by running the following command: sudo apt-get install bind9
  • Step 2: Configure the BIND settings by editing the /etc/bind/named.conf file.
  • Step 3: Create zone files for each of your domains in the /etc/bind/zones/ directory.


  • Step 1: Install PowerDNS by running the following command: sudo apt-get install pdns-server
  • Step 2: Configure PowerDNS by editing the /etc/powerdns/pdns.
  • Step 3: Create zone files for your domains in the /var/lib/powerdns/ directory.

Step 2: Configure DNS Records

Once you have set up your DNS server software, the next step is to configure DNS records for your domains. These records include essential information such as the IP address of your website and mail server.

To configure DNS records, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the zone file for your domain in a text editor.
  • Step 2: Add or modify the necessary records, such as A, CNAME, MX, or TXT records.
  • Step 3: Save the changes and exit the text editor.

Step 3: Test and Verify Configuration

To ensure that your DNS server is set up correctly, it's crucial to test and verify its configuration. Here are some methods to perform this task:

  • Dig Command: Use the dig command-line tool to query your DNS server and check if it returns the expected results.
  • DNS Lookup Websites: Utilize online DNS lookup tools like MXToolbox or DNSstuff to verify that your DNS records are correctly resolving.
  • DNS Propagation Checkers: After making any changes to your DNS records, you can use DNS propagation checkers to ensure that the changes have propagated across all DNS servers worldwide.


By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can successfully set up your DNS server. Remember to choose the right software, configure your DNS records accurately, and thoroughly test your configuration. With your own DNS server, you'll have more control over your domain names and potentially improve the performance of your website.