How Do I Setup a DNS Server for My Local Network?


Angela Bailey

How Do I Setup a DNS Server for My Local Network?

Setting up a DNS server for your local network can greatly enhance your network’s performance and security. By hosting your own DNS server, you can reduce the dependency on external DNS services and have more control over your network’s domain name resolution. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of setting up a DNS server for your local network.

Step 1: Choose a DNS Server Software

The first step in setting up a DNS server is to choose the right DNS server software for your needs. There are several options available, but two popular choices are BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) and dnsmasq.

  • BIND: BIND is a robust and feature-rich DNS server that is widely used on the internet. It offers advanced features like zone transfers, dynamic updates, and support for various record types.
  • dnsmasq: dnsmasq is a lightweight and easy-to-configure DNS server that is ideal for small networks. It can also act as a DHCP server, making it a convenient choice if you also need DHCP functionality.

Step 2: Install and Configure the DNS Server Software

In this step, we will guide you through the installation and configuration of BIND as an example.

Install BIND:

To install BIND on most Linux distributions, you can use the package manager. For example, on Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, you can run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install bind9

This command will install BIND along with its dependencies on your system.

Configuration Files:

The main configuration file for BIND is typically located at /etc/bind/named.conf. Open this file in a text editor and make the necessary changes based on your network’s requirements.

Create Zones:

In BIND, zones define the domains for which the DNS server is authoritative. To create a zone, you need to add a new section in the configuration file. Here’s an example of how you can define a zone for your local network:

zone "" {
  type master;
  file "/etc/bind/zones/";

In this example, replace with your actual domain name and specify the path to the zone file.

Create Zone File:

The zone file contains the actual DNS records for a specific domain. Create a new file at the path specified in the configuration file and add the necessary DNS records. Here’s an example of a basic zone file:

$TTL 1d
@ IN SOA ns1.example. admin. 

  2019122601 ; Serial
  8H ; Refresh
  2H ; Retry
  4W ; Expire
  1D ; Minimum TTL
@ IN NS ns1. ns1 IN A

This example sets up an authoritative nameserver (NS) record pointing to with IP address 192.2. Modify these records based on your network setup.

Step 3: Start and Test Your DNS Server

After configuring your DNS server, you need to start the DNS server software. On most Linux distributions, you can use the following command to start BIND:

$ sudo systemctl start named

Replace named with the appropriate service name if you are using a different DNS server software.

To test your DNS server, you can use various tools like dig or nslookup. For example, to query your DNS server for the IP address of a domain, run the following command:

$ dig @localhost

This command will return the IP address associated with the domain, as resolved by your local DNS server.


In this tutorial, we have covered the process of setting up a DNS server for your local network. By choosing the right DNS server software and properly configuring it, you can improve network performance and have more control over domain name resolution. Remember to regularly update and maintain your DNS server to ensure its security and reliability.

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