How Do You Setup a DNS Server on a Mac?


Heather Bennett

Setting up a DNS server on a Mac can be a complex task, but fear not! With the right knowledge and a few simple steps, you’ll have your DNS server up and running in no time. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process and show you how to configure your DNS server on macOS.

What is DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a critical component of the internet infrastructure that allows computers to translate human-readable domain names (e.g., into IP addresses (e., Without DNS, browsing the web would be a much more challenging task.

Step 1: Installing the Required Software
To start setting up your DNS server on macOS, you need to install Homebrew if you haven’t already. Homebrew is a package manager that makes it easy to install other software packages.

  • Open Terminal by searching for it in Spotlight or navigating to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.
  • Once Terminal is open, paste the following command and press Enter:
  • /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  • This command will download and install Homebrew on your Mac.

Step 2: Installing and Configuring BIND
BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is an open-source software that provides DNS functionality. It’s widely used and trusted by many system administrators.

  • In Terminal, run the following command to install BIND:
  • brew install bind
  • This will download and install BIND using Homebrew.
  • Next, we need to configure BIND. Create a new configuration file by running the following command:
  • sudo nano /usr/local/etc/named.conf
  • This command will open the configuration file in the nano text editor.
  • Within the file, you’ll find several sections with placeholders. Modify these sections according to your requirements, such as defining your domain, setting up forwarders, and more.
  • Once you’ve made the necessary changes, save the file by pressing Ctrl + X, then type ‘Y’ to confirm, and press Enter.

Step 3: Starting and Testing BIND

  • To start the BIND service, run the following command in Terminal:
  • sudo brew services start bind
  • BIND should now be running as a DNS server on your Mac.
  • To test if BIND is functioning correctly, open a web browser on another device connected to your network and try accessing a website. If the website loads successfully, it means your DNS server is working correctly.
  • Conclusion

    Setting up a DNS server on a Mac may seem daunting at first, but with Homebrew and BIND, it becomes a manageable task. By following these steps and configuring BIND correctly, you can have your own DNS server up and running smoothly.

    Remember to regularly update your DNS server software to ensure security and optimal performance. Happy networking!

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