What Is DNS Server How It Can Be Configured in Linux Server?


Larry Thompson

A DNS server, short for Domain Name System server, is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure. It plays a vital role in translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. In this tutorial, we will explore what a DNS server is and how it can be configured in a Linux server.

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS server acts as a directory that translates domain names into IP addresses. When you type a URL into your web browser, the DNS server is responsible for finding the corresponding IP address associated with that domain name. This process is known as DNS resolution.

Without DNS servers, we would have to remember and enter long strings of numbers (IP addresses) instead of easy-to-remember domain names like google.com or facebook.com.

Types of DNS Servers

There are primarily two types of DNS servers:

  • Recursive Resolver: These servers are responsible for resolving queries by recursively querying other DNS servers until they find the correct IP address for a given domain name.
  • Authoritative Nameserver: These servers hold the official records for specific domains. They provide answers to recursive resolvers with information about domain names within their zone of authority.

DNS Server Configuration in Linux

In Linux, the most commonly used software to configure a DNS server is BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain). BIND is an open-source implementation of the DNS protocols and provides both recursive resolver and authoritative nameserver functionalities.

Step 1: Install BIND

To install BIND on your Linux server, open the terminal and run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install bind9

This command installs the BIND package and its dependencies on your server.

Step 2: Configure BIND

Once BIND is installed, you need to configure it to act as a DNS server. The main configuration file for BIND is named.conf, located in the /etc/bind directory.

Open the named.conf file using a text editor:

$ sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf

Inside the named.conf file, you’ll find several sections and options. The key sections are:

  • options: This section contains general configuration options like listening interfaces, DNS forwarders, and logging settings.
  • zone: This section defines the authoritative zones managed by your DNS server. Each zone specifies the domain name it serves and the location of its zone file.

Step 3: Configure Zones

To configure zones in BIND, you need to create zone files for each domain you want to host. Zone files contain DNS records that map domain names to IP addresses.

Create a new zone file for your domain using a text editor:

$ sudo nano /etc/bind/db.example.com

The filename should match your domain name with .db extension. Replace example.com with your actual domain name.

Step 4: Add DNS Records

Inside the zone file, you can add various types of DNS records depending on your requirements. Some commonly used record types include:

  • A Record: Maps a hostname to an IP address.
  • CNAME Record: Creates an alias for an existing hostname.
  • MX Record: Specifies the mail server responsible for accepting emails for a domain.

Here’s an example of adding an A record:

$TTL 3600
@       IN      SOA     ns1. admin. 

                                2022010101      ; Serial
                                3600            ; Refresh
                                1800            ; Retry
                                604800          ; Expire
                                86400           ; Minimum TTL
@       IN      NS      ns1. ns1     IN      A
www     IN      A       192.20

Save the zone file and exit the text editor.

Step 5: Restart BIND

After making changes to the BIND configuration and zone files, you need to restart the BIND service for the changes to take effect.

$ sudo service bind9 restart

Your DNS server should now be up and running, ready to resolve domain names into IP addresses.


A DNS server is a fundamental component of the internet infrastructure that translates domain names into IP addresses. By configuring a DNS server in Linux using tools like BIND, you can host your own DNS zones and provide name resolution services to your network or internet users.

Remember, DNS configuration requires careful consideration and proper maintenance to ensure smooth operation and security.

Now that you understand what a DNS server is and how it can be configured in Linux, you have taken a significant step towards managing your own DNS infrastructure!

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