What Is the Name of the File Used to Configure the DNS Server in Linux Environment?


Larry Thompson

In the Linux environment, the file used to configure the DNS server is called the named.conf file. This file plays a crucial role in managing the Domain Name System (DNS) server and its associated settings. Let’s explore this further.

Understanding DNS Server Configuration

The DNS server is responsible for translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. The configuration file, named.conf, holds all the necessary information for the DNS server to perform this translation effectively.

Finding and Editing named.conf

To locate and edit the named.conf file, you need administrative access to your Linux system. The exact location of this file may vary depending on your Linux distribution and version.

Typically, you can find the named.conf file in the /etc/bind/ directory. However, it is always advisable to check your specific distribution’s documentation or consult a system administrator for precise details.

Once you have located the named.conf file, you can open it using a text editor of your choice such as Nano, Vim, or Gedit. Remember to use elevated privileges (e.g., by running as root or using sudo) when editing system files.

Structure of named.conf

The named.conf file follows a specific structure that allows you to define various aspects of your DNS server’s configuration. Let’s take a look at some key elements commonly found within this file:

  • options: This section contains global options for configuring your DNS server, such as listening interfaces, logging settings, and recursion behavior.
  • zone: This section defines individual zones within your DNS server. Each zone represents a domain or subdomain and contains records that map hostnames to IP addresses.
  • include: This directive enables you to include additional configuration files. It can be useful for organizing and modularizing your DNS server’s settings.

Example Configuration

Here’s an example snippet of a named.conf file:

options {
    directory "/var/cache/bind";
    recursion yes;

zone "example.com" {
    type master;
    file "/etc/bind/zones/example.com.zone";

include "/etc/bind/named.conf.local";

In this example, the options section specifies the directory for storing cache files and enables recursion. The zone section defines a master zone for the “example.com” domain and specifies the location of the corresponding zone file.

The include directive references an additional configuration file named.local, which may contain further zone definitions or other custom settings.

Saving and Applying Changes

After making any modifications to the named.conf file, save your changes and exit the text editor. It’s crucial to ensure that your syntax is correct to avoid any potential issues with your DNS server.

To apply the changes, you need to restart or reload your DNS server. The specific command depends on the DNS software you are using, but common commands include systemctl restart named or service bind9 restart.


The named.conf file serves as a central configuration point for managing your DNS server in Linux. Understanding its structure and leveraging its various elements allows you to customize and optimize your DNS server’s behavior according to your specific requirements.

Remember to exercise caution when editing system files, as incorrect configurations can lead to service disruptions. With practice and proper documentation references, mastering DNS server configuration becomes an essential skill for any Linux system administrator.

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