Linux zone file troubleshooting tips

September 14, 2020 by Henry Alderson


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Saving Zone Files

A zone file is a text file in the format defined in RFC 1035 and 1034 that is stored on a DNS server (name server). Zone files contain IP address and name information, MX records, and other service records. They also contain persistent data that connects them to other DNS servers.



The Domain Name System (DNS) zone file is a text file that describes the DNS zone. A DNS zone is a subset, often a single domain, of the hierarchical structure of DNS domain names. The zone file contains mappings between domain names, IP addresses, and other resources, which are organized as textual representations of resource records (RRs). The zone file can be the main DNS file describing the authoritative zone, or it can be used to list the contents of the DNS cache. [1]

File Format [edit]

What is in a zone file?

The zone file contains mappings between domain names, IP addresses, and other resources, which are organized as textual representations of resource records (RRs). A zone file can either be a master DNS file that basically describes a zone, or it can be used to enumerate the contents of a DNS cache.

The zone file format is defined in RFC 1035 (section 5) and RFC 1034 (section 3.6.1). This format was originally used by the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) software package, but has been widely adopted by other DNS server software, although some (e.g. NSD, PowerDNS) do not use zones only as a starting point for compiling them into a database format. data, see also Microsoft DNS with Active Directory Database Integration.

A zone file is a series of records for resource records. Each line is a textual description that identifies one resource record (RR). The description consists of several fields.Separated by spaces (spaces or tabs) as follows:

The name field can be left blank. In this case, the record inherits the field from the previous record. A free @ symbol indicates the current origin.

The ttl (time to live) field specifies the time after which the domain name client must discard the record and perform a new resolution operation to obtain new information. If no ttl is specified, the global TTL specified in the zone file above is used.

The field record class defines the namespace of the record information. The most commonly used namespace is the Internet, indicated by the IN parameter, but other spaces exist and are used, such as B. CHAOS.

Field Record Type is short for the type of information stored in the last field, Record Data. Example: An address entry (Type A for IPv4 or Type AAAA for IPv6) assigns the domain name of the first field to the IP address in the entry data. The mail exchanger record (MX type) defines the SMTP mail host for the domain.

linux zone file

Field record data can consist of one or more information elements depending onfrom the requirements of each type of entry. For example, an address record requires only one address, while a mail exchanger record requires a priority and a domain name. These pieces of information are separated by spaces.

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Resource records can appear in any order in the zone file, with some exceptions. To simplify formatting, resource records can span multiple lines by enclosing a set of parameters in parentheses that span multiple lines but belong to the same record. The file can contain comment text by preceding this text with a semicolon, either at the beginning of a line, or after the last field in a line, or on an empty line. Comments end at the end of the line. The zone file can contain any number of blank lines with or without comments.

The zone file can also contain various statements, identified by a keyword starting with a dollar sign. The most notable is the $ ORIGIN keyword, which indicates the starting point of a zone in the DNS hierarchy. If this keyword is omitted in the zone file, the server software detectsEliminated the source of the zone file reference in its server configuration.

The zone file must contain at least a start of authority (SOA) entry with the name of the primary authoritative name server for the zone and the email address of the person responsible for management. name server. SOA dataset parameters also provide a list of timing and sequencing parameters (serial number, slave update period, slave retry time, slave expiration time, and maximum time to cache the dataset). Some DNS server software, such as BIND, also requires at least one additional name server record. For an email address in SOA-RR, the @ symbol is replaced with a period. In a zone file, host names that do not end with a dot are relative in origin. For example, in the example above, www refers to and this is, not Names that end with a dot (or dot) are called fully qualified domain names.

Zone file referencedto the nameserver software configuration file as a binding, usually with an instruction like this:

Root Zone And Top-level Domains [edit]

The zone files for the DNS root zone and for the top-level domain group contain resource records only for the authoritative domain name servers for each domain name.

Localhost [edit |

How do I download a zone file?

How to load zone file
  1. Sign in to your managed DNS account.
  2. On the Summary or Managed DNS tab, find the file download area. On the right, click "Control" to select a zone.
  3. In the simple editor, select the Zone Reports submenu tab.
  4. The download of the zone file is listed in the Zone Charts and Reports section.

Some server software automatically configures resource records for specially recognized domains or hostnames, for example: B. localhost. However, you can use a custom zone master file.

This file does not specify the origin, so with this configuration it can be used for both IPv4 and IPv6:

Similar zone master files can be created to reversely resolve the broadcast address and address zero. These zone files prevent the DNS server from accessing other, possibly external, DNS servers.



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