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Old 24th April 2009
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Default Alternatives for Bind9?

I sometimes have to set up split DNS for my Zimbra installs. I don't like Bind9 because I really don't understand what I am doing and usually end up blindly following a tutorial. It works, but I don't like not knowing how it works.

Is there a lighter, easier to configure DNS server anyone can recommend? By easier to configure, I do NOT mean GUI. This has to be command line only.

Thanks,

-Tim
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Old 24th April 2009
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You might try MaraDNS; it is somewhat easier to configure and unlike some other options, won't want to change the way your machine works and also, like Bind, can do both authoritative and recursive (resolving) name serving if you need it to.

/usr/ports/dns/maradns

I don't find Bind all that difficult these days - probably because I have to change DNS records fairly often so like everything, practice helps. But I have been using MaraDNS on a "virtual" server recently because I was tight on RAM and was looking at every service for areas to trim.
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Old 24th April 2009
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Thanks, I'll take a look at it.

I'm certainly no n00b to networking but you would think Bind would be a bit less cryptic. Reminds me of setting up sendmail.

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Old 26th April 2009
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I guess Bind and Sendmail are of a kind: they both are the programs that defined and shaped their protocols.
So, once you really understand the protocol, neither are that difficult to configure.
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Old 11th May 2009
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djb's tinydns is lighter, but not necessarily easier to configure. If you're handy with scripting you can set up things comperable to zone files if you like, or not. Like many things, it's incredibly flexible which makes the learning curve a bit steeper.

It's a good thing to work through if you want to understand DNS and not just BIND's implementation of it.
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Old 15th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbak View Post
I guess Bind and Sendmail are of a kind: they both are the programs that defined and shaped their protocols.
So, once you really understand the protocol, neither are that difficult to configure.
Well, that's fine and dandy if I have all the time in the world, but I do this as a consultant and many times, I need to set up DNS quickly. For example, my current project is a 100 bed nursing home on an Indian reservation. I need to configure DNS for the local LAN, but I don't have all week to do it, and I can't bill for that kind of time. I am a command line geek, but many times I use a web interface if an application has one for two reasons. One, it is generally faster for me with Bind type of configs where the the config files are not just human readable text, and two, I have a Windoze guy I work with to integrate the workstations with the backend which unfortunately will not go away any time soon, and he is not CLI literate - well not for this type of config anyway.

So far, I also haven't found a good tutorial that explains just what each part of Bind does and how it works. I am really not up to speed when it comes to DNS. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-Tim
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Old 15th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windependence View Post
Well, that's fine and dandy if I have all the time in the world, but I do this as a consultant and many times, I need to set up DNS quickly. For example, my current project is a 100 bed nursing home on an Indian reservation. I need to configure DNS for the local LAN, but I don't have all week to do it, and I can't bill for that kind of time. I am a command line geek, but many times I use a web interface if an application has one for two reasons. One, it is generally faster for me with Bind type of configs where the the config files are not just human readable text, and two, I have a Windoze guy I work with to integrate the workstations with the backend which unfortunately will not go away any time soon, and he is not CLI literate - well not for this type of config anyway.

So far, I also haven't found a good tutorial that explains just what each part of Bind does and how it works. I am really not up to speed when it comes to DNS. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

-Tim
OpenBSD comes with pre-configured and patched Bind so it is definitely a good choice for DNS. You might even want to look this custom Internet Security Gateway (ISG) distro of OpenBSD.

http://comixwall.org/


You do not really need all of Bind components. You just need Caching server part. I would start with the following reading.

http://www.kernel-panic.it/openbsd/dns/
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Old 16th May 2009
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Dunno if it will be of much help, but maybe the FreeBSD documentation or manpages have an explanation of bind's syntax.
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Old 16th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbsduser View Post
Dunno if it will be of much help, but maybe the FreeBSD documentation or manpages have an explanation of bind's syntax.
It is not like the Bind is a secret project. That is one of the most serious
open source projects ever undertaken. It has official web site and serious documentation

https://www.isc.org/software/bind



As usual a serious system administrator should start by reading the original RFCs which established DNS protocol.

http://www.ietf.org/rfc.html

At the request of Jon Postel, Paul Mockapetris invented the Domain Name System in 1983 and wrote the first implementation. The original specifications appear in RFC 882 and RFC 883. You should probably also look RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 which updated the original RFCs.


After that one should make an inform decision which particular implementation of DNS server wants to use (Based on many factors) and then after that dig into documentation for that particular peace of software which will be used.

Last edited by Oko; 16th May 2009 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 16th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
It is not like the Bind is a secret project. That is one of the most serious
open source projects ever undertaken. It has official web site and serious documentation

https://www.isc.org/software/bind



As usual a serious system administrator should start by reading the original RFCs which established DNS protocol.

http://www.ietf.org/rfc.html

At the request of Jon Postel, Paul Mockapetris invented the Domain Name System in 1983 and wrote the first implementation. The original specifications appear in RFC 882 and RFC 883. You should probably also look RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 which updated the original RFCs.


After that one should make an inform decision which particular implementation of DNS server wants to use (Based on many factors) and then after that dig into documentation for that particular peace of software which will be used.
Sorry that it came sounding weird. I was just trying to give the OP some documentation (in case he overlooked it).
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Old 16th May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
OpenBSD comes with pre-configured and patched Bind so it is definitely a good choice for DNS. You might even want to look this custom Internet Security Gateway (ISG) distro of OpenBSD.

http://comixwall.org/


You do not really need all of Bind components. You just need Caching server part. I would start with the following reading.

http://www.kernel-panic.it/openbsd/dns/
Thanks Oko I'll give it a shot. I used to run all my web stuff on OBSD, but since have switched over to FreeBSD because of issues with the CHROOT. I am very fond of OBSD, and I can run this one box on OBSD no problem.

-Tim
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Old 16th May 2009
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Quote:
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Dunno if it will be of much help, but maybe the FreeBSD documentation or manpages have an explanation of bind's syntax.
Well I didn't overlook it, but I often forget that BSD documentation is some of the best in Unixland. Most other docs and more so man pages can be confusing and unclear. Examples are great and there are quite a few in the FBSD docs.

Thanks for reminding me.

-Tim
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Old 17th May 2009
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Oko,

That article/HowTo on KernelPanic is da bomb! Thanks man! This is what I was looking for. Now I can set up Bind and actually know what the heck I'm doing

I really appreciate the help on this. I'll get back to you after I get the DNS server set up but it looks like it's gonna be a lot easier than I thought it was.

-Tim
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Old 19th May 2009
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Of course, if you don't have the time to get up-to-speed with DNS's ins and outs now, then the simplified DNS servers mentioned above, and the web-enabled interfaces can get what you need done quickly with a minimum of fuss. Use them: they sound like the tool for the job here.
One day you'll need the power of Bind, and will take the time to understand DNS, and, when you do, you'll probably use Bind for everything. But until then, well, the Bind daemon doesn't have leather wings, and doesn't attack anyone!
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Old 19th May 2009
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Quote:
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Oko,

That article/HowTo on KernelPanic is da bomb! Thanks man! This is what I was looking for. Now I can set up Bind and actually know what the heck I'm doing
-Tim
Well, I am happy I could help to a fellow Arizonian. I spent 5 years at the University of Arizona in Tucson where both my daughters were born. Those were the best times of my life. We are trying really hard to get back to Arizona from East coast. Hopefully this recession will not last too long and we will manage to get back to Arizona soon.

There is fantastic OpenBSD user group in Phoenix. Unfortunately Tucson Unix Free Group consists of bunch of Debian a**ho*** (sorry moderators for my French but there is something about Debian people and me that makes us always fight) even though late Richard Stevens spent most of his life in Tucson as well as many other less known Unix gurus.
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Old 23rd June 2009
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Check out djbdns... don't take it as offense - DNS stuff is not kick-and-it-will-work-forever... you should do some reading and then bind9's configuration will be just details. Personally i know about DNS not too much more than outlined in handbook but it allowed me to set up several simple DNS servers WITH understanding what i am doing... cheers.
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Old 27th June 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coppermine View Post
Check out djbdns... don't take it as offense - DNS stuff is not kick-and-it-will-work-forever... you should do some reading and then bind9's configuration will be just details. Personally i know about DNS not too much more than outlined in handbook but it allowed me to set up several simple DNS servers WITH understanding what i am doing... cheers.
No offense taken. I am certainly not a n00b, but I'm not that proud either that I can't take some good help! :-)

Thanks to you guys I have several more Bind servers running and understand what I did. I appreciate your help.

-Tim
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