20.3. Starting the Name Server BIND

On a SUSE Linux system, the name server BIND (Berkeley Internet name domain) comes preconfigured so it can be started right after installation without any problem. If you already have a functioning Internet connection and have entered 127.0.0.1 as the name server address for localhost in /etc/resolv.conf, you normally already have a working name resolution without needing to know the DNS of the provider. BIND carries out name resolution via the root name server, a notably slower process. Normally, the DNS of the provider should be entered with its IP address in the configuration file /etc/named.conf under forwarders to ensure effective and secure name resolution. If this works so far, the name server runs as a pure caching-only name server. Only when you configure its own zones will it become a proper DNS. A simple example of this is included in the documentation in /usr/share/doc/packages/bind/sample-config.

[Tip]Automatic Adaptation of the Name Server Information

Depending on the type of Internet connection or the network connection, the name server information can automatically be adapted to the current conditions. To do this, set the variable MODIFY_NAMED_CONF_DYNAMICALLY in the file /etc/sysconfig/network/config to yes.

However, do not set up any official domains until assigned one by the responsible institution. Even if you have your own domain and it is managed by the provider, you are better off not using it, because BIND would otherwise not forward requests for this domain. The Web server at the provider, for example, would not be accessible for this domain.

To start the name server, enter the command rcnamed start as root. If “done” appears to the right in green, named, as the name server process is called, has been started successfully. Test the name server immediately on the local system with the host or dig programs, which should return localhost as the default server with the address 127.0.0.1. If this is not the case, /etc/resolv.conf probably contains an incorrect name server entry or the file does not exist at all. For the first test, enter host 127.0.0.1, which should always work. If you get an error message, use rcnamed status to see whether the server is actually running. If the name server does not start or behaves unexpectedly, you can usually find the cause in the log file /var/log/messages.

To use the name server of the provider or one already running on your network as the forwarder, enter the corresponding IP address or addresses in the options section under forwarders. The addresses included in Example 20.1, “Forwarding Options in named.conf” are just examples. Adjust these entries to your own setup.

Example 20.1. Forwarding Options in named.conf

options { 
        directory "/var/lib/named";
        forwarders { 10.11.12.13; 10.11.12.14; };
        listen-on { 127.0.0.1; 192.168.0.99; };
        allow-query { 127/8; 192.168.0/24; };
        notify no;
        };

The options entry is followed by entries for the zone, localhost, and 0.0.127.in-addr.arpa. The type hint entry under “.” should always be present. The corresponding files do not need to be modified and should work as they are. Also make sure that each entry is closed with a “;” and that the curly braces are in the correct places. After changing the configuration file /etc/named.conf or the zone files, tell BIND to reread them with rcnamed reload. Achieve the same by stopping and restarting the name server with rcnamed restart. Stop the server at any time by entering rcnamed stop.