Posts Tagged dns

ubuntu and bind acting as slave

While installing a slave dns server with bind, I went into trouble. I could not understand why my slave zone would not synchronize. Actually I found these entries in /var/log/daemon.log:

named[24309]: dumping master file: /etc/bind/tmp-b0KyuKU5pG: open: permission denied
named[24309]: transfer of '' from w.x.y.z#53: failed while receiving responses: permission denied

It appears that since hardy, ubuntu doesn’t allow the named process to write in /etc/bind/ while it’s running.
Ubuntu is configured to allow slave zone to stay in /var/cache/bind/

So your slave zone will look like:

zone "" IN {
        type slave;
        file "/var/cache/bind/";
        masters { w.x.y.z; };

For the details, it’s due to apparmor, and precisely the file /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.named.
As shipped with ubuntu, this file contains the authorizations for the named process that restricts where bind can write its zones, and reserves /var/cache/bind/ as the directory where bind is supposed to put its slave zones.
This seems to me technically good because /etc is pretty much supposed to be “read-only able” (beside /etc/mtab and /etc/resolv.conf that you can put in /dev/shm or link from /var/etc). This makes me wonder where to put master zones that you want to change ? Probably in /var/lib/bind because it’s where dynamically updated zone are.


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Hostname and underscore

RFC 952 and RFC 1123 explains the rules for choosing a hostname. I noticed recently that a lot of admins (including me) are using underscores in hostnames, but this doesn’t follow RFCs. This can lead to strange behaviours, such as mail not delivered with an RFC compliant mail server to an MX that have underscores in its name …
I noticed that because the “hostname” command on linux can set the hostname of a system, but the command doesn’t accept underscores. So guys, don’t use underscores !

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Finding dns server version (only bind)

To find the version of running bind version remotely, you can type that command:
nslookup -q=txt -class=CHAOS version.bind.
or with dig:
dig version.bind chaos txt
or with host:
host -t TXT -c chaos version.bind

If you don’t want your bind to show the version you are currently running, on a ubuntu system you will add a version "[Secured]"; directive in the options section of the file /etc/bind/named.conf.options

That’s it !

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web based bind zone generator

There a some web based bind zone generator, but searching for “zone generator” in google, I found a lot that aren’t working, refining my research didn’t helped me. I finally found one that does the stuff. It’s not optimal , but it work , and it’s there
Please, if you know of a better one, just let me know !

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Public DNS Servers

Just that little post to say I’ve found some public dns servers with easy to remember addresses:


This is really usefull when you don’t know or remember the provider’s DNS server of the connection you’re using or configuring. It’s also usefull when you want to check an address that has a long TTL and you already asked your servers so it’s in your dns server’s cache.

I’m now looking to the opennicproject and I find that pretty fun. Maybe a future post dedicated to this nice project will come 😉

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