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I would like to have my OSX 10.6 (non-server) Mac serve domain names out to my small network(on the order of 5-10 computers).

There's a few things I need to know to do this:

  1. Use the supplied named software or find another one(with possibly a GUI and shell to simplify it). The disadvantage of named is that it's fairly complex. I'm comfortable dinking around in Linux, but OSX has some unique configuration aspects that can bite one in the butt.

  2. The Friendly Manual for domain name configurations (the FM part of RTFM).

  3. How I avoid trying to propagate myself out to the internet, when I simply want to do a local network configuration.

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If you are fairly good with Linux, use [MacPorts][1] and use BIND9 and Webmin. This way you will get a clean, package managed BIND that is not messed around by Apple's update. BTW, Yes this assumes that you will read an manual or two on how to use BIND & DNS. It can be complicated mainly because DNS can become complicated if you make it out to be. If you want Apple simplicity, get MacOS X Server 10.6 and use their Standard mode and life will be easier; you still need to understand DNS... [1]: macports.org –  tegbains Jan 22 '10 at 4:49
    
@tegbains: What are the standard manuals for DNS/Bind? Besides man. :-) –  Paul Nathan Jan 22 '10 at 15:07
    
@tegbains: I think you should post your comment as an answer, as it certainly addresses the question and is worth upvoting. –  Clinton Blackmore Jan 22 '10 at 16:30
    
If you want to learn DNS/BIND, (this is how I learned it) read BIND and DNS from the Cricket book (oreilly.com/catalog/9780596001582). It's not the easiest read, but it's a good technical manual. –  tegbains Jan 22 '10 at 17:28
    
@Clinton Blackmore. Thanks! I have done that now. Not sure if I should delete the original comment as I can't seem to edit it... –  tegbains Jan 22 '10 at 17:29
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3 Answers

Trust me, if you don't want to read books about DNS, I wouldn't get mixed up with OS X server, as DNS is pivotal to all of its services, and she gets way freaky if you don't know what you're doing and mess up DNS somehow. It has a nice BIND interface, but it's still NOT stupid-simple.

By just setting the hostname on each computer, chances are you can just refer to each machine by hostname.local to resolve any services, no?

You can also install Bonjour, aka mDNS/Avahi/ZeroCONF for no-stress local name resolution.

If you want to be able to simply resolve some weird local domain hosts within your LAN, it's probably easier to just use the hosts file on each machine with an identical set of local addresses to resolve to... for example, machine/host annie on on your local domain wackylocaldomain with IP 10.0.1.4 you could...

`localadmin@annie:~:sudo nano /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1           annie.wackylocaldomain            annie          localhost
255.255.255.255     broadcasthost 
::1                 localhost
fe80::1%lo0         localhost
10.0.1.1            sandy.wackylocaldomain            sandy
10.0.1.2            daddy.warbucks.wackylocaldomain   daddy.warbucks
10.0.1.3            easierthandns.wackylocaldomain    easierthandns

`

and so forth...

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If you are fairly good with Linux, use MacPorts and use BIND9 and Webmin. This way you will get a clean, package managed BIND that is not messed around by Apple's update. BTW, Yes this assumes that you will read an manual or two on how to use BIND & DNS.

It can be complicated mainly because DNS can become complicated if you make it out to be. If you want Apple simplicity, get MacOS X Server 10.6 and use their Standard mode and life will be easier; you still need to understand DNS...

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Regarding point 3 - you won't have to "avoid" anything, propagation is not going to happen unless you explicitly set up NS records pointing to your name server (assuming it's even accessible from the Internet - and given that it's local - it shouldn't be).

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