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I've got Bind running on a server and although access to the domains I've set up is correct. I was wondering if there was an online (or offline) tool to check if I had setup the service correctly?


Steve Griff

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Bind include a set of tools for testing configuration and zone files. The man pages of named-checkzone and named-checkconf should give you all the informations you may need.

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That'll tell you if you've got the zones and server itself configured correctly, but it won't tell you if anyone on the internet will get the data, or if you've made a syntax error in the records that is "valid" but not what you mean, such as a missing trailing period. – chris Apr 14 '10 at 16:08
@chris: indeed, it will only tell you if you have "setup" the service correctly, as asked by Steve. No one except you can tell if there is a typo in a record. Your only way to find out it to check the content of the zone files. – Benoit Apr 14 '10 at 16:47

Ask a public recursive server for the records.

For example, if I just setup some record for on my server that's authoritative for,

host -t any [][1]

will tell me if it is getting out to other nameservers on the internet.

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Many good Web tools (and a lot of bad ones):

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ZoneCheck is available online or for download

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I like this. Gives an informative, easy to read report on the DNS. – Steve Griff Apr 14 '10 at 14:53
Fails on IPv6 name servers (in 2010!), warns when there is only one MX record (they don't know the difference between email and the Web?). Poor service, IMHO. – bortzmeyer Sep 20 '10 at 13:24
@bortzmeyer: you must admit that IPv6 isn't mainstream yet. As for the MX record, don't you think that it's normal to warn the user if a domain has less than 2 MX records? By the way what's the difference between email and the web and how can a DNS checking service tell the difference? – Cristian Ciupitu Sep 20 '10 at 14:32
The difference is that the Web is synchronous (you query a server, it must be available and reply immediately) while the mail is asynchronous (if the downstream MTA is not available, the upstream MTA queues and retries later). So, no, I don't agree, the vast majority of domains should have only one MX ( is of course a different case...) – bortzmeyer Sep 20 '10 at 15:24
@Cristian Ciupitu Regarding IPv6, the problem is not that these services do not have IPv6 support (which would be understandable).The problem is that they FAIL when they encounter an IPv6 name server (marking the server as invalid) instead of simply ignoring it (as an IPv4-only DNS resolver would do). For instance, an option "Transport layer" of Zonecheck allows you to disable IPv6 and, in that case, IPv6 name servers are simply ignored. – bortzmeyer Sep 20 '10 at 20:43

You can issue direct queries to your server using host/dig to test Bind configuration:

host -t soa server_ip # fetch SOA record
host -t ns server_ip  # fetch NS records
host -t mx server_ip  # fetch MX records
host                  # fetch A record

or just

host -t any server_ip # fetch all

I do recommend you to run tests from another machine to detect problems with firewall, interface binding, etc. If you don't want to muck with command line just use one of the online tools. it's an another online DNS testing tool.

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