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I'm purchasing a server from a hosting provider and the order form is asking for the following pieces of information:

Hostname     eg. server1(
NS1 Prefix  eg. ns1(
NS2 Prefix  eg. ns2(
Root Password   

We need to have the webservice on this server, ie ppl will be accessing and the application/apache will be on this machine. If I set it with a name like "", will that mess things up?

What nameservers should I setup? I want to have the domain name registered at the same service provider, but what consequences does entering the ns1/ns2 prefixes have on my server?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Do you (or your organization) have a DNS server? Have you purchased the domain name yet? If so, where did you purchase it from? The nameservers (the NS1 and NS2 they refer to) may be configured by the hosting provider, but it sounds like you may need to configure it yourself. The nameserver is what essentially directs browsers to the right place when they access any subdomain of your domain. You can enter whatever you want for the hostname, but it's common to have it match the name of the server you are running.

If you're unsure about how to set up the nameservers, contact your domain registrar; they should be able to give you more specific information on whether they've configured it or you need to. For example, for my website, the nameservers are NS1.HOSTMONSTER.COM and NS2.HOSTMONSTER.COM, even though my domain is something else entirely.

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The hostname doesn't have any connection to the sites being hosted, it is just a name for the server doing the hosting. It can be most anything you like, but short and unique is good.

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Thanks Grant - what does setting the ns1/ns2 servers imply? – TWord Aug 28 '10 at 7:14

You say you are going to have the domain registered by the same service, by which I assume you mean you want the service provider to host you DNS for you, i.e. you will delegate you domain to the service providers DNS and they will run the DNS servers for you.

In which case I think their question about DNS is simply asking you what name you want to give you DNS servers.

Unless you have a reason not to, I'd go with ns1 and ns2 as they suggest, as that is a common convention,

As for the hostname, as others have said, that does not have to be related to the name of your site - it can be most anything. My personakl preference is to always have hostnames independant of any service names for services that will run on the host. E.g. don't have a hostname of "www" or "web" for web servers. The service name, i.e. the name that you give the public/users to access your sevice should be independant of hostname, so that you can at some other date move the service to another host without requiring the server to be renamed (i.e. have a new hostname set up).

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