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Since I recently had some unexpected frustrations with my DNS server, I'd like get an e-mail if my DNS server ever stops behaving as expected. Is there a tool out there already that will do this for me or am I better off writing a shell script?

I know this sounds a little subjective. My main question is "is there a tool already out there that will do this?" which I don't believe is subjective at all.

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For clarification: I define "stops behaving as expected" as having an nslookup on one or more of my domains fail. – Jason Swett Sep 29 '10 at 18:29
Also, I forgot to mention: This DNS server is only on my LAN. – Jason Swett Sep 29 '10 at 18:48
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I monitor my DNS using the check_dns plugin in Nagios.

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Nagios really is the best option. Some might say that it's overkill for the immediate problem at hand, but that's actually a good thing: DNS surely isn't the only unmonitored service on this LAN! Solving this problem with Nagios creates an opportunity to solve more than just the immediate problem. – Skyhawk Sep 29 '10 at 20:48
@Miles, you saved my having to write the exact same thing. – John Gardeniers Sep 29 '10 at 21:55

I think Pingdom offers a DNS testing service, in addition to their standard Website testing service. I used their web testing service for awhile. They have a nice one time check tool at:

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I forgot to mention: This DNS server is only on my LAN so things like that aren't an option for me. – Jason Swett Sep 29 '10 at 18:49
Then I would suggest Nagios as noted below, or you could also try writing a simple script/batch file that uses the command line DNS tools. – mfarver Sep 29 '10 at 20:00

If you don't mind rolling out an entire monitoring system (such as Nagios), they'll generally have a test for DNS and will send out email notifications as well.

Nagios (and others) will also let you tweak the reporting threshold in case you get transient errors you don't care about. E.g. only email if three resolves fail in a row, or it hasn't been able to resolve anything for 5 minutes.

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