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I am creating an authoritative bind server. I have not worked on DNS in a while.

My reverse lookups are failing on the internet, but when I connect directly to the server on nslookup I am able to do a reverse lookup sucessfully.

Forward lookups work fine.

Any ideas on what this could be?

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Who owns the address space - is it your won assignment or a provider's? What is the size? – Dan Carley Jun 9 '09 at 13:29
We actually own the address space through ARIN. meaning we are the ISP. – Brian G Jun 9 '09 at 13:53

Okay you've said that direct queries against the NS are working and that it's your own ARIN assignment.

Assuming you haven't done so already, you will need to submit a request to ARIN to change the information that they hold for the assignment. Within this block of information are the nameservers delegated to handling reverse DNS for the netblock.

Once you have done this then hosts querying the root servers for will know to go to the RIR and then your own nameservers for the correct PTR information.

I can't give you the specific information about the ARIN change request. I'm trained on the other side of the pond and we do things slightly differently here ;)

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That makes sense! The other side of the pond? You are in England? :P – Brian G Jun 9 '09 at 14:37
I am indeed. SWIP and Netmod are foreign language in RIPEland. – Dan Carley Jun 9 '09 at 15:01

As Dan C hints at in the comment to your question the Internet nameservers won't necessarily know that your server exists. There will need to be a nameserver (NS) record for your server in the reverse lookup zone for your BIND server to actually be considered authoritative. Without this no resolvers will be able to find your server. You will probably need to work with your ISP to either have PTR records created for you or to have your server established as authoritative.

Another possibility, if all of that has been done, is that there just has not be sufficient time for the records to propogate.

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Did you get the address space allocated by ARIN or assigned by an upstream ISP?

If the address space was allocated by ARIN, you should have given them two hostnames that will be handling reverse dns, although this is optional. ARIN will then delegate the space to these nameservers. Possibly the nameservers you've given them were incorrect.

You can change them with the netmod form.

If you get the assignment from upstream you need to get them to delegate the space to your nameservers.

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Check ARIN whois for who handles the name servers for reverse lookup.

Whoever has the lowest nameserver will handle the PTR entries - unless your upstream has some sort of delegation going on.

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