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I'm in the process of transferring domains from one provider to another. However, obtaining the DNS zone files from the current provider is proving troublesome and they need to be transferred as soon as possible.

Can I generate the zone files myself based on the data I can obtain from the current providers control panel? Is there a specific format to these files e.g. csv

Quite new to all this so any help is appreciated.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If your current host will not cooperate (by providing AXFR access, etc) and you end up having to manually generate a zone file, there is a good example of the file format on Wikipedia:

Yet another alternative to writing it by hand is to create a new DNS server with your records, and export the zone file from there.

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Thanks - I've found that offers an output of most DNS related records in a similar format to the one described in the wikipedia article, however the A records are missing. I guess I can just append them to the end? – antny Mar 25 '11 at 17:41
Yeah, you can do that. If you're just talking a few dozen or so records, that may be the easiest way aside from an AXFR. – Hyppy Mar 25 '11 at 17:43
I'm happy to manually append the A records if it's going to work. Thanks for the advice. – antny Mar 25 '11 at 17:45

First, could you try to have a Bind zone file format. The opensource DN Servers can generally read these files. You can maybe ask an AXFR ( to have all the recors for your zone, but it usually doesn't work except if you are a secondary for your zone. You can maybe add a DNS Secondary. If you maintain the server, you will receive the zone in your cache. You have in this case nothing to do, as you have all the zone, without error, in the right format.

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Are there commercial DNS providers that will actually give the customer a copy of their zone file? Are there commercial DNS providers that will create your zone from a zone file you provide them? I've never heard of either. Why not simply move your name servers and set up the zone yourself at the new provider? How big is the zone we're talikng about here? How many records?

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Thanks for the reponse, like I say i'm quite new to DNS in depth so some of your questions did go over my head a little. There are about 12 domains with an average of about 6/7 records for each. – antny Mar 25 '11 at 17:43

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