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I recently inherited a new Mac Pro, and I'm attempting to turn it into a full web server so I can hopefully stop paying someone else to host my sites for me. I've had limited experience messing around with setting up servers, but I have next to no experience with DNS. Anyway, what I've done so far is get the server to serve up pages locally but crossing the bridge to get it up on the internet has me stumped. I'm not sure what to enter as my nameservers on the domain host's site.

Using something like I can simply point one of their subdomains at my public IP and everything is great. I own my own domain, however, and I don't know what the next step is... if I understand correctly I must either pay for a 3rd party DNS hosting service (like or install a DNS server on my server. The latter option sounds great since OSX Lion comes with one pre-installed it seems (BIND?), but I'm scared im overcomplicating things.

I don't know what information is most important here, but when I attempt to follow tutorials on setting up BIND I run into the following error:

WARNING: key file (/private/etc/rndc.key) exists, but using default configuration file (/private/etc/rndc.conf)
rndc: connect failed: connection refused

What's my next step? I have the Server app (and have changed the hostname to match my domain name) and Server Admin, which allows me to create DNS zones if that's relevant. Any tips are appreciated!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

For hosting your own DNS, you need atleast two hosts on static IP's, registered as DNS servers with other domains pointing at them (or setting up a glue record if you want to use your domain for nameservers and your webpage). With one BIND installation, you wont get far.

I suggest using some other hosted DNS service, and just point an A record to your webserver. You can even find DNS hosting for free (with a limited number of zones and requests, but the limits are high-enough for small-scale use). Sometimes even you even get free DNS service from your domain registrar.

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I had a feeling this might be the answer, my initial research only yielded expensive solutions but I must not have looked far -- I'm finding some promising looking cheaper options. Any recommendations? – Cecchi Jun 26 '12 at 0:19
For my personal page, i'm using a paid DynDNS option, and it works fine. But googling for "free dns hosting" finds some interesting results, which I am too lazy to try out. Heard from some people that zoneedit works nice too, but I am not sure if they still offer first two zones for free. Try checking the free options first... if they work for you, there's no point in paying. – mulaz Jun 26 '12 at 0:26
Personally I use Domainnameshop and GoDaddy as my registrars, both provide basic DNS service without any extra charge. The latter is a bit annoying, as they constantly try to sell me additional products, but the registrar and dns service is low cost and works well. – Roy Jun 26 '12 at 22:12

You can find a free dynamic dns provider to make sure you have a fixed endpoint for your server.

Then you can sign up for (free) and let them handle the public DNS for your domains. Then in their control panel you can put your DynDNS address as CNAME to your domain and they will resolve that behind the scenes for you.

An added bonus is that they will cache all static files from your site, so your home connection wont get so saturated.

/ Michael

Edit: Oh and cloudflare offers unlimited zones, even if you don't use their CDN in front.

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