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What is a glue record?

Do I add my ISP's name servers for the domain or itself as the name server?

e.g. say I have the domain www.shoes.com and a server setup for DNS ns1.shoes.com will the name server for shoes.com be ns1.shoes.com or my ISPs name servers?

EDIT: Just to clarify my DNS server is configured with the ISPs name servers but from domain registrar what do I put as the name server for the domain.


Say I have 3 domain names: www.shoes.com www.hats.com www.shirts.com

I have a web server web.shoes.com and a name server ns1.shoes.com www.hats.com will have the name server ns1.shoes.com www.shirts.com will have the name server ns1.shoes.com www.shoes.com I am unsure about. Can it be it's own name server?

  • 1
    Do you add what for? I have strong impression you don't know what you want or at least don't know how to say what you need. – poige Sep 16 '11 at 4:55
  • I already have a DNS server up and running with bind9 however I do not have a domain name associated with it. I now have a domain name and need to enter the name servers for that domain with the domain registrar. I have also registered the name server ns1.shoes.com with the domain registrar and now I am unsure weather I enter ns1.shoes.com as it's name server or the ones my domain registrar provides. – Craig Sep 16 '11 at 5:10
  • Say I have another domain www.hats.com I know I will use ns1.shoes.com as the name server however for the name servers domain itself do I use itself as it's name server? does that make sense? I don't know how to be any clearer – Craig Sep 16 '11 at 5:13
  • @Shane yes that is what I mean! though I still don't get an answer it seems as if I do enter ns1.shoes.com as the name server for shoe.com but doing so means i need to setup a glue record is that right? – Craig Sep 16 '11 at 5:55

The glue records for the domain name point to the appropriate name servers. It's a field you have to fill in when you register for the domain.

If you do a dig on www.shoes.com, here are the listed name servers:

shoes.com.      172744  IN  NS  ns5.savvis.net.
shoes.com.      172744  IN  NS  ns1.savvis.net.
shoes.com.      172744  IN  NS  ns2.savvis.net.
shoes.com.      172744  IN  NS  ns3.savvis.net.
shoes.com.      172744  IN  NS  ns4.savvis.net.

So those are the authoritative name servers for your domain and those servers are where all DNS queries on that domain will be resolved.

When you sign up for a domain, the registrar will ask for your name server address and domain name. If it's a brand new domain, you setup your own name server and call it ns1.yourdomain.com, even though you don't have the domain yet, and give them the IP address for that server.

They'll then configure the glue record for your domain to point to that address. Any DNS queries on your domain will hit the registrar first for the glue records and proceed from there.

Since you mentioned you have a DNS server, you would give the registrar the address of that server and call that server whatever you like but, again, standard practice is to use something like ns1.yourdomain.com

On your DNS server, you need to configure it to be authoritative for yourdomain.com and add the NS entry for ns1.yourdomain.com as well as any other entries you need.

Now, you said you have your ISPs DNS servers configured on your DNS server, and that's probably where the confusion is.

Basically, any queries for yourdomain.com are served by your DNS server itself and that's why you use the address of your DNS server. The reason your ISPs domain servers are configured on your DNS is because it passes requests from your internal hosts over to your ISP for any domains it is not authoritative for.

  • Ok sorry I meant my ISPs name servers are set as forwarders help.ubuntu.com/community/BIND9ServerHowto So yes I have told my domain registrar that I have a name server ns1.shoes.com that is all good I can use this for my other domains that I register however with the domain shoes.com what do I tell the domain registrar to put for the name servers? – Craig Sep 16 '11 at 5:45
  • You tell them to use your DNS server. You're actually registering shoes.com since that's the top level domain. www.shoes.com is a sub-domain under shoes.com. Is shoes.com your actual domain? – Alo Sep 16 '11 at 8:06

The simplest setup is to use your domain registrar's name servers. This will work well for a simple domain. Is also means you you don't have to learn how to secure a public bind server. These days you need to secure the server against use in amplification attacks in addition to the standard infrastructure security.

Also you need at least two name servers preferably in different geographic locations. There are services which will provide secondary servers for you.

If you use your own name servers (ns1, ns2...), you need to register both their domain and IP address with your registrar. They will provide the IP addresses as additional information records for name server requests.

EDIT: For subdomains like www.example.com you don't need to provide additional name servers. Just register the subdomain in your domain's DNS data. The name servers for a domain will serve all subdomains not delegated to other name servers. Only sub-domains delegated to other domain administrators require name servers be specified.

  • Maybe a simpler way to ask what I want is: Testra have 2 name servers ns0.telstra.net and ns1.telstra.net what is there name server set to for the domain www.telstra.net – Craig Sep 16 '11 at 5:25
  • @Craig The name servers for telstra.net will resolve www.telstra.net. Normally no name serves will be specified for subdomains like www, smpt, mail, etc. See my last paragraph. – BillThor Sep 16 '11 at 5:34

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