I am moving a mixed network from a Linux DHCP server to a Windows 2012 DHCP. Because of some of the applications our Linux users need, we need to specify different DNS servers for Linux and Windows systems. Is there a way to specify two (or more) lists of DNS servers and selectively apply them to clients?

Linux and Windows systems are not segregated by IP address, so I can't just create different scopes and specify the settings per scope without changing the IP addresses for all systems.

All addressing is done by creating reservations, so the configuration doesn't need to be automatic- a setting to be changed upon creating the reservation would be fine. I've looked at user classes and vendor classes but haven't found a way to effectively use them in this situation.

  • 2
    Why not make your two DNS infrastructures interact cohesively via forwarders, stub zones, delegations, etc? Seems like a better solution than solving the problem via DHCP.
    – MDMarra
    Jun 10 '15 at 17:09

it seems Windows 2012 has finally support for vendor identifiers (we've been using this for ages with isc dhcpd). Take a loot at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn425039.aspx for the details. Most Windows clients identify themselves as "MSFT 5.0", so you can use that to specify what dns server to apply to those clients.


If all addressing is done by creating reservations, then you can set the DNS servers in the reservation. This will be the simplest but most time consuming approach.

You could make policies based on MAC address that sets different DNS servers. If there is a difference in the hardware between the Linux and Windows machines, you might be able to use a policy based on ranges of MAC addresses.

Do the different DNS servers return different values or will some servers just not resolve the name? If the latter, you could configure the DHCP server to give out all DNS servers. If the former, then you could use a script to set DNS servers on boot.

Are computers part of an domain? Do you control the DNS servers?

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