I'm creating new DNS records in our DC (Windows Server 2016) and I bump into zones where there are a lot of records that do not have a regular hostname, only an "@".

We are using scopes and policies, new Windows Server 2016 features for DNS configuration.

I know that one can use "*" for wildcards in hostnames, but I don't know the meaning of "@".

Hostnames with "@"

  • "registers"? Is that a valid term or would entries or records be better? We're talking about resource records (RRs)... – Matthew Elvey Feb 23 '19 at 2:02
  • @MatthewElvey I think you are right, entries or records sounds better than "registers". – jask Feb 24 '19 at 12:28

If the name for a domain (or zone) is "example.com.", then an @ record indicates that the name for the DNS record is also "example.com."

In the GUI for a Microsoft Windows Server DNS Service, this is (or at least has been for a long time) called "Same as parent folder".

Normally the name used for a DNS record indicates everything before the name of the zone (commonly called the "domain name"). So if you enter a record named "server01" in a DNS zone called "example.com.", then the full record is "server01.example.com." If you want to enter a record where the full record is just "example.com" (which is necessary for a lot of things, like MX records), then you enter an @ in many DNS systems to tell the DNS server to respond to requests for "example.com." with the data you add to the record in question.

  • 5
    The example.com is actually shortened example.com. – in DNS server configuration example.com becomes example.com.example.com., because without the tailing dot it's relative to the $ORIGIN, which could be referred with the @. – Esa Jokinen Feb 21 '19 at 15:41
  • Thanks a lot!! Now I understand better how it works. – jask Feb 21 '19 at 21:24

For what I could find in the RFC, it stands for

@               A free standing @ is used to denote the current origin.

Source: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1035

Hope it helps

  • Thanks for the reference. – jask Feb 21 '19 at 21:25

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