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#1 Sun, 04/19/2009 - 16:14

DNS Question

Hello all,

  I have installed virtualmin and have gotten it up and running in ubuntu 8.04 with the help of, Eric who has guided me most of the way with the DNS data. I have a question...

  I'm not too sure how DNS operates; however, if i do my own hosting -- how do i setup the DNS so that the internet can find my virtual servers? I know how to setup internally using the hosts file in the mac, windows and linux. But, how can i go about this internet side? 

  Please any help would be GREATLY appreciated; even articles or links. Thank you all in advance. 

Kindest Regards, Anthony.

Tue, 07/17/2007 - 16:03

Hi mike,
if you look into RFC2182 and RFC1035 you should get the answer. I went to DNSStuff.com quite a bit when I was trying to learn about DNS. It's an excellent resource.
Good luck.

Tue, 07/17/2007 - 22:48 (Reply to #2)
Joe's picture

As Joe mentioned, the RFCs hold all the answers on DNS, and they're a good resource. I'm also really fond of the book "DNS and BIND" by Cricket Liu and Paul Albitz, published by O'Reilly. It's perhaps the best-written of several really good O'Reilly books on system administration (it's also really popular, so your local library probably has a copy).

But, to answer this specific question:

Yes. You need two nameserver "glue" records, each with its own IP. This is strictly enforced by all registrars.

The theory behind this rule is that without DNS all services fail no matter what else you do. So, backup mail servers cannot work (likewise for all other services...but SMTP has built-in reliability mechanisms). In reality, for many of us that run everything on one box (mail, web, databases, etc.) if our primary box fails, DNS doesn't matter anymore.

I do recommend for any serious business server that you have a real backup DNS server that also acts as your holder and forward MX server. Both of these bits are easy to setup and are documented over on the documentation page. You can get a virtual dedicated server for less than $50/month just for this purpose.

Joyent has "Accelerators" which are Solaris Zones...and they already have Virtualmin GPL installed and pre-configured on them, so they can pretty much handle both of those tasks out of the box. I would say EC2 is another way to get cheap "dedicated" service, but it has proven pretty unreliable during the beta period...give it a little time to stabilize and it'll be nice. Jamie built a Virtualmin GPL pre-installed image for EC2 a while back, and I plan to build a couple of new ones with CentOS 5 and Debian 4 in the not distant future (once the new installer for GPL on those platforms is released).


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Mon, 04/20/2009 - 11:31 (Reply to #3)
ronald's picture

under some circumstances you can fake it with 1 IP too.
I got a .net domain at namecheap and used as Name Servers:
on 1 home static IP.

world domains are so much easier.

Wed, 07/18/2007 - 01:55

allright thanks for the explanation, when i get the funds to do so i will setup a dedicated DNS server under another IP address, most likely under my parents internet :P im sure if i explain it long enough to them they will allow it

Wed, 07/18/2007 - 02:12 (Reply to #5)
Joe's picture

I should have mentioned that you can fake it with a single server. You just need an extra IP address. If you only have one server for all of your services, anyway, there is no benefit to having a "real" secondary DNS server. But the registrar still requires you to pretend that you do. ;-)


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Sun, 03/23/2008 - 04:12

try hostname.........unless, of course, you are trying for an unusual DNS setup

http://doxfer.com/Webmin/BINDDNSServer<br><br>Post edited by: DanLong, at: 2008/03/23 04:40

Sun, 03/23/2008 - 06:48 (Reply to #7)

Thank you for the reply.

That is where I went, but my name server says localhost. I am trying to find out what I had named the ns.whatever.ext

Sun, 03/23/2008 - 13:06 (Reply to #8)
ronald's picture

you would see that in the bind module and in the zone you created for your main domain.

Sun, 03/23/2008 - 14:56 (Reply to #9)
Joe's picture

I suspect he's looking for the contents of /etc/hosts. Specifically, the entry that matches the public IP of the system--and the one that gets set during the run of install.sh if a FQDN isn't already set. You can also see this information in the Webmin:Networking:Network Configuration:Hostname and DNS Client page in the Hostname field.


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Mon, 06/02/2008 - 06:19



Mon, 06/02/2008 - 06:29
Joe's picture

<div class='quote'>What name servers can I use in godaddy to point to the site on my box?</div>

We don't know! ;-)

It's up to you how you want to manage your DNS. If you want Virtualmin to manage it for you on the Virtualmin box, you point your glue records to the Virtualmin box (though GoDaddy is kinda bitchy and requires that you to point names from an existing zone to the server--it won't let you enter IP addresses, to &quot;bootstrap&quot; a name server into existence). If you want Virtualmin to manage dynamic DNS data, you use DynDNS and configure Virtualmin to use it, and point your glue records to wherever DynDNS tells you to point them. If you want to use OpenDNS, you use whatever configuration options they provide and whatever NS records they tell you to use.

If you have a lot of virtual servers (like 20 or more) I'm pretty sure you want to let Virtualmin manage things for you. So, use BIND on the local system, or DynDNS.


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Mon, 07/28/2008 - 19:45
Joe's picture

You probably don't want to use ns1.domain.com/ns2.domain.com, using a different set for every single virtual server. It's rather annoying to setup and maintain name servers at most registrars (particularly so at GoDaddy, though they aren't bad in most other regards). Just pick two name servers and use them for all of your zones. Whatever you think of as your &quot;primary&quot; domain is probably the right choice.

Since springing new nameservers into existence requires you to already have name service for the zone in question in operation, it's impractical to use ns1/ns2 within the new domain. This is the least pleasant aspect of GoDaddy, who are otherwise pretty good.


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Sun, 04/19/2009 - 16:22

Hey Anthony,

I think the one part you may be missing is that you have to register your DNS servers as &quot;nameservers&quot; at your registrar.

For most folks here, their &quot;DNS Server&quot; means their Virtualmin server.

So if your main domain is EXAMPLE.COM, you'd go to your registrar, and setup ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com, and point it at two IP addresses you own that run DNS (which may or may not be on the same server -- but most registrars are going to require two separate IP's).

And then, in Virtualmin, you'd just make sure ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com resolve correctly.

Does that make sense?

Sun, 04/19/2009 - 16:35


Thank you for the quick reply again! lol. I think i understand what you are saying. for example, if my registrar is markmonitor, i create for example on the ip addresses to resolve to ns1.domain.com, ns2.domain.com and place my servers on those IP addresses?

I must check this out and gain more information. But i do believe you've clarifying this for me. Much appreciated. If I'm incorrect, please feel free to correct me. All this is new to me, and i want to learn as much as i can.

Kindest Regards,

Sun, 04/19/2009 - 17:17 (Reply to #15)


Yeah, at markmonitor, there should be an area specifically for people who want nameservers. You'd go there, and setup two -- ns1.domain.com and ns2.domain.com.

Until you register your nameservers at your registrar, a person can't use them as a nameserver for their domain. But once you register them, and setup the DNS within Virtualmin, you should be in good shape!

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