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openSUSE 11.1 Reference Guide
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22.1 DNS Terminology

Zone

The domain namespace is divided into regions called zones. For instance, if you have example.com, you have the example section, or zone, of the com domain.

DNS server

The DNS server is a server that maintains the name and IP information for a domain. You can have a primary DNS server for master zone, a secondary server for slave zone, or a slave server without any zones for caching.

Master zone DNS server

The master zone includes all hosts from your network and a DNS server master zone stores up-to-date records for all the hosts in your domain.

Slave zone DNS server

A slave zone is a copy of the master zone. The slave zone DNS server obtains its zone data with zone transfer operations from its master server. The slave zone DNS server responds authoritatively for the zone as long as it has valid (not expired) zone data. If the slave cannot obtain a new copy of the zone data, it stops responding for the zone.

Forwarder

Forwarders are DNS servers to which your DNS server should send queries it cannot answer. To enable different configuration sources in one configuration, netconfig is used (see also man 8 netconfig).

Record

The record is information about name and IP address. Supported records and their syntax are described in BIND documentation. Some special records are:

NS record

An NS record tells name servers which machines are in charge of a given domain zone.

MX record

The MX (mail exchange) records describe the machines to contact for directing mail across the Internet.

SOA record

SOA (Start of Authority) record is the first record in a zone file. The SOA record is used when using DNS to synchronize data between multiple computers.

openSUSE 11.1 Reference Guide
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