Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

Making Manual Edits to Dynamic DNS Zones

This is one of those posts that is as much for my own benefit as it is for others. For a few weeks now, I’ve been working on a dynamic DNS setup for my home/home office network involving BIND and the ISC DHCP daemon running on a pair of OpenBSD virtual machines. I finally got it to work (thanks in no small part to this article and this how-to post) and then found that I needed to make some manual edits to the DNS zones.

After a great deal of stumbling and fumbling, I found an obscure reference to a need to use rndc when making manual edits. After some testing, I learned that the “correct” way to make manual edits is as follows:

  1. Halt changes to the dynamic DNS zone with the command rndc freeze <zone name>.

  2. Make the manual edits to the zone file, being sure to increment the zone serial number.

  3. Use the command named-checkzone <zone name> <zone file> to verify the syntax in the zone file.

  4. Allow changes to the dynamic DNS zone with the command rndc thaw <zone name>.

If you monitor the appropriate log files (on my system I had to monitor /var/log/daemon), you’ll see zone transfers take place to any secondary name servers, a strong indicator that the change has successfully been accepted and propagated.

A very simple task, I know, but hopefully this post will help me next time I need to do this same task again and hopefully it will help someone else out there in the same situation.

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