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Re: Setting up DNS for virtual domains

At 09:23 AM 7/26/2000 -0400, Mostly Harmless wrote:
I'm going to try to explain this as bast I can though my understanding
of a lot of these issues is shaky at best.

I help admin the student computing organization's servers at my school.
We would like to offer full virtual domain service to our users, but we
do not have a 2nd level domain -- our main domain is wso.williams.edu,
also known as gertrude.williams.edu. For now, we ask the school's tech
guys to change the DNS whenever we need to a new computer. I'm
comfortable staying with that arrangement, but a lot of users have
registered domains with places that don't provide DNS service. We can't
get the school DNS to change every time this happens, so we've decided
to set up our main machine as DNS Nameserver. There's two main issues as
I see them -- the actual DNS configuration on the gertrude and getting
the machine "known" as a Nameserver out in the wide world.

Yes.  Exactly.

Issue 1: I've looked far and wide on the Internet (probably not far and
wide enough) for resources telling me how to set up virtual domain
service. Most of the examples are for Bind 4.x which make things tough
(we're running 8). Essentially, we'd just like to have a lot of
different domains point to the same IP: gertrude's. We'll sort it all
out with Apache later (I can handle that part). But I just can't seem to
figure out how to do this -- we won't be providing DNS service for
the name gertrude.williams.edu or wso.williams.edu -- we just want to
specify 10-20 domains that should point to gertrude's IP. I think I need
a resource zone file for each domain (all based on some template) but
I'm having trouble. If anyone could point me in the direction of a
sample named.conf and a resource file or two for someone in my situation
I'd be really grateful.

I assume wso is the canonical name, I will use that. I am also going to be using the BIND 8 format, named.conf, not named.boot, as that is the recommended for Debian now.

Most importantly, the potato BIND has all his files in /etc/bind, so I will follow that. Use updatedb and locate to find files in other versions.

Set up BIND on wso. Use the Debian package, install the default, caching, forward only.

For each domain that you are going to provide a NS for, do the following:

In /etc/bind/named.conf , add the stanza
zone "DOMAIN.com." {
        type master;
        file "/etc/bind/db.DOMAIN.com";
Substituting the actual 2nd level name domain for DOMAIN.com. Notice final "." on the zone line.

In /etc/bind, create a file called db.DOMAIN.com , and populate it as follows (lines with a # prefix are comments for you, strip from file):
;Zone file for DOMAIN.com.
@ IN  SOA wso.williams.edu. jredburn.wso.williams.edu. (
        # The ".", not "@" after jredburn is correct
2000051601 ; serial, todays date + todays serial # # I like using YYYYMMDDxx for Serial, update each time you toch this file
                        3600            ; refresh, seconds
                        600             ; retry, seconds
                        345600          ; expire, seconds
                        36000 )         ; minimum, seconds
                     IN  NS  wso.williams.edu.
                MX      10 wso.williams.edu.
        # If you want to recieve mail for them.  Else remove line above.

www           A       IP.ADDRESS.OF.WSO
              MX      10 wso.williams.edu.
        # As above
                LOC     41 50 0 N 87 35 0 W
        # You will, of course, change this ;-)

ftp             IN      CNAME   www

This will ensure that anyone asking wso for the adderss of www.DOMAIN.com. will be returned wso's address.

Issue 2: As I understand it, none of this means much unless I can
specify gertrude as the nameserver for these domains. Currently, I'm
told she's not a valid nameserver. Does this mean I need to get the
person who runs DNS for gertrude (the school) to edit the DNS records
just this once and specify gertrude as a Nameserver? What exactly should
I ask them to do? They tend to be pretty helpful as long as I know what
I need done.

One thing, actually. Go to Network Solutions Register page. Fill up a Host template for WSO.williams.edu. When you get a mail from them, forward it to your Tech guys, who are in charge of the williams.edu zone. Once the approve it, and send it to NSI, wso.williams.edu will be a "Host".

Ask all DOMAIN.com. holders to specify the name wso.williams.edu and its IP address in their registrar's configuration.

thanks much if any of you made it this far,

A CC: on any reply would be much appreciated - thanks.


I must say that you, or the Administrator of wso, is a very generous chap. Most Administrators balk at giving users public_html access, you are willing to set up Virtual hosts!!

Hope this helps

-- Ghane

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