How to Setup Bind (DNS Server) on Ubuntu 22.04

Hello techies, in this post, we will cover how to setup Bind (DNS Server) on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) step by step.

BIND or BIND 9 is an open source implementation of DNS, available for almost all Linux distributions. BIND stands Berkeley Internet Name Domain & it allows us to publish DNS information on internet as well as allows us to resolve DNS queries for the users. BIND is by far the most used DNS software on Internet.

DNS or Domain Name System, as we know is an internet service that is used to translate the user friendly domain into computer friendly IP addresses. Not only can we translate domain names to IP addresses, we can also perform reverse translation i.e. from IP addresses to domain name translations. In this post, we are going to learn to setup a private DNS server by implementing BIND 9 on Ubuntu 22.04.

Prerequisites

  • Minimal Installed Ubuntu 22.04
  • Sudo User with admin privileges
  • Internet connectivity

Lab Setup

  • Bind Server IP (Ubuntu 22.04)  = 192.168.0.40
  • Domain Name = linuxtechi.local
  • Private Network = 192.168.0.0/24

Without any further delay, let’s begin with bind 9 installations,

Step 1) Install Bind 9 Package

We need to install ‘bind9 bind9utils bind9-doc dnsutils’ to install BIND 9 & related tools. Open your terminal & execute the following apt command,

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install -y bind9 bind9utils bind9-doc dnsutils

Step 2) Configure Bind 9 (DNS Server)

Once all the packages have been installed, we will move into the configuration part. All configuration files for BIND are located in folder ‘/etc/bind’.

One of the important configuration file for bind is “/etc/bind/named.conf.options“, from this file we can set the followings parameters:

  • Allow Query to your dns from your private network (As the name suggests only the systems from your private network can query dns sever for name to ip translation and vice-versa)
  • Allow recursive query
  • Specify the DNS port ( 53)
  • Forwarders (DNS query will be forwarded to the forwarders when your local DNS server is unable to resolve query)

As per my private network settings, I have specified the following parameters:

$ sudo vi /etc/bind/named.conf.options

acl internal-network {
192.168.0.0/24;
};
options {
        directory "/var/cache/bind";
        allow-query { localhost; internal-network; };
        allow-transfer { localhost; };
        forwarders { 8.8.8.8; };
        recursion yes;
        dnssec-validation auto;
        listen-on-v6 { any; };
};

Bind-Named-Conf-Ubuntu-Linux

Next Important Configuration file is “/etc/bind/named.conf.local“, in this file we will define the zone files for our domain, edit the file add the following entries:

$ cd /etc/bind
$ sudo vi named.conf.local
zone "linuxtechi.local" IN {
        type master;
        file "/etc/bind/forward.linuxtechi.local";
        allow-update { none; };
};
zone "0.168.192.in-addr.arpa" IN {
        type master;
        file "/etc/bind/reverse.linuxtechi.local";
        allow-update { none; };
};

Save the file & exit. Here we have mentioned locations for our forward lookup zone file & reverse lookup zone files. Next we will create the mentioned forward & reverse zone files.

Firstly create the forward lookup zone file, Sample zone files (db.local) are already there in ‘/etc/bind’ folder, we can use and copy sample zone file,

$ cd /etc/bind
$ sudo cp db.local forward.linuxtechi.local
$ sudo vi forward.linuxtechi.local
$TTL 604800
@ IN SOA primary.linuxtechi.local. root.primary.linuxtechi.local. (
         2022072651 ; Serial
         3600 ; Refresh
         1800 ; Retry
         604800 ; Expire
         604600 ) ; Negative Cache TTL
;Name Server Information
@ IN NS primary.linuxtechi.local.

;IP address of Your Domain Name Server(DNS)
primary IN A 192.168.0.40

;Mail Server MX (Mail exchanger) Record
linuxtechi.local. IN MX 10 mail.linuxtechi.local.

;A Record for Host names
www IN A 192.168.0.50
mail IN A 192.168.0.60

;CNAME Record
ftp IN CNAME www.linuxtechi.local.

Your forward lookup file should look like something below:

Forward-lookup-zone-file-ubuntu

Here, we have added information regarding our DNS server & have also added A records for couple of servers, also added record for a mail server & CNAME record for ftp server. Make sure you edit this file to suit your network.

Next we will create a reverse lookup zone file at the same location,sample reverse lookup zone file is present at ‘/etc/bind‘ folder.

$ sudo cp db.127 reverse.linuxtechi.local
$ sudo vi /etc/bind/reverse.linuxtechi.local
$TTL 86400
@ IN SOA linuxtechi.local. root.linuxtechi.local. (
         2022072752 ;Serial
         3600 ;Refresh
         1800 ;Retry
         604800 ;Expire
         86400 ;Minimum TTL
)
;Your Name Server Info
@ IN NS primary.linuxtechi.local.
primary IN A 192.168.0.40
;Reverse Lookup for Your DNS Server
40 IN PTR primary.linuxtechi.local.
;PTR Record IP address to HostName
50 IN PTR www.linuxtechi.local.
60 IN PTR mail.linuxtechi.local.

Your Reverse Zone Lookup file should look like below:

Reverse-Lookup-zone-file-ubuntu-linux

Save file & exit.

Update the following parameter in ‘/etc/default/named ‘ file, so that dns service starts listening on IPv4

OPTIONS="-u bind -4"

Now all we have to do is to start and enable the BIND service to implement the changes made,

$ sudo systemctl start named
$ sudo systemctl enable named

View the bind service status, run

$ sudo systemctl status named

Check-Named-Service-Status-Ubuntu

Note : In case OS firewall is running on your bind server then execute the below command to allow 53 port

$ sudo ufw allow 53
Rule added
Rule added (v6)
$

Step 3) Validating Syntax of bind configuration and Zone files

If you want to cross verify the syntax of your bind 9 configuration file (named.conf.local). Use the command “named-checkconf“, example is shown below:

$ sudo named-checkconf /etc/bind/named.conf.local

If there is no syntax error in your bind configuration file, then it should return to shell without showing any errors.

To cross verify the syntax your forward and reverse lookup zone files , use the command “named-checkzone”, example is shown below:

$ sudo named-checkzone linuxtechi.local /etc/bind/forward.linuxtechi.local
zone linuxtechi.local/IN: loaded serial 2022072651
OK
$
$ sudo named-checkzone linuxtechi.local /etc/bind/reverse.linuxtechi.local
zone linuxtechi.local/IN: loaded serial 2022072752
OK
$

Step 4) Test DNS server with dig & nslookup

To test out our BIND 9 DNS server, we will use another Ubuntu machine & will change its DNS to point out our DNS server. To change the DNS server, open ‘/etc/resol.conf’ & make the following DNS entry,

[email protected]:~$ sudo vi /etc/resolv.conf
search linuxtechi.local
nameserver 192.168.0.40

save the file & exit. We now have our client ready with DNS pointing to our server. We will now use a CLI tool called ‘dig‘ command , which is used to get find out DNS & its related information. Execute the following command from terminal,

[email protected]:~$ dig primary.linuxtechi.local

we should get the following output of above,

dig-command-query-ubuntu

This output shows that our DNS is working fine.

Let’s do reverse lookup query(PTR):

[email protected]:~$ dig -x 192.168.0.40

Output of command should be something like below:

dig-ptr-query-ubuntu

Also we can run ‘nslookup‘ command against our DNS server to confirm the output of dig command,

[email protected]:~$ nslookup primary.linuxtechi.local

& it should produce the following output,

nslookup-command-ubuntu

Note:  While running dig command, if you get ‘command not found’ error than we need to install ‘dnsutils‘ package as dig command is part of ‘dnsutils’ package,

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt install dnsutils -y

Now that our server is working fine, we can add other servers like mail server, ftp server or web servers to DNS server configuration files by creating the appropriate records as per requirement. Also we have only setup a local DNS server in this tutorial, if you need to setup a public DNS than you will require a Public IP address for the same.

With this we end our post on how to install & configure DNS server on Ubuntu 22.04 using BIND 9. Please do send your valuable feedback/queries to us, we will be happy to address them all.

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15 thoughts on “How to Setup Bind (DNS Server) on Ubuntu 22.04”

  1. Nice walktrough of a complex issue.

    You might reconsider using .local as your intranet name.

    Best practice is to use a FQDN and prefix it with eg. lan being lan.domain.tld. The need for it will show when you have to build a Microsoft AD.

    In the long run avoiding using .local will result in a more structured network and it will become more obvious if you operate mixed network using both Microsoft Windows, macOS and LInux.

    Also .local is a zeroconf domain used exclusively in zeroconf networking.

    Reply
  2. First off, I’m a complete Linux newbie!

    The restart command that you have above did not work for me. I had to run sudo /etc/init.d/bind9 restart to restart bind. Does this make any difference? How can I ensure that Bind is running as a service?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Hello. Great write up thanks. I was able to follow and configure your directions pretty much to the tee. But, when I get to the NSLOOKUP it always just resolves to 127.0.0.53
    No idea really where that is coming from. I do have a /etc/resolv.conf that lists that address as nameserver.
    However, if I change that file, it just gets overwritten again on the next reboot.
    Any ideas?

    Reply
  4. hi
    i just install my new bind9 dns but when i check to the ‘http://dnscheck.pingdom.com/’ i got this massage

    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
    what does it means

    Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing! I am new to Ubuntu. It will help if you can provide a command to your comment: “Your forward lookup file should look like something below:”

    In other words, what command should we run to see the “forward lookup”?

    Reply
    • Hi Gert,

      In the tutorial i have copied the sample forward lookup file and then using vi editor I make changes that suits to my setup.

      Reply
  6. Hi, thank you very much for the tutorial. Can someone please explain why it was a requirement to put “primary” before the “.domainname.”.

    Thank you in advanced,

    Reply
  7. Hi!
    I have a question. If I registered a domain on freenom.com that I want to configure local dns server with registered domains. Have to I write public or private ip on name.conf.local file? I copied db.local db.something. Which ip write in db.something in A record?

    Reply

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