freebsd and dns

Bill Moran wmoran at
Fri Jun 18 06:03:51 PDT 2004

"Bradley McGuigan" <brad_mcguigan at> wrote:
> I hope someone out there can give me a hand with this important query!!!!!!
> My company has a freebsd server that is used as a secondary DNS server. Our 
> ISP also get our DNS entries from this server (they shadow them on thier 
> servers). Since this morning, no-one has been able to send email to us, 
> connect via vpn or anything else for that matter. External connections from 
> the company are workign fine (i.e. we can send emails - just not recieve 
> them!) Our ISP has said that they have checked and their shadow dns servers 
> have no information in them. They have attempted to pick up this information 
> from my freebsd server but supposedly this has returned no information.
> I have looked in the /usr/local/etc/namedb directory and can see 2 fioles 
> that contain the dns information: and 
> Is there anything I have to do to get these picked up?

I assume it was working before?  Did you change anything?

> My freebsd/unix 
> knowledge is basic unfortunatley.

Nothing quite as frustrating as being expected to admin a system you know very
little about!

> Is it maybe that the dns service is not 
> started?

At the console, enter "sockstat -4 | grep 53".  If that displays lines showing
named listening on interfaces, then it's running, if not, then it's failed.

Check /var/log/messages for information about bind starting up or shutting down.

This isn't the _solution_ to your problem, but if bind isn't started, rebooting
the machine should cause it to restart.  Just log in as root and enter "reboot"
If that gets things working again, then you need to do some hunting to figure
out why named stopped.

If named just won't start, check /var/log/messages for lines about named.  The
most common problem I see with this is that people change the config files,
and make a typo and named then doesn't start, or refuses to load certain DNS
zones.  /var/log/messages will have details about what syntax errors were
encountered in this case.

> Am I looking in the wrong place for the DNS files?

Possibly.  Bind config files are usually in /etc/namedb on FreeBSD.  But if
a different version of Bind was installed from ports, the location you describe
would be correct for its config.

Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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