Mastering Ubuntu`s Powerful DNS Tool: A Comprehensive Guide for Novice to Advanced Users with Sample Code

Table of content

  1. Introduction to DNS
  2. Understanding Ubuntu's DNS Tool
  3. Installing and Configuring DNS on Ubuntu
  4. Creating and Managing DNS Zones
  5. Creating and Managing DNS Records
  6. Advanced DNS Settings and Features
  7. Troubleshooting DNS Issues
  8. Sample Code for DNS Configuration
  9. Conclusion and Next Steps

Introduction to DNS

DNS, or the Domain Name System, is an essential component of the internet. It acts as a directory that translates human-readable domain names, like, into IP addresses, which are the unique numerical identifiers that computers use to communicate with each other. DNS is responsible for routing internet traffic and ensuring that users can access websites and other online resources.

In practical terms, DNS allows users to type in easy-to-remember domain names like rather than having to remember long strings of numbers. When a user types in a domain name, their device sends a query to a DNS server, which searches its database for the corresponding IP address. Once the IP address is found, the user's device can establish a connection to the requested website or resource.

Understanding DNS is essential for anyone who wants to navigate the internet effectively or develop applications that rely on internet connectivity. In the context of Ubuntu, the OS's DNS tool provides a powerful tool for managing DNS settings and resolving domain names. Whether you're a novice or an advanced user, mastering Ubuntu's DNS tool will help you get the most out of your internet experience and build applications that are more reliable and robust.

Understanding Ubuntu’s DNS Tool

Domain Name System (DNS) is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure. It's responsible for translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution, comes with its own DNS tool that can be used to manage the DNS settings of your system. Here are some key concepts you should understand:

  • DNS servers: DNS servers are the computers that store the mapping between domain names and IP addresses. When you request a webpage, your computer sends a query to a DNS server to find the IP address of the domain name you've requested. There are two types of DNS servers: authoritative DNS servers and recursive DNS servers.
  • Authoritative DNS servers: These servers contain the master records for a particular domain. When you register a domain, you specify the authoritative DNS servers that will handle queries related to your domain. The DNS servers for a specific domain can be managed using the Ubuntu DNS tool.
  • Recursive DNS servers: These servers are responsible for recursively resolving DNS queries by contacting authoritative DNS servers. Your Ubuntu system will typically use a recursive DNS server provided by your ISP by default.
  • Resolving DNS queries: When you request a webpage, your computer sends a DNS query to a DNS server. The query contains the domain name you want to access. The DNS server then responds with the IP address of the domain name.

These concepts are important to understand when working with the Ubuntu DNS tool. In the next sections, we'll dive deeper into the tool's capabilities and how you can use it to manage your DNS settings.

Installing and Configuring DNS on Ubuntu

Domain Name System (DNS) is a critical network service that translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers use to identify each other on the internet. is a straightforward process, but it requires some basic knowledge of the Linux command line interface.

Installing DNS on Ubuntu

To install DNS on Ubuntu, you’ll need to use the terminal to install the BIND package:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install bind9

This command updates your Ubuntu package lists, then installs the latest version of the BIND package from the official Ubuntu repositories.

Configuring DNS on Ubuntu

After installing BIND, you’ll need to configure its settings to create a working DNS server. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Edit the named.conf.local file to define the “zone” you want to serve.
  2. Create the zone file and add your DNS records.
  3. Restart the BIND service to apply your changes.

This process may vary depending on your specific DNS configuration requirements. However, the basic steps above should provide a good starting point for most use cases.


is a critical step in setting up your network infrastructure. Understanding the basic concepts of DNS and how it works can help you troubleshoot issues and optimize your server’s performance. With the steps outlined above, you should have a good understanding of how to get started with DNS on Ubuntu.

Creating and Managing DNS Zones

In order to manage DNS records, you'll first need to create a DNS zone. A DNS zone is a collection of DNS records that are managed together as a unit. For example, you might have a DNS zone for a particular domain such as ""

Here are the steps to create and manage a DNS zone in Ubuntu using the BIND DNS server:

  1. Install BIND on your Ubuntu server. You can do this by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install bind9

  1. Create a new zone file. This file will contain the DNS records for the zone.

  2. Define the zone in BIND's configuration file. You'll need to specify the domain name and the location of the zone file.

  3. Add DNS records to the zone file. You can add records for things like A records, MX records, and CNAME records.

  4. Reload the BIND configuration to apply the changes.

Once you've created your zone, you can manage it by adding, modifying, or removing DNS records. You can also monitor the zone to ensure that it's functioning properly.

Overall, can be a complex process, but it's an essential part of managing a DNS server. With the right tools and knowledge, you can ensure that your DNS infrastructure is reliable and secure.

Creating and Managing DNS Records

DNS records are used by the DNS server to translate domain names into IP addresses. Ubuntu provides several powerful tools for , allowing you to easily configure your network's DNS settings. Here are a few key concepts to know when working with DNS records:

  • A Record: The A record maps a domain name to an IP address. For example, if you have a web server with the IP address, the A record for your domain name would point to this IP address.

  • CNAME Record: The CNAME record maps a domain name to another domain name. For example, if you have several subdomains that all point to the same web server, you can create a CNAME record for each subdomain that points to the main domain name.

  • MX Record: The MX record specifies the mail server responsible for accepting email messages for a domain name. This record is essential for email delivery and should be carefully configured.

To create and manage DNS records in Ubuntu, you can use the following tools:

  • Bind: Bind is the most common DNS server software used on Ubuntu. It provides a comprehensive set of tools for managing DNS records, including a powerful command-line interface.

  • Webmin: Webmin is a web-based management interface for Ubuntu that provides a GUI for managing DNS records. This tool is ideal for novice users who are unfamiliar with the command-line interface.

  • DNS Management Tools: Many domain name registrars provide their own DNS management tools, allowing you to create and manage DNS records directly from your web browser.

By mastering Ubuntu's powerful DNS tools, you can confidently create and manage DNS records for your network, ensuring that your domain names always resolve correctly. Whether you're a novice user or an advanced administrator, Ubuntu provides the tools you need to get the job done.

Advanced DNS Settings and Features

DNS is a complex system, and Ubuntu's powerful DNS tool offers many advanced features that can help you optimize your network performance and security. Here are some advanced settings and features you can take advantage of:

DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a protocol that encrypts DNS queries and responses over HTTPS connections. This makes it more difficult for attackers to eavesdrop on your DNS traffic and use it for malicious purposes. Ubuntu's DNS tool supports DoH, making it easy to set up encrypted DNS. To enable DoH, you can modify your DNS configuration file (/etc/systemd/resolved.conf) and add the following line:



DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a feature that adds additional security to the DNS system by digitally signing DNS records. This prevents attackers from tampering with DNS records and redirecting you to malicious websites. Ubuntu's DNS tool supports DNSSEC, and you can enable it by modifying your DNS configuration file and adding the following line:


Using Alternative DNS Providers

Ubuntu's DNS tool also lets you use alternative DNS providers, such as Google DNS or OpenDNS, instead of your default DNS provider. This can be useful if you want to bypass restrictions or filters imposed by your ISP. To use an alternative DNS provider, you can modify your DNS configuration file and add the following line:


This sets Google DNS as your DNS provider.

Caching DNS Requests

Caching DNS requests can significantly speed up your DNS queries and reduce the load on your DNS server. Ubuntu's DNS tool includes a caching feature that stores DNS responses in memory for a configurable amount of time. To enable caching, you can modify your DNS configuration file and add the following lines:


This caches responses for up to 24 hours (86400 seconds) and a minimum of 1 hour (3600 seconds).

By exploring the advanced settings and features of Ubuntu's DNS tool, you can achieve greater control over your network performance and security.

Troubleshooting DNS Issues

DNS issues can be frustrating and time-consuming to resolve, but with a few simple troubleshooting steps, you can usually get things back up and running quickly. Here are some tips for troubleshooting common DNS problems:

Check Your Network Connection

Before you dive into troubleshooting DNS specifically, it's always a good idea to make sure there aren't any broader network issues affecting your connection. Try visiting other websites to see if they load correctly, and check to make sure you're still connected to your Wi-Fi network.

Double-Check Your DNS Settings

Make sure your DNS settings are correct, and that you haven't accidentally changed them in a way that's causing the problem. Most devices will automatically use your router's DNS settings, but you can also configure custom settings if necessary.

Try a Different DNS Server

Sometimes the issue might be with your DNS server itself. Try changing to a different DNS server, such as Google's public DNS server (, to see if that resolves the problem.

Clear Your DNS Cache

Your device or browser might be holding onto outdated DNS information in its cache. Clearing your DNS cache can often help resolve issues with slow or unresponsive websites. Windows users can do this by opening the Command Prompt and typing "ipconfig /flushdns", while Mac users can use the "dscacheutil -flushcache" command in Terminal.

Check Your Firewall

If you're having trouble connecting to specific websites, it's possible that your firewall is blocking access. You can check your firewall settings to make sure they aren't interfering with your DNS requests.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to quickly diagnose and resolve most DNS issues that you encounter. If you're still having trouble, don't hesitate to seek out more detailed guides or technical support.

Sample Code for DNS Configuration

Configuring DNS on Ubuntu can be quite troublesome especially if you're not an experienced user. However, with the appropriate knowledge and tools, it can be easy as pie. Here are some useful sample codes for DNS configuration on Ubuntu:

  1. Editing the resolv.conf file:

    • Open the resolv.conf file using your preferred text editor with root access: $ sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf
    • Edit the file by adding the following code:
      nameserver x.x.x.x
      where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the DNS server.
    • Save the changes and exit the text editor.
  2. Using the Network Manager to set DNS:

    • Open the Network Manager by running $ nm-connection-editor in the terminal.
    • Click on the connection you want to configure DNS for and click on "Edit".
    • Under "IPv4" or "IPv6" settings, switch "Automatic" to "Automatic (DHCP) address only".
    • Add the following DNS servers separated by commas: x.x.x.x, y.y.y.y (where x.x.x.x and y.y.y.y are the IP addresses of the DNS servers).
    • Click "Save" to apply changes.
  3. Using the systemd-resolved service:

    • Run $ systemctl edit systemd-resolved to create a new systemd-resolved configuration file.
    • In the opened file, add the following code:
    DNS=x.x.x.x y.y.y.y

    where x.x.x.x and y.y.y.y are the IP addresses of the DNS servers.

    • Save changes and exit the text editor.
    • Reload the service by running $ sudo systemctl restart systemd-resolved.service.

Remember that after making any changes to the DNS configuration files, it's wise to restart the networking service for the changes to take effect. You can do this by running this command $ sudo service networking restart.

Conclusion and Next Steps


In conclusion, mastering Ubuntu's powerful DNS tool is a crucial step towards optimizing your network server's performance and security. We've covered the basics of DNS, including how it works and how to install and configure it on your Ubuntu system. We've also explored some of the more advanced features, such as implementing DNSSEC and setting up DNS caching.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of how DNS works and how it can be used to manage your network more effectively. You should also be familiar with the commands and tools you need to work with DNS on Ubuntu.

Next Steps

Now that you've mastered the basics of DNS on Ubuntu, it's time to take your expertise to the next level. Here are some suggestions for further reading and experimentation:

  • Experiment with different DNS configurations to find the one that works best for your network
  • Learn more about DNSSEC and how to implement it on your server
  • Explore other DNS tools that can be used in conjunction with Ubuntu, such as BIND or dnsmasq
  • Dive deeper into Ubuntu networking by learning about other protocols, such as DHCP and IPTables

By continuing to learn and experiment with DNS and other networking tools, you'll be able to build a more robust and secure network that meets the needs of your organization. Good luck!

Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering have always been my driving passions, energizing me with enthusiasm and a desire to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. I take great pleasure in innovating and devising workarounds for complex problems. Drawing on over 8 years of professional experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering, I have a track record of success in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects from diverse perspectives, and devising strategies that have significantly increased revenue. I am currently seeking a challenging position where I can leverage my competencies in a professional manner that maximizes productivity and exceeds expectations.
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