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9.2 Configuring a Resolver to Query a Remote Name Server

9.2.1 Problem

You want to configure a resolver to query a name server running on a particular remote host.

9.2.2 Solution

On a host running a BIND resolver, add a nameserver directive to the resolv.conf file. The resolv.conf file (note that there's no "e" on the end of "resolv") usually lives in the /etc directory; if it doesn't exist, create one with your favorite editor. Specify the address of the remote name server as the single argument to the nameserver directive. For example:


You may also want to designate one or more name servers for the resolver to query if the first one doesn't respond, or if there's some error in sending the query to the first name server. To specify a backup name server, just add another nameserver directive with the backup name server's address as its argument:


The resolver queries the name servers in the order you list them in resolv.conf.

For a Windows resolver, find the resolver configuration window. On Windows 2000, for example, you can bring up the resolver configuration window by choosing Start figs/U2192.gif Settings figs/U2192.gif Control Panel figs/U2192.gif Network and Dial-up Connections. Right-click on the name of your network connection, select Properties, then double-click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties. Check the box labeled Use the following DNS server addresses and fill in the address of the remote name server in the field labeled Preferred DNS server. Specify a backup name server, if you like, in the Alternate DNS server field.

9.2.3 Discussion

Configuring a resolver to use a backup name server is a good idea, since without a backup, a single name server's failure will cripple the resolver.

Resolvers send recursive queries by default, so make sure that the name server you configure a resolver to query will accept recursive queries from it.

9.2.4 See Also

"The nameserver Directive" and "Windows 2000" in Chapter 6 of DNS and BIND; "Name Servers to Query" in Chapter 6 of DNS on Windows 2000..

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