Setup Your Own DNS Server on Debian/Ubuntu

Updated on October 8, 2014
Setup Your Own DNS Server on Debian/Ubuntu header image

This tutorial explains how to setup a DNS server using Bind9 on Debian or Ubuntu. Throughout the article, substitute accordingly. At the end of the tutorial, you will have a functional Ubuntu DNS server.

Install Bind9

apt-get install bind9


Backup current Bind9 settings.

cp /etc/bind/named.conf.options /etc/bind/named.conf.options.bak

Edit /etc/bind/named.conf.options and replace the content to following:

options {
        directory "/var/cache/bind";
        auth-nxdomain no;
        listen-on-v6 { any; };
        statistics-file "/var/cache/bind/named.stats";
        rrset-order {order cyclic;};
	allow-transfer {; };
logging {
        channel b_query {
                file "/var/log/bind9/query.log" versions 2 size 1m;
                print-time yes;
                severity info;
        category queries { b_query; };

Create the log directory for Bind9.

mkdir /var/log/bind9
chown bind:bind /var/log/bind9

Edit /etc/bind/named.conf to configure your domain zone file location. Append the following lines:

zone "" {
        type master;
        file "/etc/bind/zones/";

Create your domain zone file at /etc/bind/zones/ Insert your DNS records by following this template:

$TTL	86400
@	IN	SOA (
			2014100801	; Serial
			43200		; Refresh
			3600		; Retry
			1209600		; Expire
			180 )		; Minimum TTL

; Nameservers

; Root site
	IN	A	123.456.78.90

; Hostname records
*	IN	A	123.456.78.90
sub1	IN	A	123.456.78.91
sub2	IN	A	123.456.78.92

; Aliases
webmail	IN	CNAME

; MX records
@	IN	MX	1
@	IN	MX	3
@	IN	MX	3
@	IN	MX	5
@	IN	MX	5
@	IN	MX	5
@	IN	MX	5

; SPF records
@	IN	TXT	"v=spf1 ip4: ~all"

Restart Bind9:

/etc/init.d/bind9 restart

You're all set. At this point, you may want to register your DNS server with your domain registrar. After doing that, you can change your existing name server to your own DNS server.

If you come across problems and need to view errors, you may use the following command.

/etc/init.d/bind9 status