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Running named

The program that provides domain name service on most machines is usually called named (pronounced name-dee). This is a server program originally developed for BSD providing name service to clients, and possibly to other name servers. The version currently used on most installations seems to be BIND-4.8.3. The new version, BIND-4.9.3, is being Beta-tested at the moment, and should be available on soon.

This section requires some understanding of the way the Domain Name System works. If the following discussion is all Greek to you, you may want to re-read chapter-gif, which has some more information on the basics of DNS.

named is usually started at system boot time, and runs until the machine goes down again. It takes its information from a configuration file called /etc/named.boot, and various files that contain data mapping domain names to addresses and the like. The latter are called zone files. The formats and semantics of these files will be explained in the following section.

To run named, simply enter

           # /usr/sbin/named
at the prompt. named will come up, read the named.boot file and any zone files specified therein. It writes its process id to /var/run/ in ASCII, downloads any zone files from primary servers, if necessary, and starts listening on port 53 for DNS queries.gif

Andrew Anderson
Thu Mar 7 23:22:06 EST 1996