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DNS Configuration Files

Prev. Page: Domain Name System (DNS)

On the Internet, a database of domain names with IP addresses maintained providing service of translating a domain name to IP addresses. When a query placed on nameserver, it looks for the IP address of a domain name. A nameserver uses several configuration files to enable it to answer requests. On Linux systems, the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) provides specifically designed server software called resolvers, distributed by the Intenet Software Consortium. It obtains addresses from the nameservers. The local resolver configured as /etc/host.conf or /etc/nsswitch and /etc/resolv.conf files.


# host.conf
# lookup names in host file and then check DNS
order bind host
# there is no multiple addresses
multi off

Name Server Switch /etc/nsswitch
On Linux System, different functions to operate in standard C Library configured by a scheme Name Service Switch (NSS) based on methods of the same name used by Sun Microsystems Solaris 2 OS. A database like services like password support and name services (NIS, DNS) directly access these functions using a fixed search order.

The database sources and lookup order listed in the /etc/nsswitch.conf configuration file. NSS supports configuration files:

An entry has two fields, the service, and the configuration specifications. It holds instructions on how the lookup procedure works; it contains specifications and action items. Valid specification service includes: nis, nisplus, files, db, dns and compat. The action specifies the action to take for a specific service


Initially, in the late 1960s, Jon Postel kept the records kept on a floppy disk. By 1998, as he and others pointed out that just one person shouldn't hold such a significant amount of power. The U.S. Department of Commerce lays out a plan to transition control to a new private nonprofit organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) under a contract to manage internet addresses around the world. In 2016, after the expiry of the same, governance shifted to a board of representatives from more than 100 countries.

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