How to Configure DNS Zones and Records in Lion Server - dummies

How to Configure DNS Zones and Records in Lion Server

By John Rizzo

To get to the DNS settings in Lion Server, open the Server Admin application. Then, select your server in the column at the left, click the triangle next to it, and then click DNS in the list of services. Finally, click the Zones icon in the toolbar. You’ll see a window appear.

This example has a master zone with one machine record under it and a reverse lookup zone. These items were created by the server assistant during initial server setup.


The top half of the DNS Zones window lists the zones — click the triangle next to a zone to display the records in it.

When you click a zone or a record, the bottom half of the window displays fields that are specific to the type of zone or record. These include zone or record names, various domain names, IP addresses, or other information. To edit one of these fields, double-click it and type the new entry.

Some fields give you a choice of using a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or a relative domain name. If you use the former, include a period at the end for the domain name to signify that it is an FQDN.

Add a DNS zone in Lion Server

To add a new zone, click the Add Zone button and select Primary Zone or Secondary Zone from the drop-down menu. In the Primary Zone Name field, enter the fully qualified domain name of the primary server.

In the Name Servers field, enter the server that is the “authority” for the zone. For a master zone, this is usually the server that is hosting the zone — the server you are configuring. Select the Allows Zone Transfer check box to enable secondary zones to get copies of the master zone. Click the Save button when done.

Add a record to a DNS zone in Lion Server

To add a record to a zone, click a master zone, click the Add Record button and select a record type. The bottom half of the window changes, depending on the type of record you selected.

The Machine Name field is for the hostname of the computer. An SRV record requires that you enter the service type in a special format, which you can choose from a drop-down menu, as well as the port information for the service. Click the Save button when done.

Test the Lion Server DNS

To check that DNS is properly configured, open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities) to access the command line and type NSLOOKUP hostname. If configured properly, the DNS server reports the IP address of the server. To check the reverse, type NSLOOKUP ipaddress. If configured correctly, the DNS server reports the hostname for your Mac OS X server. If either of these fails, DNS is not properly configured for your server.