ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How to set up a DNS server on Debian Wheezy

Debian makes a fantastic server.  It is stable and very rarely goes down so today I will show you how to turn it into a DNS server.  For this tutorial I will be using Debian Wheezy as my base system.

On your server open up a terminal and  install the bind9 package by typing:

sudo apt-get install bind9

There are four configuration files we will need to configure so lets take the first.  In your terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.local

and replace nano with your favourite text editor.

Within the file insert the following code:


# This is the zone definition. replace with your domain name
zone “” {
type master;
file “/etc/bind/zones/”;

# This is the zone definition for reverse DNS. replace 0.0.10 with your network address in reverse notation – e.g my network address is 0.0.10
zone “” {
type master;
file “/etc/bind/zones/”;


Instead if using choose your own DNS domain (this is not the same as an active directory domain but rather a name for your DNS zone).


Make sure the ” marks above are vertical and not curved.  If they are curved you will get errors when you come to restart the bind 9 package (trust me I have done that a couple of times!!)

Now we need to configure the next file.  In your terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/named.conf.options

You will need to adjust the forwarders with the address of your ISP’s DNS servers (the example below shows BT’s DNS servers). Modify the file accordingly.


forwarders {;;


Next up is the zones file so in your terminal type:

sudo mkdir /etc/bind/zones

Now we need to configure it by typing:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/ (replace with your DNS domain).

Add the following code to the file:


// replace with your domain name. do not forget the . after the domain name!
// Also, replace ns1 with the name of your DNS server IN SOA
// Do not modify the following lines!


// Replace the following line as necessary:
// ns1 = DNS Server name
// mta = mail server name
// = domain name IN NS IN MX 10

// Replace the IP address with the right IP addresses.
www IN A
mta IN A
HomeServer01 IN A


In the above code replace the following: with your DNS domain name, with your static DNS server address, with your computers hostname.dns-domain,

mta is your mail server (if you have one). If you do modify the IP address to show this.

Now we have to create the reverse DNS zone file so in your terminal type:

sudo nano /etc/bind/zones/

and add the following code:


//replace with your domain name, ns1 with your DNS server name.
// The number before IN PTR is the machine address of the DNS server
@ IN SOA (



With all the files configured we just have to restart bind so in your terminal type:

sudo service bind9 restart

Don’t forget to test your new configuration:


If you are unable to restart the bind9 service run the command named -g 53 which will give you a list of any configuration errors as this is usually the case.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter




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