0.3. OrganizationThis book is organized to more or less follow the evolution of a zone and its administrator. Chapter 1, "Background" and Chapter 2, "How Does DNS Work?" discuss Domain Name System theory. Chapter 3, "Where Do I Start?" through Chapter 6, "Configuring Hosts" help you decide whether or not to set up your own zones, then describe how to go about it should you choose to. The middle of the book, Chapter 7, "Maintaining BIND" through Chapter 11, "Security", describe how to maintain your zones, configure hosts to use your name servers, plan for the growth of your zones, create subdomains, and secure your name servers. Finally, Chapter 12, "nslookup and dig" through Chapter 16, "Miscellaneous" deal with troubleshooting tools, common problems, and the lost art of programming with the resolver library routines.
Here's a more detailed, chapter-by-chapter breakdown:
Chapter 1, "Background", provides a little historical perspective and discusses the problems that motivated the development of DNS, and then presents an overview of DNS theory.
Chapter 2, "How Does DNS Work?", goes over DNS theory in more detail, including the organization of the DNS namespace, domains, zones, and name servers. We also introduce important concepts like name resolution and caching.
Chapter 3, "Where Do I Start?", covers how to get the BIND software if you don't already have it, what to do with it once you've got it, how to figure out what your domain name should be, and how to contact the organization that can delegate your zone to you.
Chapter 4, "Setting Up BIND", details how to set up your first two BIND name servers, including creating your name server database, starting up your name servers, and checking their operation.
Chapter 5, "DNS and Electronic Mail", deals with DNS's MX record, which allows administrators to specify alternate hosts to handle a given destination's mail. This chapter covers mail routing strategies for a wide variety of networks and hosts, including networks with Internet firewalls and hosts without direct Internet connectivity.
Chapter 6, "Configuring Hosts", explains how to configure a BIND resolver. We also include notes on the idiosyncrasies of many major Unix vendors' resolver implementations, as well as the Windows 95, NT, and 2000 resolvers.
Chapter 7, "Maintaining BIND", describes the periodic maintenance that administrators need to perform to keep their zones running smoothly, such as checking name server health and authority.
Chapter 8, "Growing Your Domain", covers how to plan for the growth and evolution of your zones, including how to get big and how to plan for moves and outages.
Chapter 9, "Parenting", explores the joys of becoming a parent zone. We explain when to become a parent (create subdomains), what to call your children, how to create them (!), and how to watch over them.
Chapter 10, "Advanced Features", goes over some less-often-used name server configuration options that can help you tune your name server's operation and ease administration.
Chapter 11, "Security", describes how to secure your name server and how to configure your name servers to deal with Internet firewalls, and also describes two new security enhancements to DNS: the DNS Security Extensions and Transaction Signatures.
Chapter 12, "nslookup and dig", shows the ins and outs of the most popular tools for doing DNS debugging, including techniques for digging obscure information out of remote name servers.
Chapter 13, "Reading BIND Debugging Output", is the Rosetta Stone of BIND's debugging information. This chapter will help you make sense of the cryptic debugging information that BIND emits, which in turn will help you understand your name server better.
Chapter 14, "Troubleshooting DNS and BIND", covers many common DNS and BIND problems and their solutions, and describes a number of less common, harder-to- diagnose scenarios.
Chapter 15, "Programming with the Resolver and Name Server Library Routines", demonstrates how to use BIND's resolver routines to query name servers and retrieve data from within a C program or a Perl script. We include a useful (we hope!) program to check the health and authority of your name servers.
Chapter 16, "Miscellaneous", ties up all the loose ends. We cover DNS wildcards, hosts and networks with intermittent Internet connectivity via dialup, network name encoding, experimental record types, and Windows 2000.
Appendix A, "DNS Message Format and Resource Records", contains a byte-by-byte breakdown of the formats used in DNS queries and responses, as well as a comprehensive list of the currently defined resource record types.
Appendix B, "BIND Compatibility Matrix", contains a matrix showing the most important features of the most popular BIND releases.
Appendix C, "Compiling and Installing BIND on Linux", contains step-by-step instructions on how to compile the 8.2.3 version of BIND on Linux.
Appendix D, "Top-Level Domains", lists the current top-level domains in the Internet's domain name space.
Appendix E, "BIND Name Server and Resolver Configuration", summarizes the syntax and semantics of each of the parameters available for configuring name servers and resolvers.
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