0.4. AudienceThis book is intended primarily for system and network administrators who manage zones and one or more name servers, but it also includes material for network engineers, postmasters, and others. Not all of the book's chapters will be equally interesting to a diverse audience, though, and you don't want to wade through 16 chapters to find the information pertinent to your job. We hope the following roadmap will help you plot your way through the book.
System administrators setting up their first zones should read Chapter 1, "Background" and Chapter 2, "How Does DNS Work?" for DNS theory, Chapter 3, "Where Do I Start?" for information on getting started and selecting a good domain name, and Chapter 4, "Setting Up BIND" and Chapter 5, "DNS and Electronic Mail" to learn how to set up a zone for the first time. Chapter 6, "Configuring Hosts" explains how to configure hosts to use the new name servers. Later, you should read Chapter 7, "Maintaining BIND", which explains how to "flesh out" your implementation by setting up additional name servers and adding additional zone data. Chapter 12, "nslookup and dig", Chapter 13, "Reading BIND Debugging Output", and Chapter 14, "Troubleshooting DNS and BIND" describe troubleshooting tools and techniques.
Experienced administrators will benefit from reading Chapter 6, "Configuring Hosts" to learn how to configure DNS resolvers on different hosts, and Chapter 7, "Maintaining BIND" for information on maintaining your zones. Chapter 8, "Growing Your Domain" contains instructions on planning for a zone's growth and evolution, which should be especially valuable to administrators of large zones. Chapter 9, "Parenting" explains parenting -- creating subdomains -- which is derigueur reading for those considering the big move. Chapter 10, "Advanced Features" covers many new and advanced features of the BIND 8.2.3 and 9.1.0 name servers. Chapter 11, "Security" goes over securing name servers, which may be of particular interest to experienced administrators. Chapter 12, "nslookup and dig" through Chapter 14, "Troubleshooting DNS and BIND" describe tools and techniques for troubleshooting, which even advanced administrators may find worth reading.
System administrators on networks without full Internet connectivity should read Chapter 5, "DNS and Electronic Mail" to learn how to configure mail on such networks, and Chapter 11, "Security" to learn how to set up an independent DNS infrastructure.
Programmers can read Chapter 1, "Background" and Chapter 2, "How Does DNS Work?" for DNS theory, then Chapter 15, "Programming with the Resolver and Name Server Library Routines" for detailed coverage of how to program with the BIND resolver library routines.
Network administrators not directly responsible for any zones should still read Chapter 1, "Background" and Chapter 2, "How Does DNS Work?" for DNS theory, Chapter 12, "nslookup and dig" to learn how to use nslookup and dig, and Chapter 14, "Troubleshooting DNS and BIND" for troubleshooting tactics.
Postmasters should read Chapter 1, "Background" and Chapter 2, "How Does DNS Work?" for DNS theory, then Chapter 5, "DNS and Electronic Mail" to find out how DNS and electronic mail coexist. Chapter 12, "nslookup and dig", which describes nslookup and dig, will help postmasters extract mail routing information from the domain name space.
Note that we assume you're familiar with basic Unix system administration, TCP/IP networking, and programming using simple shell scripts and Perl. We don't assume you have any other specialized knowledge, though. When we introduce a new term or concept, we'll do our best to define or explain it. Whenever possible, we'll use analogies from Unix (and from the real world) to help you understand.
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