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InfoWorld: Working with your Domain Name System will run more smoothly without 'lame' servers

Dec 19, 1999, 22:02 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brooks Talley, Mark Pace)

"I'm pretty new to setting up a Domain Name System (DNS). To avoid using third-party hosting facilities, I decided to grab a copy of Red Hat Linux 6.0 and set up two DNS servers for myself. Everything went pretty well. I can look up names and have my DNS domain database files all set up and running. Unfortunately, I keep getting e-mails from other people saying my secondary server is "lame." I also see messages in my logs suggesting that some other servers on the Internet are lame as well. Is this just a joke, or are these error messages for real?"

" Lame servers are common, and seeing error messages about them is a usual ordeal for any DNS administrator. Although there are plenty of poor servers, the message about lame delegation is referring to a real problem, especially if you are getting e-mail messages saying that your secondary server is lame."

"A lame server, in DNS terms, really means that the domain database files have an NS entry for the server, but that particular server doesn't think it is an authoritative server for the domain in question. This can be caused by a number of problems. The simplest is that the server has no entry in the named.boot file stating that it should be a primary or secondary name server for the domain in question. More commonly, however, there is probably a trailing period missing from the end of an entry in the domain file. This causes the name server to reject the domain file and not serve DNS for it. Other kinds of typos in the database file can also cause this sort of problem."

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