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The company I now work for specializes in web development. They are currently selling clients packages where they develop web applications for them to help automate certain business tasks for them. Then they host the web application. This is currently being done on Mochahost until they transition to a private server.

I have recently setup another box running Ubuntu 12.04 as a test web server. They decided they want to use this box as a backup DNS server to the Mochahost primary. My experience with web servers is very limited. What should the generic process be for accomplishing this? I was thinking I would just need to download the db files from the Mochahost primary server, save them to the secondary server, configure the primary server to point to the secondary server for zone-updating, and then configure the secondary server zone files. Am I missing anything? And how should I go about getting db files from the Mochahost primary server?


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I assume you are using BIND, which you wrote in a comment. First of all you need to copy some files to your secondary name server:

  • named.conf
  • named.local
  • db.cache

Now open the named.conf at your secondary server and change some values:

zone "" IN {
  type slave;
  file "";
  masters {;};

The type is now set to slave, so BIND knows this one is no master. The *file*name at your master server is probably something like At the secondary it is changed to However you can select a na e you like. I like it this way because it makes clear, that this one is just a backup nameserver. The last entry is the IP address of the master nameserver. BIND will contact it and retrieve the zone files from there. So you do not need to download those files manually.

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Thanks for this response. This was very easy to understand. I'm halfway there already, but I've been unable to find db.cache on the primary server. – revickulous2001 Jan 20 '13 at 23:33
Does exist? Sometimes the name differs. – qbi Jan 20 '13 at 23:36
You may always download a fresh, and updated, version of db.cache db.root Ubuntu usually goes by db.root, so you may just do wget -O /etc/bind/db.root – fboaventura Jan 24 '13 at 10:59
Just another thing you have to pay attention is that the primary server must allow the transfer to be done. – fboaventura Jan 24 '13 at 11:08

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