I know that to disable recursive queries in BIND, I need add the following lines to the options section of /etc/bind/named.conf.options

allow-transfer {"none";};
allow-recursion {"none";};
recursion no;

Will the above configuration disable all DNS recursive queries?

How can I disable DNS recursion only to external network queries and keep recursion only for Internal network?

If I disable the recursion, then what process will be performed by the BIND resolve the name request? Iterative or Inverse?

  • 2
    In future, please ask on unix.stackexchange.com, as this is not Ubuntu-specific at all.
    – Celada
    Aug 1, 2012 at 12:34
  • @Celada Sure :-( Aug 1, 2012 at 13:21
  • Somebody can move this to unix.stackexchange.com Aug 7, 2012 at 7:08
  • Actually, @Celada, the configuration files for Ubuntu are not generally in standard Unix/POSIX, and they often have different names.
    – sventech
    Nov 8, 2013 at 14:56

1 Answer 1


You can enable recursion for some clients and disable recursion for others using views, but it is not recommended because you will lose some of the advantages of turning off recursion in the first place. You should use different nameservers for recursive resolution and authoritative service. (The two servers could run on the same machine if necessary.) Still, here's how to do it:

// global options apply to external clients
options {
    recursion no;
    additional-from-auth no;
    additional-from-cache no;

view "local" in {
    // view options enable recursion only for local clients
    match-clients {;;; ::1; };
    recursion yes;
    additional-from-auth yes;
    additional-from-cache yes;

    zone "." in {
            type hint;
            file "/etc/bind/db.root";

    // put definitions for zones like "localhost" and "127.in-addr.arpa" here

// put definitions for real authoritative zones here.

As for the question in your last sentence, "what process will be performed by the BIND resolve the name request? Iterative or Inverse?", I do not understand the question. A nameserver configured not to offer recursive service will simply refuse to answer recursive queries.

  • 3
    Actually, a nameserver configured to not recurse will return a SOA record of the root nameservers when queried for a domain that the non-recursive DNS server is not authoritative for. It will not simply drop the request or send an error -- it will actually respond that it is not allowed to recurse (DNS Header Flags Section), but will provide SOA records for the root servers. It basically tells the requestor, "I can't tell you, but I'll point you in the right direction..."
    – Benjamin
    Jul 17, 2013 at 15:32
  • 2
    Depends on the software and configuration. In this case (BIND with recursion no configured), it should respond with a REFUSED error and nothing else (no SOA records).
    – Celada
    Jul 17, 2013 at 20:25
  • @Benjamin v.s. Celada : who is right?
    – zx1986
    Apr 5, 2020 at 8:26

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