Setting up secondary DNS

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Jump to: navigation, search customers who would like us to provide secondary DNS service for you should follow the instructions on this page.


We currently have DNS servers in the following locations:

  • London, UK
  • Southampton, UK
  • Boston, MA, US
  • San Jose, CA, US
  • Philadelphia, PA, US

The hosts in London and Boston are fully controlled by; the other three are part of a DNS collective.

You run your own DNS server(s)

If you have your own DNS server(s) and just want to provide extra secondaries then please contact Andy with:

  • The IP addresses of your servers
  • The names of your domains

You are a VPS customer and don't run your own DNS server

For only one or two domains it is often not worth running your own authoritative DNS server especially on a VPS which may be quite RAM-limited. If you operate a VPS with then we can take one files directly from you via rsync.

To set this up please do the following:

Allow SSH access

Create a user dns-data on your server and allow ssh access from via this SSH key.

Note this is all on one line!

Setting up SSH login via keys is beyond the scope of this docuent, however some common mistakes are:

  • Incorrect permissions on .ssh directory or contents - should not be world read/writable!
  • Incorrect ownership on .ssh directory or contents - should all be owned by dns-data!
  • Wrapping the public key text or breaking it in some other way

Create zone files

Create a BIND-format zone file for each zone you want secondaried, owned by dns-data and in a place that dns-data can read. Again, doing so is beyond the scope of this document, but here is an example of a minimal zone file which points and at a VPS IP:

$TTL 86400
@               SOA (


                        A       212.13.198.x

www                     CNAME

Contact Andy

Contact Andy with the full paths to the zone file(s). They will be rsynced every 15 minutes.

Add DNS servers to your parent domain

Do this step last, after you have confirmed all is working!

You probably should contact your domain registrar to alter the DNS servers in the parent domain. You can add the following: