Networking

How to quickly install DNS on Ubuntu with tasksel

If you're setting up a DNS server on a Ubuntu or Debian machine and have no idea where to begin, Jack Wallen walks you through the process of installing the service.

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Image: Jack Wallen

The Ubuntu server is an incredibly flexible platform to add to your network. Not only is it stable and secure, but you'll also find it amazingly efficient at adding services. One such service you might want to include on your internal network is the Domain Name System (DNS).

The good news is that installing DNS on a Linux system can be done very easily, thanks to a handy application called tasksel. Tasksel is an ncurses tool (found in the Ubuntu/Debian ecosystem), and it makes the installation of multiple related packages quick and easy. With tasksel, you no longer have to comb through dependencies or know the various pieces required to install, say, a DNS or LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) servers.

Let's get DNS installed on your Ubuntu server with a couple of commands.

SEE: Power checklist: Managing and troubleshooting Linux user accounts (Tech Pro Research)

Installing tasksel

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Issue the command sudo apt-get install tasksel.
  3. Type your sudo password and hit the Enter key.
  4. If prompted, type "y" to continue.
  5. Allow the installation to complete.

Tasksel is now ready to make your installation much easier.

Installing DNS

To run the tasksel tool, open a terminal window and issue the command sudo tasksel. Type your sudo password, hit Enter, and the tool will open. From the main window, use the keyboard arrow keys to scroll down until you see the DNS entry.

Once you have highlighted DNS, tap the spacebar to select it (it will appear with a red box - Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Installing DNS with tasksel.

With DNS selected, tap the Tab button on your keyboard to select Ok and then hit Enter. Once DNS has successfully installed, tasksel will automatically close and you are ready to start configuring.

Configuring DNS

The primary configuration file for DNS is /etc/bind/named.conf. You will also find the following files that will need your attention:

  • /etc/bind/named.conf.options - defines the forward options
  • /etc/bind/named.conf.local - defines what zones to load when named starts
  • /etc/bind/db.root - defines the root nameservers to the world

How you configure these files will depend upon your needs. DNS can get very tricky to work with unless you know the ins and outs of the system; now, at least, you know how to quickly get the DNS service installed on your Linux server. For more detailed information on configuring your Ubuntu-based DNS server, check out the official Ubuntu documentation.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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