Chapter 6. Configuring Hosts

“They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank—the birds with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.”

Now that you or someone else in your organization has set up nameservers for your zones, you’ll want to configure the hosts on your network to use them. That involves configuring those hosts’ resolvers, which you can do by telling the resolvers which nameservers to query and which domain names to search. This chapter covers these topics and describes configuring the resolver in many common versions of Unix and in Microsoft’s Windows 2000, 2003, and XP (which are basically the same).

The Resolver

We introduced resolvers way back in Chapter 2, but we didn’t say much more about them. The resolver, you’ll remember, is the client half of the Domain Name System. It’s responsible for translating a program’s request for host information into a query to a nameserver and for translating the response into an answer for the program.

We haven’t done any resolver configuration yet, because the occasion for it hasn’t arisen. When we set up our nameservers in Chapter 4, the resolver’s default behavior worked just fine for our purposes. But if we’d needed the resolver to do more than or behave differently from the default, we would have had to configure the resolver.

There’s one thing we should mention up front: what we’ll be describing in the next few sections is the behavior ...

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