Appendix A.  DNS Message Format and Resource Records

This appendix outlines the format of DNS messages and enumerates all the resource record types. The resource records are shown in their textual format, as you would specify them in a zone data file, and in their binary format, as they appear in DNS messages. You’ll find a few resource records here that weren’t covered in the book because they are experimental or obsolete.

We’ve included the portions of RFC 1035, written by Paul Mockapetris, that deal with the textual format of master files (what we called zone data files in the book) or with the DNS message format (for those of you who need to parse DNS packets).

Master File Format

(From RFC 1035, pages 33-35)

The format of these files is a sequence of entries. Entries are predominantly line-oriented, though parentheses can be used to continue a list of items across a line boundary, and text literals can contain CRLF within the text. Any combination of tabs and spaces acts as a delimiter between the separate items that make up an entry. The end of any line in the master file can end with a comment. The comment starts with a semicolon (;).

The following entries are defined:


$ORIGIN domain-name [comment]

$INCLUDE file-name [domain-name] [comment]

domain-namerr [comment]

blankrr [comment]

Blank lines, with or without comments, are allowed anywhere in the file.

Two control entries are defined: $ORIGIN and $INCLUDE. $ORIGIN is followed by a domain name and resets the ...

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