Most of the time, you really should use the DNS console to make changes to your zones. However, the DNS console isn’t suited for some tasks—sometimes you might want to edit the zone datafiles by hand. For example, adding, deleting, or changing a lot of records at once is tough with the DNS console but easy with a little Perl code or a good text editor. If you run a name server for long enough, you’ll eventually want to make a change outside the DNS console.
Editing by hand is a little complicated because you have to manually perform some steps that the DNS console does for you automatically. The following list describes what to do:
Remember that all changes must be made on a zone’s primary name server. This is the case whether you’re using the DNS console or editing by hand. If you make changes to the zone datafile on a secondary, the next zone transfer from the primary will overwrite your work.
If you’ve made any changes using the DNS console since you started the name server (that usually means since the last reboot), stop the name server. Here’s why: when you change a zone with the DNS console, the change takes effect in the primary name server’s memory right away, but the zone datafile on disk is not updated immediately. The name server sets an internal “update pending” flag to remind itself that that zone’s datafile needs updating. If you select Action → Update Server Data Files, all the zone datafiles of changed zones are updated ...