Updating BIND cache initialization ("hints") file

Occasionally changes are made to the list of DNS root servers. Here is a syslog entry of a host running BIND with an out-of-date cache initialization ("hints") file:

Nov 20 10:50:30 host named[29147]: check_hints: A records for J.ROOT-SERVERS.NET class 1 do not match hint records

There are two methods for retrieving the latest hints file:

1. Download the named.root file from ftp.rs.internic.net. The full path to this file is /domain/named.root on this anonymous FTP site.

2. Use the BIND dig utility to retrieve a list of root name servers.
dig @a.root-servers.net . ns > named.ca

Make sure to copy named.ca to the directory containing your DNS maps. Restart BIND for the changes to take effect.

If you wish, you can write a script to check if the hints file has been updated, and automatically retrieve and install the new file. Since the hints file rarely changes, I recommend manually installing a new hints file.

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Last modified: 03/17/2003