Setting up DNS Server on Mac OS X Server

June 5, 2006

Step 1

First you’ll need to set up DNS for the domain names within your own network. Apple’s instructions for setting up DNS on OS X Server can be found in the following places:

There are basically two ways to configure DNS on OS X Server:

  1. Through the OS X graphical user interface by following the instructions starting on page 21 under “Managing DNS Service.”
  2. By editing the BIND config files. Instructions for this can be found starting on page 37 under See “Configuring BIND Using the Command Line”.

I found that route 2 worked for me.

Step 2

After you’ve followed the steps above, set up your DNS Server to use ISP’s name server to query domains that not defined in your DNS settings.

Open /etc/named.conf.

In the options directive, insert the following lines:

forwarders {
forward only;
listen-on {;; };

The forwarders option contains your ISP's name server IP address. Listen-on contains the loopback and the DNS server's IP address.


This page was written in 2006 for Mac OS X Server 10.3 so it's quite old. It was originally a 'crib sheet' from when this site was simply a collection of online technical notes to myself. I'm not sure how it applies to the current versions of OS X server but my guess is that if you follow the manual editing of BIND, the steps should be pretty similar.