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Check BIND – DNS Server configuration file for errors with named-checkconf tools

You can use a tool called named- checkconf to check BIND dns server (named daemon) configuration file syntax under Linux / UNIX. It checks the syntax, but not the semantics, of a named configuration file i.e. it can check for syntax errors or typographical errors but cannot check for wrong MX / A address assigned by you. Nevertheless, this is an excllent tool for troubleshooting DNS server related problems.

How do I check my bind configuration for errors?

Simply run command as follows:
# named-checkconf /etc/named.conf
You may want to chroot to directory so that include directives in the configuration file are processed as if run by a similarly chrooted named:
# named-checkconf -t /var/named/chroot /etc/named.conf
If there is no output, the configuration is considered correct and you can safely restart or reload bind configuration file. If there is an error it will be displayed on screen:
# named-checkconf /etc/named.conf

/etc/named.conf:58: open: /etc/named.root.hints: file not found

Related tool: BIND-DNS server zone file validity checking tool

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Fabio Viero September 22, 2007, 1:53 am

    also there´s named-checkzone to check zone files for typos, syntax errors and the like. Command syntax is as follows:


    Example for a zone domain.com with a zone file named domain.com.zone

    named-checkzone domain.com domain.com.zone

  • Balwinder S Dheeman September 24, 2007, 7:07 pm

    There also exists a dlint; a DNS Lint and even a dnstracer too ;)

  • John Doe September 26, 2007, 3:23 am

    DNS N00B

    I cannot get my bind service to start. When I type:
    [root@localhost ~]# /etc/init.d/named start
    Starting named:
    Error in named configuration:
    /etc/named.conf:58: open: /etc/named.root.hints: file not found

    What do I need to do to make the file appear in the correct directory. If I do:

    [root@localhost ~]# locate named.root.hints

    The file seems to be in the directory above.

    • Roshan October 4, 2011, 6:28 am

      copy the hints finle to /etc/ folder……and then restart the service.

  • nixCraft September 26, 2007, 5:25 am

    Do you run named in chroot jail? Can you tell me your Linux distro name?

  • John Doe September 26, 2007, 10:51 pm

    It is fedora 6 with all the lastest updates. Yes, it should be in chroot by default. It all started with this article:

    I was hoping to get it set up and running. Here is my version:

    [root@localhost ~]# rpm -q bind-chroot
    [root@localhost ~]#

    When I tried to backup things by doing:

    [root@bigboy tmp]# cp -f /etc/named.conf /var/named/chroot/etc/
    [root@bigboy tmp]# cp -f /etc/rndc.* /var/named/chroot/etc/

    It could not find the file locations and so I located them and typed in different ones. I’m not sure if that would have thrown it off?

    Is there someway just to remove it all and start over again? I tried removing and installing the graphical way through KDE but everything remains the same when I try to start named again.


  • Mohamed Dh. May 21, 2009, 2:46 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I have problem starting named service, I get Starting Named: [FAILED]. Then I started to check bind configuratio using named-checkconf command, but there is no output. Please hel me.

  • Andy November 18, 2009, 10:43 am

    hi Vivek,
    i have a problem whenever i do a nslookup for a site named manalihospital it does not return an answer but after i restart the named process it works fine for some time and again the same problem persists, what can be the problem.
    thank you in advance


  • Zeeger September 27, 2012, 12:20 am

    I had the same problem: no error messages the service will restart fine but for some reason this new domain would not resolve.
    when I looked at my /var/log/messages I saw
    mail named[6722]: zone mydomainx2.com/IN: loading master file mydomainx2.domain: permission denied
    looking at the file under /var/named I saw that the owner for this particular file was root:root.
    Changing the owner to root:named and restarting the service worked.

  • tarunika October 29, 2012, 7:51 am


    Getting this error while restarting

    29-Oct-2012 00:32:43.667 ignoring config file logging statement due to -g option
    29-Oct-2012 00:32:43.667 couldn’t open pid file ‘/var/run/named/named.pid’: Permission denied
    29-Oct-2012 00:32:43.667 exiting (due to early fatal error)
    Error in configuration file /etc/named.conf : [FAILED]

    any suggestion…

  • Bapurao March 26, 2013, 10:31 pm

    zone XXX.com/IN: loading from master file XXXX.com.zone failed: file not found
    zone XXX.com/IN: not loaded due to errors.

  • Bapurao March 26, 2013, 10:33 pm

    zone XXX.com/IN: loading from master file XXXX.com.zone failed: file not found
    zone XXX.com/IN: not loaded due to errors.

    please give solution from last 2 weeks i trying to install DNS server but not find ans.

    looking forward to you
    Thanx in advance

  • Pravesh September 24, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I am configuring dns in rhel6 but there is no file /named.root.key how to configure without this file or where to find the same file.

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