Solaris Naming Administration Guide

Names of DNS Data Files

So long as you are internally consistent, you can name the zone data files anything you want. This flexibility can lead to some confusion when working at different sites or referring to different DNS manuals and books.

For example, the file names used in Sun manuals and at most many Solaris sites vary from those used in the book DNS and BIND by Albitz and Liu, O'Reilly & Associates, 1992, and both of those nomenclatures have some differences from that used in the public-domain Name Server Operations Guide for BIND, University of California.

In addition, this manual and other DNS documentation uses generic names that identify a file's main purpose, and specific example names for that file in code record samples. For example, Solaris Naming manuals use the generic name hosts when describing the function and role of that file, and the example names db.doc and db.sales.doc in code samples.

For reference purposes, Table 28-2 compares BIND file names from these three sources:

Table 28-2 BIND File Name Examples

Solaris Names 

O'Reilly Names or other names 

U.C. Berkeley Names 

Content and Purpose of File 




The configuration file specifies the type of server it is running on and the zones that it serves as a 'Master', 'Slave', or 'Stub'. It also defines security, logging, and a finer granularity of options applied to zones. 




This file resides on every DNS client (including DNS servers) and designates the servers that the client queries for DNS information.




This file establishes the names of root servers and lists their addresses. 

Generic: hosts Examples: db.doc db.sales

Generic: db.domain Examples:


Generic: hosts

Example: ucbhosts

This file contains all the data about the machines in the local zone that the server serves. 

Generic: hosts.rev



Generic: db.ADDR Examples: db.192.249.249 db.192.249.253


This file specifies a zone in the domain, a special domain that allows reverse (address-to-name) mapping.


Generic: db.cache Example: db.127.0.0


This file specifies the address for the local loopback interface, or localhost 

$INCLUDE files

$INCLUDE files

$INCLUDE files

Any file identified by an $INCLUDE() statement in a data file.