7. Troubleshooting

7.1. Common Problems

7.1.1. It’s not working; how can I figure out what’s wrong?

The best solution to solving installation and configuration issues is to take preventative measures by setting up logging files beforehand. The log files provide a source of hints and information that can be used to figure out what went wrong and how to fix the problem.

7.1.2. EDNS compliance issues

EDNS (Extended DNS) is a standard that was first specified in 1999. It is required for DNSSEC validation, DNS COOKIE options, and other features. There are broken and outdated DNS servers and firewalls still in use which misbehave when queried with EDNS; for example, they may drop EDNS queries rather than replying with FORMERR. BIND and other recursive name servers have traditionally employed workarounds in this situation, retrying queries in different ways and eventually falling back to plain DNS queries without EDNS.

Such workarounds cause unnecessary resolution delays, increase code complexity, and prevent deployment of new DNS features. As of February 2019, all major DNS software vendors have agreed to remove these workarounds; see https://dnsflagday.net for further details. This change was implemented in BIND as of release 9.14.0.

As a result, some domains may be non-resolvable without manual intervention. In these cases, resolution can be restored by adding server clauses for the offending servers, specifying edns no or send-cookie no, depending on the specific noncompliance.

To determine which server clause to use, run the following commands to send queries to the authoritative servers for the broken domain:

dig soa <zone> @<server> +dnssec
dig soa <zone> @<server> +dnssec +nocookie
dig soa <zone> @<server> +noedns

If the first command fails but the second succeeds, the server most likely needs send-cookie no. If the first two fail but the third succeeds, then the server needs EDNS to be fully disabled with edns no.

Please contact the administrators of noncompliant domains and encourage them to upgrade their broken DNS servers.

7.2. Incrementing and Changing the Serial Number

Zone serial numbers are just numbers — they aren’t date related. A lot of people set them to a number that represents a date, usually of the form YYYYMMDDRR. Occasionally they will make a mistake and set them to a “date in the future” then try to correct them by setting them to the “current date”. This causes problems because serial numbers are used to indicate that a zone has been updated. If the serial number on the slave server is lower than the serial number on the master, the slave server will attempt to update its copy of the zone.

Setting the serial number to a lower number on the master server than the slave server means that the slave will not perform updates to its copy of the zone.

The solution to this is to add 2147483647 (2^31-1) to the number, reload the zone and make sure all slaves have updated to the new zone serial number, then reset the number to what you want it to be, and reload the zone again.

7.3. Where Can I Get Help?

The BIND-users mailing list at lists.isc.org is an excellent resource for peer user support. In addition, ISC maintains a library of helpful articles at https://kb.isc.org.

The Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) offers annual support agreements for BIND, ISC DHCP and Kea. Four levels of premium support are available. Each level includes advance security notifications. The higher levels include greater service level agreements (SLAs), and increased priority on bug fixes and non-funded feature requests.

To discuss arrangements for support, contact info@isc.org or visit the ISC web page at https://www.isc.org/support/ to read more.