Enable BuddyNS to replicate your domain data (AXFR setup)

Goal

Have your current primary DNS server (or service) provide your domain data to BuddyNS, so BuddyNS can replicate it across its global DNS cluster.

Primary DNS server (or service)

This is the server or service where you edit your DNS entries. E.g. the server where you go to change the IP of your services, such as email.

Synonymous of master DNS. Notice that in DNS, primary and secondary DNS only refer to where the DNS data is created (primary) and when it is merely copied (any secondary). From the clients perspective, all DNS servers which a domain delegates to are equivalent and indistinguishable. For this reason, "master" is likely a less misleading name.

Corollary: secondary servers (like BuddyNS) serve your DNS at all times, not only when your primary server is unavailable.

Process

  1. Select the server type of your primary DNS server. See options below.
  2. Configure it as described. See instructions below.
  3. Test to confirm this step worked. See guide below.

Click on your DNS software from the list below. If your software is not in list, feedback us!

Enterprise users follow these instructions using the IP addresses of your own cluster, as you find in your BuddyBoard.

Select your Primary DNS server/service type

Use buttons to copy snippets!

Bind, and its successor Bundy, are the most common software. Perform the following actions:

  1. locate the options { section in your main configuration file /etc/bind/named.conf (or one of the files it includes):
    options {
  2. add this block into that section; note that transfer must be enabled on ALL addresses:
    # add this inside the "options {}" block
    allow-transfer {
      # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
      %%server_conf%%
    };
    
    # Ignore this if you didn't restrict queries with allow-query: allow queries from BuddyNS hosts
    #allow-query { %%server_conf%%};
    
  3. Tell BIND to UPdate with the new configuration: run as root this command:
    service named restart

For cPanel/WHM we have a custom-built integration plugin. It will let you control your domains exclusively from your cPanel/WHM server, and have BuddyNS transparently replicate your zones in the background.

See our BuddyNS-cPanel integration plugin page.

Use buttons to copy snippets!

If you're running DjbDNS (TinyDNS), you've probably gone through its standard installation process and therefore have axfrdns running. (If not, follow the link and do :) It takes about 5 minutes ).

Perform these operations:

  1. edit axfrdns' config file:
    nano /var/axfrdns/tcp     # or /etc/axfrdns/tcp ?
  2. add these lines at beginning of the file:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf_4%%
    # and this if you have IPv6 enabled:
    %%server_conf_6%%
    
  3. commit the change (no reload/restart is needed):
    cd /var/axfrdns && make

When using Dyn, you edit your zone(s) on Dyn.com's website. Dyn serves as your primary DNS server and provides zone data to BuddyNS via AXFR. Here's what to do:

  1. Follow Dyn's instructions for Allow zone data to be downloaded via DIG for all of your domains.
  2. Add each of the following IP addresses as Custom External Servers:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%
  3. On BuddyNS, enter Dyn's AXFR host as Primary Server: 208.78.68.66.

Done!

When using Afraid' FreeDNS, you edit your zone(s) on Afraid FreeDNS's website. Afraid serves as your primary DNS server and provides zone data to BuddyNS via AXFR.

Here's what to do:

  1. Log into your Afraid account.
  2. Follow "Backup DNS" in the main menu, then Manage AXFR Allow ACLs.
  3. Add each of the following addresses:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%
  4. On BuddyNS, enter Afraid's AXFR host as Primary Server: 50.23.197.95.

If you want to apply this configuration to multiple domains, add the following domains and use "clone" with the domain you configured for AXFR.

Done!

Proceed as follows:

  1. Log into your DNSME account and select AdvancedTransfer ACL (AXFR) from the top menu.
  2. In the Transfer ACL (AXFR) page, click the "+" symbol to add ACLs.
  3. Name the ACL "BuddyNS-transfer".
  4. Add the following IPs (use the -button to copy the snippet):
    %%server_conf_4%%

Now that you have a rule to allow transfer from BuddyNS servers, apply it to your domains:

  1. Select DNSManaged DNS from DNSME's top menu.
  2. Select the domain you want to edit.
  3. Select tab Settings.
  4. Set parameter Zone transfer (AXFR ACL) to "BuddyNS-transfer".
  5. Press Save.
  6. Go to your BuddyBoard and add all your zones using 208.94.147.18 as Primary Server.

Done!

If you'd like a more detailed guide with screenshots, check out Mark's excellent post on setting up BuddyNS with DNSMadeEasy. Simply pay attention to 2 changes:

  • The list of IP addresses for ACL AXFR has changed. Enter the right text copying it from above instead.
  • "Configure Vanity" is no longer applicable. Use the new server names to benefit of native secure DNS instead: see our instructions.

When using GoDaddy, you edit your zone(s) on GoDaddy's website. GoDaddy serves as your primary DNS server and provides zone data to BuddyNS via AXFR. Here's what to do:

  1. Follow GoDaddy's instructions for Enabling Secondary DNS with Our Nameservers as Masters.
  2. As IPv4 Address Range of slave nameservers, enter ALL of the following BuddyNS transfer hosts:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%
    If you need to enter address ranges, enter each address as both Starting and Ending.
    GoDaddy does not support IPv6 transfers at the time of writing.
  3. On BuddyNS, enter GoDaddy's AXFR host as Primary Server: 72.167.238.110.

Done!

Use buttons to copy snippets!

When using maraDNS, add this line to maraDNS' configuration file:

# allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
zone_transfer_acl = "%%server_conf%%"

# or this if you do NOT use IPv6:
#zone_transfer_acl = "%%server_conf_4%%"

Refer to using maraDNS as master for further details.

Recent versions of Windows DNS Server appear to allow zone transfer by default, so you'll require no setup unless you previously prevented traffic: AXFR requests from BuddyNS will just work. Simply add your zones to BuddyNS and use the Target tool to confirm that.

If transfer (AXFR) does not work, you may have previously entered rules to deny transfers. To check your current policy, use command Get-DnsServerZoneTransferPolicy from PowerShell. To remove them, use command Remove-DnsServerZoneTransferPolicy.

If you want to manually restrict your zone transfers, make sure you keep ALL of the following address enabled:

# allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
%%server_conf%%
Use buttons to copy snippets!

The overall approach we recommend with NSD is to enclose BuddyNS-specific settings in a separate file, and then include this file in every zone you declare. If you use patterns,

  1. Create a file /etc/nsd/buddyns_zone.conf for BuddyNS-specific zone settings:
    nano /etc/nsd/buddyns_zone.conf
  2. Add the following lines:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%
  3. Refer ("include") this file in each one of your zone block, or pattern if you use one:
    # nano /etc/nsd/nsd.conf
    # locate your "zone:" blocks, and append to each:
    include: /etc/nsd/buddyns_zone.conf
  4. Restart nsd after the update:
    sudo nsd-control reconfig

When using Parallels Plesk Panel, you host your zones on Parallels Plesk Panel, and use BuddyNS to improve your uptime. Follow this procedure:

  1. Log into your plesk Admin's account
  2. Choose "Tools & Settings" in "Server Management" in the navigation menu.
  3. Choose "DNS Template" from the "General Settings" group.
  4. Choose "Transfer Restrictions Template"
  5. Choose "Add New Address" to add each of BuddyNS' transfer server's addresses:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%

Done!

P.S.: There's a 3rd-party Extension (plug-in) to integrate BuddyNS into Plesk. Thanks Jerome! Like any 3rd-party code, use at your own risk and do not enquire our support about it.

Tools and Settings pane AXFR ACL settings pane
Use buttons to copy snippets!

When using PowerDNS:

  1. Edit PowerDNS's configuration file:
    nano /etc/powerdns/pdns.d/pdns.local
    
    # or here?
    nano /etc/powerdns/pdns.conf
  2. add these lines to it:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    allow-axfr-ips=%%server_conf%%
    disable-axfr=no
    master=yes
  3. apply the new configuration:
    service pdns reload

[Contributed by JH software, maintainer of Simple DNS Plus.]

When using Simple DNS Plus, follow these steps:

  1. Reach the Options dialog in Simple DNS Plus
  2. Follow DNS → Local Zones → Zone Transfers in options navigator.
  3. Check "Accept un-signed zone transfer requests for any zone on this server"
  4. Select "Only from the following IP addresses"
  5. Press the "Add" button and add all of BuddyNS' transfer host addresses (miss some and transfer will fail!):
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%

Done!

AXFR setup screen in Simple DNS Plus

When using TotalUptime, you edit your zone(s) on TotalUptime's website. TotalUptime serves as your primary DNS server and provides zone data for DNS replication to BuddyNS via AXFR.

Follow these steps to set this up:

  1. On your TotalUptime account, allow zone transfers by BuddyNS. Follow TotalUptime's Enable zone transfer doc. Permit transfer to ALL of BuddyNS' transfer systems (miss some and transfer will fail!):
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf%%
  2. On BuddyNS, add your TotalUptime domains using as Primary Server either of TotalUptime's master DNS server addresses:
    • 216.59.59.1
    • 216.59.60.1

From Virtualmin, reach Webmin first with the "Webmin" button (top left).

First, add BuddyNS servers as secondary for your zone:

  1. Click "Servers".
  2. Click "Bind DNS Server".
  3. Click the domain to edit.
  4. Click "Name Server".
  5. Add (or edit) one record for each BuddyNS nameserver (or as many as possible):
    b.ns.buddyns.com.
    c.ns.buddyns.com.
    d.ns.buddyns.com.
    e.ns.buddyns.com.
    f.ns.buddyns.com.
    Don't forget the trailing period . for each (absolute names).

Now enable AXFR (zone transfers) from BuddyNS:

  1. Click the "Edit Zone Options" icon
  2. In "Allow transfers from", add ALL the following addresses (one per line):
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf_4%%
  3. For IPv6 transfers, include these IPv6 addresses too:
    # allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
    %%server_conf_6%%
  4. Click "Apply Configuration" (top right).

Done!

In this setup, you edit your zone(s) on ZoneEdit's website; ZoneEdit serves as your primary DNS server and provides zone data to BuddyNS via AXFR.

Follow ZoneEdit's own instructions to enable zone transfer on your domains. Once you reach the field to enter Zone Transfer addresses to allow, copy & paste all of the following addresses:

%%server_conf%%

Done with the Allow Zone Transfer (AXFR) part.

When you'll get to the next configuration step (zone delegation), you'll need to add NS records for each domain. Do so from menu Domain → DNS Settings → NS records → Edit.
In there, keep the LOCAL entry — that expands ZoneEdit's own NS servers — and add the BuddyNS servers of your choice. For each BuddyNS server of your choice, use @ as value for the HOST field.

When using any other nameserver not included in this list, your goal is to allow AXFR for the following IPs of the BuddyNS cluster:

# allow ALL of the following addresses! Miss some and transfer will fail.
%%server_conf%%

Please feedback us with the name of your DNS system so we can provide docs for commonly requested ones.

Services known to lack support for zone transfers are:

  • Namecheap's FreeDNS
  • Rackspace Cloud DNS
  • CloudFlare DNS

Each of these services is therefore incompatible with BuddyNS (or any secondary DNS service).

Each entry was checked with their respective support desk. Some may have implemented AXFR support recently. Please report any correction to us.


Troubleshooting Zone Transfer

Errors in Latest transfer? → Use Target

Target troubleshooting tool

BuddyNS's latest attempt to fetch your zone failed. This could be minutes or hours ago.

Use the Target tool to run a live test:

  1. Log into your BuddyBoard Zones panel
  2. Find Target button next to your zone title (1. in the image)
  3. Click it to run the test.
  4. Go through each of the tips Target gives you in the box below (2. in the image).

Errors in other fields?

They are expected for now! Proceed to in order to fix them.

Getting further help

Nota bene: our support team has no more information than the Target tool gives you.

Upgrade to our Pro or Astronaut plans if you wish hand-in-hand support to setup your side. Both plans include a setup session with our level-2 engineers!

Otherwise, we ask for your help: we give away Free DNS infrastructure as a courtesy, but offering free engineering resources truly goes beyond our pockets. Please do not contact support for technical matters as a Free user.

If wish hand-in-hand support to setup your side, contact our support to schedule a 30-minute setup session with our level-2 engineers — available to our Pro and Astronaut users.

Now stop and test!

Test your setup before proceeding:

  1. Log into your BuddyBoard
  2. Press the SyncNOW! SyncNOW button logo button next to the zone you want to test. Any zone on the master server you just configured is just as good a test case.
  3. Wait1263 minutes ← P.S.: Exponentially faster sync time is available with higher plans.
  4. Reload the page to ensure fresh data.
  5. Check if your zone transferred successfully; it was if all of the following apply:
    • It shows in blue color in your BuddyBoard.
    • It shows with a correct serial: number next to it.
    • If you click it to expand its details, they show a recent Last updated on time.

→ Now, has your test succeeded?