DNS server in a Workgroup


I'm setting up a DNS server for a workgroup and I'm not sure about a settings. Would the zone name for the DNS server be the same as the workgroup, eg. workgroup is called "home" so zone name should also be "home"?

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Huh?  Why aren't you just using your ISP DNS?
In DNS server, client to resolve name you must have "Primary DNS Suffix"  configured on clients

chippedAuthor Commented:
I'm aware of that, I'm going to apply the relevant settings to clients through a DHCP server.

My ISP modem simply hands out the ISP DNS servers to the computers, and its causing problems. Like, if I type in "server" (my local server name) it won't resolve to the right IP and I have to manual enter the IP address.

This is why I'm setting up my own DNS server.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You have a server... why aren't you setting up a domain to ease management?
Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
Actually, I do the same for a home network,  you are on the right track.
name your zone "home", then hand out the IP of your internal DNS server with DHCP to connecting clients.
If they try a setup host in the zone file, say "server1.home", it will be translated nicely.
You do not have to have a FQDN to use DNS internally like you are trying usually, but that depends on what software you are using to serve DNS.  I do the exact thing you are describing with an internal Linux server.
The zone name can be anything you want, really, it does not have to match your workgroup name, but it can if you wish.

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It is best to use a DNS zone like 'home.local'. In a workgroup it is probably no problem to just use 'home', but it causes problems in a domain environment and it is just as easy to set it up properly to begin with. You are also ready to convert to a domain environment in the future.
Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
To itterate, doing someting similar, I opted not to go for "home.local" simply for typing ease.
When the time comes to integrate with AD or similar, it's simple to just append "local" to the zone at that time.
Just my .02
For typeing ease, just use hostname. You don't need to use hostname.domain.local.
chippedAuthor Commented:
Ok thanks guys, I was also wondering if it was "home" or home.local".

I'll just go with "home", I'll probably never set up a domain at home, I already look after one at work! That's enough for me :P
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Do what you like, but I find it difficult to understand how anyone experienced with Active Directory could find a workgroup easier to manage.  Forget group policies - the pain in the *ss of keeping passwords synchronized is a nightmare so that you can access shares.  And even then, machines like to "forget" how to communicate with each other.
Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
Another trick someone was describing above, that will actually help shorten typing, is, in each client / workstation, in the connection properties DNS tab, "Append domain suffix", if you put "home" (or whatever you name your zone), then when you give just a hostname for any connection, it will append .home to that host automatically.

Leew: I don't see any evidence that this was involving AD, other than non-OP answers mentioning it.
chippedAuthor Commented:
leew: You dont have to manage a workgroup :)

It's just easier for my situation at home. I have my reasons and i don't need to explain them to you. so with all due respect, of a domain was better for me, I'd be using one :)
chippedAuthor Commented:
Ok, I configured it today, just want to verify that I did it correctly.

When I first configured it, I didn't know I had to set the primary DNS suffix manually, is this right?

This is what I ended up doing:

1. Configured DNS server and set zone to "workgroup".
2. Went to "System Properties" > "Computer Name" tab > "Change" button > "More" button > Set "Primary DNS suffix on this computer" to "workgroup"
3. Configured DHCP server and set domain name to "workgroup"


Kent WSr. Network / Systems AdminCommented:
That sound right, you should be able to hop on any client configured like this now, and type, say if you have "server1",
ping server1
and it will append server1.workgroup

Now, if you have your local DNS setup to serve A records et. al. for zone "workgroup", you should be good to go :)
chippedAuthor Commented:
Turns out, that single label DNS causes problems. See this other question I created http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Protocols/DNS/Q_26725195.html
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