This article outlines the various types of records that are set up for a domain and what they are for. These records can be configured through the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page by clicking the ‘DNS’ link under the domain name.
See also: List of DNS record types on Wikipedia
- This is the "Address" record (A record) to forward the hostname to an IPv4 address.
- This is the IPv6 address record. You can use this to forward the mapping of the hostname to an IPv6 address.
- The “canonical name record” or CNAME record points one domain name to another domain name.
- Also known as "mail exchange" records, which show you the host record the domain is pointing to for mail hosting.
- These “nameserver records” delegate a domain or subdomain to a DNS server.
- Also called a “pointer record”. This is used for the reverse mapping of an IP address to a hostname. DreamHost currently only supports reverse DNS records when a Unique IP is added to a domain.
Note: Please note that a Unique IP address cannot be used to resolve mail blocking issues on shared email hosting.
- You can read more about Unique IPs here:
- "Service locator" records advertise a specific service that a server offers.
- The text records are free-form text strings. They can be used for things like Google verification records and SPF / DKIM signing for mail services.
- For further information regarding SPF and DKIM, please see the following articles:
You can find further information regarding IP addresses and the two types that are used in the following article:
Below are some additional details regarding different DNS records or terminology:
DNS A record lookup
- When looking up an A record, you may get a CNAME record in response, for example:
[server]$ dig www.cloudflare.com www.cloudflare.com. 260 IN CNAME www.cloudflare.com.cdn.cloudflare.net. www.cloudflare.com.cdn.cloudflare.net. 260 IN A 22.214.171.124 www.cloudflare.com.cdn.cloudflare.net. 260 IN A 126.96.36.199
- You can look up the A record of that CNAME record. You will either be presented with yet another CNAME record or an A record.
- In situations where you cannot control the IP address of your server, such as a home user who receives an IP address from their ISP, dynamic DNS may be used to keep the domain name properly updated.
Fully qualified domain name
A FQDN is a unique domain that can't be confused with another. For example, if your site was
example.com, you may have several FQDNs.
View the following article for further details:
A Zone file is a text record that contains the mapping of your domain and subdomains to their corresponding IP addresses. View the following article for further details:
DreamHost does not offer a service to export your domain's zone file. If you need a list of the domain's records, you must copy your DNS records from your panel.
The Start of Authority record is the first resource record in a DNS Zone file. The SOA record specifies the following authoritative information about a specific domain:
- Primary name server of where the SOA record was created.
- Admin email of the zone file. (A period is used in place of the @ symbol).
- The domain's serial number. This is the revision number of the zone file.
- Refresh time
- Retry time
- Expire time
- Minimum TTL
Run the following command via SSH to look up an SOA record. This example looks up dreamhost.com:
[server]$ nslookup -type=soa dreamhost.com Server: 188.8.131.52 Address: 184.108.40.206#53 Non-authoritative answer: dreamhost.com origin = ns1.dreamhost.com mail addr = hostmaster.dreamhost.com serial = 2015091000 refresh = 14534 retry = 1800 expire = 1814400 minimum = 14400