Master for root and per-zone forwarding

Tim Maestas tmaestas at
Sat Dec 14 00:01:56 UTC 2002

Using a BIND 8.3.4  server that is authoritative for the root 
zone, is it possible to still do type forward zones?  Will the server 
honor the type forward zone first, or attempt to look for delegation in 
the root zone first, and, not finding any, return nxdomain?

I had always thought that servers that are master for the root zone could
not do any kind of forwarding, but now I'm not sure.  My delima is this:  
I run a self-contained internal root DNS environment, but have the need 
type forward a zone to specific name servers.  The reason why I cannot
simply delegate off of root to these nameservers is that they are
customised nameserver implementations, and will only answer queries with
the RD bit set (different companies boxes....).  A delegation off of root
will result in my servers sending iteritive queries, to which the other
companies servers respond with a referral.  A type forward zone, however,
will send recursive queries, resulting in an answer from the other

The weird thing is, if I set up a type forward zone only, with no 
delegations to the zone in question in root, I get an NXDOMAIN response 
back from my server.  If I setup delegation from root, but no type 
forward, I get referrals back from the other nameservers, because the 
query is not recursive.  However, (this is where it gets weird) if I do 
BOTH delegation, AND type forward, my nameserver (BIND 8.3.4) ends up 
sending a recursive query, resulting in an answer back from the remote 
nameservers.  What causes this behavior??



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