unexpected rcode (SERVFAIL)

Chris Thompson cet1 at hermes.cam.ac.uk
Tue Apr 25 18:34:39 UTC 2006

On Apr 25 2006, Scott Baker wrote:

>I'm seeing a lot of SERVFAIL in my logs when my slave tries to
>transfer zones from my primary:
>zone 251.182.65.in-addr.arpa/IN: refresh: unexpected rcode
>(SERVFAIL) from master

Well, ns1.web-ster.com [] seems to give SERVFAIL when
looking up anything in that zone (not just transfers), while 
ns2.web-ster.com [] replies more reasonably. Which, if
either, of these are "my slave" and "my primary" ?

>Most of it seems to be for my reverse DNS domains (which allow
>DDNS). Is this the expected behavior for those domains?


>                                                         What exactly
>does this error mean? I can't seem to find a corresponding log entry
>on the primary. What should I be looking for?

SERVFAIL could be all sorts of things. Error at zone loading time?
Complete absence of the zone from named.conf?

Supposing ns1.web-ster.com is "my primary", then get it to serve the
zone correctly (e.g. "dig soa 251.182.65.in-addr.arpa @" 
should work) before worrying about zone transfers.

Chris Thompson
Email: cet1 at cam.ac.uk

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