BIND 9.x and hint file

Chris Thompson cet1 at
Mon Aug 31 16:33:57 UTC 2009

On Aug 31 2009, Fr34k wrote:

>I thought with some version of BIND 9, one no longer needed a root hints file.
>I can't recall the details and my google searches are finding how to set up a
>hints file (instead of suggesting this is, say, deprecated).
>Can someone shed some light on this?

BIND has had a compiled-in hints file (for class IN) that it will use if
none is provided via the configuration file, since (I think) 9.2.0. Anyway,
if you are still running any version that doesn't have it, you have worse

Of course, an old version of BIND may have an out-of-date compiled-in hints
file. Usually this doesn't matter too much. There will be warnings logged 
if BIND finds that what it gets from the root servers doesn't match what is
in the hints file (whether compiled-in of externally-provided), and it will
subsequently believe the former.

Of course, you need an external hints file if you are using a fake root for
a network isolated from the Internet. Otherwise, it's largely a matter of
taste. Personally, I prefer to keep one in my configurations for the small
amount of extra flexibility that provides.

Chris Thompson
Email: cet1 at

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