How to identify a "raw" zone file

Mark Pettit pettit at
Thu Dec 1 20:52:31 UTC 2011

With the pending release of BIND 9.9.0, and the beta testing my company is currently doing, we've realized we need a good way to detect zone file type and convert it.

Is there any simple way to look at a file and quickly determine whether or not it's a BIND "raw" format zonefile, as opposed to a "text" format zonefile?

I've looked at a few of them, and I noticed that all the ones I've seen start with the four-octet string "00 00 00 02".  Is that sufficient?

Mark Pettit
Yahoo!, Inc.
pettit at

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