Multi language support in BIND

Eivind Olsen eivind at
Wed Feb 23 09:22:37 UTC 2011

>  Can anyone tell me how to enable Arabic domain name query in BIND running
> Redhat RHEL 5. 
>  Actually we have many internal domain name zone configured in BIND
> running in Redhat 5 OS. Since i am from Middle east, users in my company
> wants to access their internal domain name through arabic name in
> Explorer.

You should look into Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). I haven't had
to deal much with those myself, thankfully, but there's some information
in various RFCs. I think perhaps might be a good
place to start as well.

I can't type arabic letters here, so I'll give an example in Norwegian
instead - the concept should be the same.

If I want BIND to serve the domain "æøå", I'll actually have to
convert that name into punycode and put the converted name
("") into BIND:

zone "" {
    type master;
    file "master/";

If you want that domain to receive emails or serve web-traffic, you'll
most likely also have to use the punycode version of the domain name in
your configuration, unless your software is capable of hiding those
details from you.

Do keep in mind that certain software just won't handle these types of
domain names - for example I know of a couple of webmail solutions (both
commercial and open source) that just aren't capable of sending emails to
such domain names - unless you make your users send directly to the
punycode version - and really, you can't expect people to do that

Eivind Olsen

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