lame-servers: error (FORMERR) resolving [something]

Shane Kerr shane at
Tue Jan 8 09:38:36 UTC 2013


On Tuesday, 2013-01-08 09:49:57 +0100, 
Daniele <d.imbrogino at> wrote:
> Hi all.
> Sometimes I can't resolve some addresses and, in the logs, I can find
> the message in the title:
>    lame-servers: error (FORMERR) resolving [something]
> (where `something` is the address I'm trying to resolve).
> What does it means?

When acting as a recursive resolver, BIND 9 follows the chain of
delegation from the root, contacting name servers identified for each
domain on the way.

In this case, one of those name servers returned a packet that BIND 9
did not like for some reason - a FORMat ERRor. The offending server is
marked as "lame" since it cannot answer queries for the domain in

The message should also include the IP address of the server that it is
going to at the end of the line.

> And how can I resolve this problem?

In theory, you could try contacting the administrator of the server at
that IP address, and letting her know that there is some technical
problem so she can resolve it.

In practice, this is a worthless message and you should disable it in

    logging {
        category lame-servers { null; };

A couple of questions to everyone on the list...

1. Should ISC change the default logging for lame servers to disabled?

2. Are there other usually worthless default log messages we should



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