17.1. Introduction to DNS

17.1. Introduction to DNS

DNS associates hostnames with their respective IP addresses, so that when users want to connect to other machines on the network, they can refer to them by name, without having to remember IP addresses.

Use of DNS and FQDNs also has advantages for system administrators, allowing the flexibility to change the IP address for a host without affecting name-based queries to the machine. Conversely, administrators can shuffle which machines handle a name-based query.

DNS is normally implemented using centralized servers that are authoritative for some domains and refer to other DNS servers for other domains.

When a client host requests information from a nameserver, it usually connects to port 53. The nameserver then attempts to resolve the FQDN based on its resolver library, which may contain authoritative information about the host requested or cached data from an earlier query. If the nameserver does not already have the answer in its resolver library, it queries other nameservers, called root nameservers, to determine which nameservers are authoritative for the FQDN in question. Then, with that information, it queries the authoritative nameservers to determine the IP address of the requested host. If a reverse lookup is performed, the same procedure is used, except that the query is made with an unknown IP address rather than a name.

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