[Pdns-users] Difficulty changing nameservers on domain registar's site

SashaB topdomainerpro at gmail.com
Thu Jul 2 13:15:03 UTC 2009

Hello all,

This is a long post with a lot of info since I thought you should know as
much as possible about these NS before (a) having to ask the obvious
questions and (b) so you can offer suggestions.

Here's the situation. I have set up the NS for our domains (on four servers)
and nearly all resolving properly to the domains to which they point. (For
those few that are not, I have figured out and corrected the issue; now
we're waiting for the changes to propogate.)

However, we I have a specific domain registered via a registrar in the EU
for one of our mail/webmail servers and, each time I try to change the NS
(domain 'owners' can modify their own DNS on the registrar's site similar to
(but far simpler than) GoDaddy's "Total DNS"), I get the following errors:

ns1.maildomain.eu  --->"The given nameservers return different SOA entries."
ns2.maildomain.eu --->"Connection to server failed."

Before providing your help, you should know the following:

1) The nameservers are shared by other NS, all of which have domain names
associated for their specific purposes. (For example: ns1.foodomain.net,
dns1.thisdomain.com, ns1.maildomain.eu, etc.). I've pointed all "ns1"
domains to one IP address on each server and "ns2" are pointed to a
different IP address on each server but share the same IP address on that
server, etc.
2) The NS for this domain are on different servers in the same region and
located in entirely different datacenters.
2) While there is a master record for the ccTLD itself on its resident
server, I've also set up a separate master record for the NS1 so I can see
updating serial numbers for just the NS. Because I also set up, as a
supermaster, the hostname for the servers on which each of their NS has its
master record, without creating each NS as a slave on the master server for
that record, they each show on the other server as a slave and their serial
numbers (and my logs, which I've set up to view by secure webserver) show
they have been updating regularly.
3) Websites and other applications, some with the same NS IP (but different
domain name), are resolving correctly.
3) All NS point to IP addresses, not CNAMEs or redirects. In fact, I tend to
use IP addresses over hostnames because they resolve better if we make DNS
changes to hostnames.
4) I 'played around' with the NS to learn how pdns works and determine how
best to set them up, especially for security and convenience. In that
process, I found it was just easier to point the NS for all of our domains
to the same IPs on each server and use other IPs for other purposes (like
pointing a domain's webservers to). So, I changed the IP addresses for the
NS, deleted and recreated NS records, updated SOA records, etc. That may
affect the SOA entries.
5) The NS have been live for at least 24 hours each.
6) The NS point to different IPs from the domain's other records, like the
MX and webmail server, which have their own IP addresses. I've configured my
virtual hosts in apache accordinly (except I did not create any for the NS.)
7) The SOA record of NS record on each server points to the appropriate IP
address and is configured, "ns1.maildomain.eu
hostmaster.masterrecordserver.com". Since each is on different servers, the
"hostmaster" domain name is for that server, not the master server (ns1) of
the domain itself.
8) I've given the registrar's IP address access to my server (via
hosts/csf.allow and the firewall) and added its network address to the
'axfr' setting in pdns.conf. The pdns-recursor is not active on one server
(configuration issues) but is on the other. On the server with pdns-recursor
running, each master record has a corresponding "in-address.arpa" entry. I'm
still working on that for the other server. Neither server, however, is
experiencing resolution issues with the domains not associated with these in

So, that all said, I have a few questions that might be a source of some

1) I've taken the extra step of creating an "A" record for each NS in the
domain's DNS settings on the registrar's site as well as updating the other
records for the domain in the registrar's DNS as well, thinking that may
help. Will that affect the SOA records?
2) Do the changes I've made to the master records, i.e., changing the IP
address of the NS several times before deciding on a final configuration,
cause such problems? (The NS for my websites, which have totally different
NS, in part, so we don't have these issues with them, have been 'cast in
stone' for several weeks and haven't changed so they're resolving
3) My understanding is that mysql acts as recursor when pdns-recursor. How
can I tell if the records in mysql are correct? (I've looked at the records
via Webmin but they don't contain full record entries or have IP numbers
associated, so I can't tell how accurate they are.)
4) How does pdns-recursor and rDNS configuration affect resolution? Could
that be part of the issue?

Finally, I've done searches online and found that others have this issue
with EU-based registrars. Ostensibly, this is to prevent NS
misconfiguration. But, I'm finding pdns is pretty good at that so I'm not
understanding the problem. But, since I have three more domains with this
registrar, I've got to so I can fix it. Please provide your
solutions-oriented assistance in trying to ressolve this issue so we can use
our own NS for our mail/webmail servers.

If you've read this far, thank you and I look forward to your help.

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