From: James Ford (
Date: Wed May 06 1998 - 17:15:01 CDT

I have received two answers so far. Many thanks to

Auteria Wally Winzer Jr.
Jeff Graham

for their quick responses.

Jeff Graham stated (more or less): "This is usually due to an error
in the zone file for that particular domain - usually an underscore
or such.".

He is/was correct. In bind v4.9.3 the underscore "_" character (an
illegal character according to the RFCs, I believe) could still be
used in domain names via bind. Later versions of bind strictly
enfore the "no underscores".

Changing the one occurance of "_" to a hyphen ("-") solved my problem.

Auteria Wally Winzer Jr. stated: "You need to change your serial
number format. 34.6 should not be used."

A dotted decimal number is allowed. It is defined in the file
src/bin/named/named.h. Whether or not you should use it is a
different question. (grin) While some sites like to use yymmddXX we
like to use dotted decimals so we know how many times the zone file
has been modified (346 in the above example). However I was going to
change it if all else failed. :-)

------------------------- original question -------------------------
Currently having a slight problem with bind v8.1.1 after upgrading
from bind 4.9.3. It seems that

  1. any query to that nameserver shows a non-authoritative answer
      for machines under the domain it control. Example:

      Default Server:

> set query=any

      Non-authoritative answer: internet address =

The machine "" is in correctly....the same zone
file works correctly for bind-4.9.3.

  2. From with nslookup (that came with BIND) I am unable to issue
      the command "ls". However "ls"
      gives a correct response.

      Default Server:

> ls
      *** Can't list domain Unspecified error

I have compiled/installed bind v8.1.1 for a local ISP and everything
works fine....thus I decided it was time to upgrade the campus
nameserver. But now I'm kinda confused. :-) (Note: dig seems to be

The nameserver is listed in all our zone files....below is the
relevant sections from named.conf and Pointers
appreciated. Otherwise I'll start putting in records one at a time
until it breaks. :-)

Thanks in advance.

----------------------------- /etc/named.conf -----------------------
options {
        directory "/etc/named.files";
     // query-source address * port 53;

logging {
        category lame-servers { null; };
        category cname { null; };

zone "." {
        type hint;
        file "";

zone "" {
        type master;
        file "";

------------------------- rest snipped ------------------------

---------------------------- ------------------------------ in soa (
                                     34.6 ; serial
                                     86400 ; refresh
                                     600 ; retry
                                     604800 ; expire in
                                     86400 ) ; minimum ttl
; RR for this domain's name server in ns
                  1 in mx 10 in ns in ns
--------------------- rest snipped ----------------------------

James Ford - Seebeck Computer Center
             The University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
             (205) 348-3968 (205) 348-3993 (fax)

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