Common DNS Configurations
Updated by Elle Krout
After familiarizing yourself with Linode’s DNS Manager, the next step is determining which DNS records should be added. This guide discusses common DNS configurations that you can reference when creating your DNS records.
Setting Up a Domain
The most common DNS configuration is a single domain name on one Linode. For this, you’ll need to add SOA and NS records for all of your name servers, and A/AAAA records for your domain names. Use the screenshot below as a guide.
To configure a subdomain, such as
staging.example.org, create an A record with the hostname of the subdomain you want to create. Point the the record at the IP address of the server you want to host the subdomain, as shown below.
You will also need to create a name-based virtual host for the subdomain. If you’re using Apache, see Configure Name-Based Virtual Hosts for more information.
Hosting Multiple Domains on a Single Server
To host multiple domain names on a single server, create a separate domain zone for each domain name, as shown below. When creating the new domain zones, we recommend that you allow the DNS Manager to automatically insert basic records. At a minimum, you’ll need an A record for each domain name pointing to the server’s IP address.
You will also need to create a name-based virtual host for each domain name. If you’re using Apache, see Configure Name-Based Virtual Hosts for more information.
Using One Domain on Multiple Servers
If you have more than one server, but only one domain name, you can point A records with server-specific hostnames to all servers that need domain names. One machine will be the “front end” for the domain, by virtue of the first-level domain’s A record pointing to it, but if needed the domain can serve as a proxy for services provided by other machines. For example, if you wanted to create a development environment on another server, you could create an A record for
staging.example.org and point it at another Linode’s IP address.
Routing Email to Third-Party Mail Services
To route email to a third-party email service, create MX records that associate your mail server (for example,
mail.example.org) with a hostname provided by the third-party service. For instructions, see the website of your third-party email service.
Using Wildcard DNS Records
A wildcard DNS record matches requests for non-existent domain names. For example, if you create an A record for
*.example.org, and a user visits
nonexistantname.example.org, that user will be redirected to
example.org. An example wildcard DNS record is shown below.
This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.