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HOWTO support http://example.com

This HOWTO configures a DNS server to allow URL's of the form http://www.example.com and http://example.com - both URL's will get to the same web server. Seems it's the cool thing to do these days. Though just to really tick you off - if you type example.com into a decent browser it will automatically try www.example.com for you ('cos it thinks you forgot or are stupid). So you don't actually need to do anything - 'cept use a good browser.

Beware: You will also have to change your web server for this to work (change defined below for Apache using Virtual hosts).

; zone file fragment for example.com
....
; SOA NS MX and other stuff

; define an IP that will resolve example.com
                 IN      A      192.168.0.3
; you could also write the above line as 
; example.com.  IN      A      192.168.0.3
www             IN      CNAME  example.com. ; dot essential
; aliases www.example.com to example.com
; OR define another A record for www using same host
; this is the least number of changes and saves a CNAME
www              IN      A      192.168.0.3

The above example shows both the use of CNAME and A RRs to achieve the same result (one or the other is required - not both). Which to use? It does not matter but, since you asked and since we consider unnecessary CNAME RRs to be evil, we would opt for the A RR approach. Well you asked.

The above will also work for any other service, such as ftp, as long as different ports are in use, for example, ftp://example.com will work if your FTP server was appropriately configured and on the same host.

Apache change

Assuming you are using virtual hosts on an Apache server you will have a definition in your httpd.conf file something like this:

<VirtualHost 10.10.0.23>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
    DocumentRoot /path/to/web/root
    ServerName www.example.com
    ErrorLog logs/error_log
    CustomLog logs/access_log common
</VirtualHost>

you need add a second definition with ServerName modified to reflect your change as follows:

<VirtualHost 10.10.0.23>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
    DocumentRoot /path/to/web/root
    ServerName example.com
    # if logging per host needs separate files
		ErrorLog logs/another_error.log
    CustomLog logs/another_access.log common
</VirtualHost>

An alternate method is to use a single <VirtualHost> definition using the ServerAlias directive as shown below:

<VirtualHost 10.10.0.23>
    ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
    DocumentRoot /path/to/web/root
    ServerName www.example.com
    ServerAlias example.com
    # if logging per host - use a single file
		ErrorLog logs/error.log
    CustomLog logs/access.log common
</VirtualHost>


Problems, comments, suggestions, corrections (including broken links) or something to add? Please take the time from a busy life to 'mail us' (at top of screen), the webmaster (below) or info-support at zytrax. You will have a warm inner glow for the rest of the day.

Pro DNS and BIND by Ron Aitchison

Contents

tech info
guides home
dns articles
intro
contents
1 objectives
big picture
2 concepts
3 reverse map
4 dns types
quickstart
5 install bind
6 samples
reference
7 named.conf
8 zone records
operations
9 howtos
10 tools
11 trouble
programming
12 bind api's
security
13 dns security
bits & bytes
15 messages
resources
notes & tips
registration FAQ
dns resources
dns rfcs
change log

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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