What is a nameserver?

In their simplest form, nameservers match domain names to IP addresses and share your server's domain names and IP addresses with the Internet. Without nameservers, potential visitors can only access your server and its websites via IP address.

Nameservers also share information with other nameservers. This allows visitors to quickly and efficiently access websites that your server hosts.

What is the difference between DNS software and DNS records?

DNS records are the resources within a zone file that map domain names and other services to their IP addresses.


Your server's local zone files must match the domain information that you specified to the registrar.

The nameserver software on your server manages nameserver records. cPanel & WHM offers three nameserver software options: BIND, NSD, and MyDNS.

Why do I have to update nameserver records at the registrar?

When you update your nameserver records at the registrar, the registrar can push your domain's DNS information to their DNS namespace.

What is an authoritative nameserver?

Authoritative nameservers return responses to queries for one or more zones.

What are the differences between local, private (custom), clustered, and remote nameservers?

What is the difference between DNS clusters and the default local nameserver setup?

You can cluster software to ensure that all of the nameservers that are in the DNS cluster contain the same information. Clustered software also shares DNS information with servers that are external to the server that actually hosts the website.

Do I need to use DNSONLY to create a DNS cluster?

No. You can create a DNS cluster on several cPanel & WHM servers without DNSONLY. 

You can also configure BIND to create a DNS cluster with non-cPanel & WHM servers. However, we do not support this configuration.

Where are my DNS zone files stored?

cPanel & WHM stores zone files in the /var/named directory, regardless of the selected nameserver software.

What if my DNS zones will not load?

If your server is part of a DNS cluster, and your DNS zones will not load, delete the temporary files in the /var/cpanel/dnsrequests_db directory.

To do this, run the following commands:

cd /var/cpanel/dnsrequests_db
rm *

Whenever the dnsadmin process runs, it checks all of the files in the /var/cpanel/dnsrequests_db directory. If the dnsadmin request has a large number of files to check, the request may time out before the system loads your DNS zones.

Open the /var/cpanel/dnsrequests_db.last_clean_time file and check the most recent date on which the system cleared the /var/cpanel/dnsrequests_db directory. We recommend that you set up a cron job to clear the directory on a regular basis.

If your DNS zones still do not load, open a support ticket.

Additional Resources