This book is intended primarily for system administrators who manage a domain and one or more name servers, but it also includes material for network engineers, postmasters, and others. Not all of the book's chapters will be equally interesting to a diverse audience, though, and you don't want to wade through fifteen chapters to find the information pertinent to your job. We hope this roadmap will help you plot your way through the book.
System administrators setting up their first domain should read Chapters 1 and 2 for DNS theory, Chapter 3 for information on getting started and selecting a good domain name, then Chapters 4 and 5 to learn how to set up a domain for the first time. Chapter 6 explains how to configure hosts to use the new name servers. Soon after, they should read Chapter 7, which explains how to "flesh out" their domain implementation by setting up additional name servers and adding additional data. Then, Chapters 11, 12, and 13 describe troubleshooting tools and techniques.
Experienced administrators could benefit from reading Chapter 6 to learn how to configure DNS resolvers on different hosts, and Chapter 7 for information on maintaining their domains. Chapter 8 contains instructions on how to plan for a domain's growth and evolution, which should be especially valuable to administrators of large domains. Chapter 9 explains parenting - creating subdomains - which is de rigueur reading for those considering the big move. Chapter 10 covers security features of the new BIND 8.1.2 name server, many of which may be very useful for experienced administrators. Chapters 11 through 13 describe tools and techniques for troubleshooting, which even advanced administrators may find worth reading.
System administrators on networks without full Internet connectivity should read Chapter 5 to learn how to configure mail on such networks, and Chapter 15 to learn how to set up an independent DNS infrastructure.
Programmers can read Chapters 1 and 2 for DNS theory, then Chapter 14 for detailed coverage of how to program with the BIND resolver library routines.
Network administrators not directly responsible for a domain should still read Chapters 1 and 2 for DNS theory, then Chapter 11 to learn how to use nslookup, plus Chapter 13 for troubleshooting tactics.
Postmasters should read Chapters 1 and 2 for DNS theory, then Chapter 5 to find out how DNS and electronic mail coexist. Chapter 11, which describes nslookup, will also help postmasters dig mail routing information out of the domain name space.
Interested users can read Chapters 1 and 2 for DNS theory, and then whatever else they like!
Note that we assume you're familiar with basic UNIX system administration, TCP/IP networking, and programming using simple shell scripts and Perl. We don't assume you have any other specialized knowledge, though. When we introduce a new term or concept, we'll do our best to define or explain it. Whenever possible, we'll use analogies from UNIX (and from the real world) to help you understand.