first post over here.

Until yesterday I had a virtual shop working in a VPS webhost site, but because of the quality of service it was decided to move the whole webapp to another webhost, in a dedicated host plan, so theorically, I have whole control over both OS (Debian Squeeze and Debian Wheezy) configuration files, including the DNS service, BIND. I was guessing the transfer process of the domain (used by the virtual shop) was as simple as copy the DNS configuration files from one webhost to other, stop one bind9 service and start the other BIND service.

But just to be sure, I asked to technical support of the new webhosting, and they told me that I had to change the DNS servers for the ones they used (obviously, besides the IP addresses), "easy cake" I thought, and just to be sure (once again) I sent them both Resource Record files for checking, the anwser was "you ought make that change in the domain register, if you don't control the register, you should make contact with the provider where you did register it.".

Tests with named-checkzone in both RR returns OK, but dig and nslookup returns with error messages (as it was expected). The DNS domain was acquired by the company long before I got in, so I got no idea about any domain registers (and seems as the owner of the company doesn't any clue neither).

So, considering I'm using a dedicated server, there's anything else I should do about it in order to re-activate the DNS domain? (using the new IP address) or there's something that technical support got to do to complete the task? How many days I have to wait for?

Thanks in advanced to everybody.


Basically, running the Nameserver on the same host as the a service that is resolved by it, is not a good idea. If the server goes down, you would not even be able to receive mails for it after a while, because the MX records are not accessible.

You should aim to seperate nameservice and other services like web, smtp, ftp or whatever.

So for now, you must enter the ip-address of your NEW nameserver (bind) at the domain registrars settings for that domain.

To find out which registrar the domain is registered at, try:

$> dig NS your-domain

This gives you an ip-address, which you feed to "whois":

$> whois IP

This gives you the contact information for the registrar, which holds the domain. Maybe you can find some documents in your archive with that name on, that give you more detailed contact infomation, and/or access codes..

After an update at the registrar, you will have to wait for minutes up to hours, not longer. In the meantime, you may also activate the old nameserver if still active, if that helps, and do the update to the new nameserver step-by-step.

Good luck !

  • dig and whois doesn't return relevant information about the DNS domain. The Bind server is running on one server but not in the former (as it should be). I know the output of those commands because I used them when the virtual shop was running. I guess the only way to follow your instructions is stop the service in the current server and start it in the old one. – abiyi May 4 '16 at 17:22
  • Well, you don't need to stop it on the new server, since it is obviously not serviced. Just start the nameserver on the old box, and try finding out registrar informations. – gerhard d. May 4 '16 at 17:28
  • I started the BIND service in the old server and I did run dig NS my-domain but the only IP address I get is the first nameserver IP address of the resolv.conf file (depending of the machine). If I run it on a different machine (not the dedicated servers) it returns a different IP every time, both belongs to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) organization. – abiyi May 4 '16 at 18:38
  • Using publicdomainregistry.com/whois to get info about the domain name I found a lot of info about, and at the end, it says: Registration Service Provided By: [webhosting company]. So, does it mean I have to ask politely to release the domain name in order to use it in another webhosting company? – abiyi May 4 '16 at 18:41
  • It is sufficient, to ask [webhosting company] to add your NEW servers ip as one of the domains NS records. Then you can modify your zone on the new server as you wish – gerhard d. May 5 '16 at 12:56

When moving to a new host, you should do the following in order:

  • Ensure the new host is fully setup to accommodate all your processes required such as the DNS service (bind), mail services (POP or IMAP and SMTP), web service (Apache or Nginx), and database (such as Mysql).
  • Setup the domain in all the previously mentioned services.
  • Copy your website and databases to the host.
  • Make sure that your email client gets your email through POP from the old service since that mailbox will be deleted soon.
  • Test your new setup by placing a manual entry in your computer's hosts file pointing your domain name to the new IP.
  • Test your DNS service with dig ANY @newIP.
  • Configure your new email service in your email client, but keeping the old configuration for now.
  • Update the nameservers at your registrar. If you don't have the passwords, you'll need to call them. You can find their information by doing whois domainname.
  • Keep the old service active for around 48 hours to allow full DNS propagation.
  • You may need to perform manual updates to the DB to match the latest records on the old system.
  • Now you can terminate your old service.

If you don't do things in that order, your website and email could experience some down time, and you may lose some messages.

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