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Install a DNS Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

You can use this procedure to install a Domain Name System (DNS) server role with Server Manager. Installing a DNS server involves adding the DNS Server role to an existing Windows Server 2008 server.

You can install the DNS Server role when you install the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) role. This is the preferred method for installing the DNS Server role if you want to integrate your DNS domain namespace with the Active Directory domain namespace. For information about installing DNS server on an Active Directory domain controller, see Configure a DNS Server for Use with Active Directory Domain Services. Use the following procedure if you are not installing DNS server on a domain controller.

Membership in Administrators, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To install a DNS server

  1. Open Server Manager. To open Server Manager, click Start, and then click Server Manager.

  2. In the results pane, under Roles Summary, click Add roles.

  3. In the Add Roles Wizard, if the Before You Begin page appears, click Next.

  4. In the Roles list, click DNS Server, and then click Next.

  5. Read the information on the DNS Server page, and then click Next.

  6. On the Confirm Installation Options page, verify that the DNS Server role will be installed, and then click Install.

Additional considerations

  • We recommend that you configure the computer to use a static IP address before you install the DNS Server role. If you configure the DNS server to use dynamic addresses that are assigned by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), when the DHCP server assigns a new IP address to the DNS server, the DNS clients that are configured to use that DNS server's previous IP address will not be able to connect to the DNS server because the DNS server’s IP address has changed..

  • After you install a DNS server, you can use a text editor to make changes to server boot and zone files for zones that are not integrated with AD DS, but we do not recommend that you edit these files directly. The DNS Manager snap-in in Microsoft Management Console and the DNS command-line tool dnscmd simplify maintenance of these files. We recommend that you use them whenever possible. After you begin using DNS Manager or dnscmd to manage these files, editing them manually is not recommended.

  • You can administer DNS zones that are integrated with AD DS only with DNS Manager or the dnscmd command-line tool. You cannot administer these zones with a text editor.

  • If you uninstall a DNS server that hosts Active Directory–integrated zones, each zone is saved or deleted according to its storage type, that is, whether the zone is stored in a file or in Active Directory. For all storage types, the zone data can be stored on other domain controllers or DNS servers. The zone data is not deleted from Active Directory unless the DNS server that you uninstall is the last DNS server hosting that zone.

  • If you uninstall a DNS server that hosts standard DNS zones, the zone files remain in the %systemroot%\system32\Dns directory, but they are not reloaded if the DNS Server role is reinstalled, unless you use the dnscmd /load command to recreate the zone.

  • When they write DNS server boot and zone data to text files, Windows Server DNS servers use a file format that is compatible with the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) file format that is recognized by BIND 4 servers.