Trying to run a server on a static IP from my house, DNS questions

Rashkae ubuntu at
Thu Dec 25 04:52:07 UTC 2008

Xn Nooby wrote:
> I am confused about how to set up my DNS information for my server.
> I bought a static IP address from Verizon, and registered a domain
> name at  My Ubuntu 8.04 server is connected to the
> Westell DSL router that Verizon sent me.  My goal is to run my own
> Linux server, so that I can learn more about linux system
> administration.
> My first step was to configure the "A" record at GoDaddy, and get it
> to point to my static IP, which worked.  I can enter
> "" and it forwarded to my IP, through the Westell
> router, and to my linux box (which is running Apache). That works.
> My second step was to configure the "MX" record at GoDaddy, that is
> when I started to get really confused. At one point I had it working,
> by creating another "A" record that pointed directly to my linux boxs
> full name (, and then telling the MX record to use
> the same name (
> I wanted to configure my mail the "correct" way, so I tried to use
> GoDaddy's "@" symbol. I deleted the "A" record with my servers name,
> and created a CNAME record called "smtp" that pointed to "@". Then I
> configured the MX record to use host "@" that goes to "smtp". It looks
> right, but email doesn't work now. The records look like this:
> A Records
> Host   Points to
> @
> Host  Points to
> smtp  @
> MX (Mail Exchange)
> Priority  Host  Goes To
> 0         @     smtp
> So I called GoDaddy to find out why my mail didn't work, and was very
> surprised at the answer.
> The Support person said since GoDaddy wasn't hosting my server, I
> needed to update the DNS server of the company that was hosting my
> server - apparently, me.  He showed me the GoDaddy option in their
> Control Panel where you set your "Name Servers", and said I should
> probably put the Verizon DNS values there. So now I think I need to
> call verizon to see if I can update my DNS values in their servers.
> I asked the GoDaddy support how I was able to browse to my website if
> they weren't my DNS server, and he said it was probably luck, and it
> wasn't guaranteed to keep working. Which seemed plausible enough,
> though strange.
> While I was on the phone, it occurred to me, since my goal was to
> learn linux administration, maybe I should run my own DNS server
> alongside my webserver and mailserver. Which makes me wonder, do I
> even need GoDaddy?
> I suspect a lot of people are also running linux servers out of their
> house on static IP's, so I thought I would ask how others are doing
> it.
> Any suggestions?

I'm not sure at all how to configure GoDaddy's DNS server, so I can't
answer your question regarding e-mail per say.. However, it's obvious to
me that the Go-Daddy support rep you were talking to didn't know what he
was talking about.

The fact that you can edit the DNS records means that GoDaddy is, in
fact, hosting your DNS.  There is no rule that says your DNS host must
also host your web page.

If you want to run your own DNS server, I would say, go ahead and do
that.. there's a great DNS howto that should show you everything you
need to know.  You still need a domain Registrar, and that domain
registrar needs to be configured with the Ip address of your DNS host,
(whether that be your own or another.)

However, you are generally expected to have two DNS servers, and I've
come across a registrar before that wouldn't accept my DNS information
unless I gave it two Ip addresses. (but strictly speaking, the second
DNS server is only for redundancy.  If you don't care about that, there
nothing that stops you from working with just one DNS server)

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