Solving Bind9 reload errors after Debian upgrade to Squeeze

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Published on May 17th 2012 - Listed in Linux


By upgrading a Debian server from Lenny to Squeeze, the version of the DNS name server Bind changes from 8.4.7 to 9.7.3.
If the same configuration files are re-used, bind will have problems to reload the configuration. While it worked fine under Debian Lenny, errors now appear on Squeeze.

The errors look like these:

# /etc/init.d/bind9 reload
Reloading domain name service...: bind9rndc: connect failed: 127.0.0.1#953: connection refused
 failed!

# rndc reload
rndc: connect failed: 127.0.0.1#953: connection refused

The port 953 is used for the rndc (control-) command, usually used for reloading the bind server.

In /etc/bind there is a file called rndc.key. This file (or the content) need to be included in named.conf or named.conf.options. Furthermore the control definition needs to be added, so that rndc listens on port 953.
I defined both in named.conf.options:

# cat named.conf.options
options {
...
};

key "rndc-key" {
        algorithm hmac-md5;
        secret "xxxYOURSECRETKEYxxx==";
};

controls {
        inet 127.0.0.1 port 953 allow { 127.0.0.1; } keys { rndc-key; };
        };

After a bind9 restart, the config could be successfully reloaded again:

# /etc/init.d/bind9 reload
Reloading domain name service...: bind9.

# rndc reload
server reload successful


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