Cannot update bind9 in Debian? Check for errors in zone config!

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Published on October 8th 2015 - Listed in Linux DNS


I recently updated a web server (still) running on Debian Squeeze. Luckily with LTS patches... However when apt tried to update bind9, the following error was spit out:

Setting up bind9 (1:9.7.3.dfsg-1~squeeze17) ...
Starting domain name service...: bind9 failed!
invoke-rc.d: initscript bind9, action "start" failed.
dpkg: error processing bind9 (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 1
configured to not write apport reports
                                      Errors were encountered while processing:
 bind9
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

A manual start of bind9 failed, too:

/etc/init.d/bind9 start
Starting domain name service...: bind9 failed!

I already thought that something must have gone wrong during the update process. Maybe the binary (/usr/sbin/named) was not correctly replaced? But I didn't even have to go so far. It turns out, bind9 simply didn't restart because of an error in the zone definitions.
Right after the try to start bind9, the following lines were logged in /var/log/syslog:

Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: starting BIND 9.7.3 -u bind
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: built with '--prefix=/usr' '--mandir=/usr/share/man' '--infodir=/usr/share/info' '--sysconfdir=/etc/bind' '--localstatedir=/var' '--enable-threads' '--enable-largefile' '--with-libtool' '--enable-shared' '--enable-static' '--with-openssl=/usr' '--with-gssapi=/usr' '--with-gnu-ld' '--with-dlz-postgres=no' '--with-dlz-mysql=no' '--with-dlz-bdb=yes' '--with-dlz-filesystem=yes' '--with-dlz-ldap=yes' '--with-dlz-stub=yes' '--with-geoip=/usr' '--enable-ipv6' 'CFLAGS=-fno-strict-aliasing -DDIG_SIGCHASE -O2' 'LDFLAGS=' 'CPPFLAGS='
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: adjusted limit on open files from 1024 to 1048576
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: found 8 CPUs, using 8 worker threads
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: using up to 4096 sockets
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: loading configuration from '/etc/bind/named.conf'
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: /etc/bind/named.conf.local:9273: zone 'example.com': already exists previous definition: /etc/bind/named.conf.local:2628
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: loading configuration: failure
Oct  7 08:12:17 squeeze named[23714]: exiting (due to fatal error)

Indeed, the domain "example.com" was configured twice in /etc/bind/named.conf.local. After the correction, apt-get update ran through.


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