13.3 novell-named Command Line Options

All command line options for DNS server are optional.

If the DNS server is loaded without any options, default values for all of the options, wherever applicable, are used.

To start a DNS server, enter the following command at the server console prompt:

rcnovell-named start

Command line options can be specified in two different scenarios:

  • Load: This is the first time the DNS server is loaded.

  • Suspend state: The server can be suspended using the management utilities. The server remains loaded, but it supports only a limited set of services. It does not support any updates and dynamic reconfiguration.

Table 13-1 Command Line Options

Command Line Options


Default Value


-d level


Fault Tolerance

-F on|off


Run the server in foreground



Run the server in foreground and enable all logging to stderr



Number of Log versions



Number of CPUs


Number off CPUs on the machine

DNS Port

-p portnumber


Dynamic Reconfiguration

-r on|off


Replace Characters

-R character


Memory usage statistics









Cluster Enabling

-V mountpoint

NOTE:The -V option must point to the NCP volume name.


Zone Update



Usage Display



Command line options can be specified only at load time. These options control the behavior that can be set only once for a particular running session of the DNS server. If you specify an invalid value for such an option at load time, the server exits.

Syntax: novell-named[-d debuglevel][-f][-g][-F fault tolerance][-n number_of_cpus][-p port][-s][-t chrootdir][-u username][-L number_of_log_versions][-r dynamic reconfiguration][-R replacechar][-V mountpoint][-z]

13.3.1 Description of Command Line Options

Debugging Level Syntax: –d level

This option sets the level of information to be logged. If -d is specified, all the debug messages of type information /notice/warning/error/critical are logged for all categories. Setting the log level to higher number captures all the logging details over the preceding levels.

All the messages are logged in the /var/opt/novell/log/named/named.run file.

Run the Server in foreground Syntax: -f

Enables you to run the server in foreground.

Fault Tolerance Syntax: –F on|off

When this option is set to on, the DNS server can start using the backup files if eDirectory is inaccessible. If off is specified for a new load, the DNS server does not service the zones for which eDirectory is not available.

Run the server in the foreground and force all logging to stderr. Syntax: -g

Enables you to run the server in the foreground and force all logging to stderr.

Number of Log Versions Syntax: -L

Specifies the number of log file versions to create.

Number of CPUs Syntax: -n

Creates #cpus worker threads to take advantage of multiple CPUs. If not specified, novell-named will try to determine the number of CPUs present and create one thread per CPU. If it is unable to determine the number of CPUs, a single worker thread will be created.

DNS Port Syntax: –p port_number

The port specified in this option is used by the DNS server to listen for queries. The values for this option can be in the range 1-65535. The default port number is 53.

Dynamic Reconfiguration Syntax: –r on|off

If dynamic reconfiguration is enabled, the DNS server periodically checks the configuration data for the server and zones. As part of this activity, it automatically detects added, deleted, and modified zones. This option has no effect on periodically checking the directory for changes in the zone data. Even if the dynamic reconfiguration is set to off, periodic detection of zone data occurs. The default period for dynamic reconfiguration is 15 minutes.

Replace Characters Syntax: –R characters

A set of characters that are not allowed in the hostnames. The current list is ~!@#$%^&*+=?’`:;,"<>\/()[]{}|. This option can be used to add characters to this list. If these characters are found in the hostnames, the DNS server replaces these characters with a dash (-) before storing them in eDirectory. This option is included for backward compatibility and only allows adding one more character to the existing list.

Memory Usage Statistics Syntax: -s

Writes memory usage statistics to stdout on exit.

chroot Syntax: -t

chroot() to directory after processing the command line arguments, but before reading the configuration file. novell-named expects the directory specified to already exist and the /etc/opt/novell/named directory structure should be created under the chroot dir. In the absence of chroot directory, the installation (YaST) creates this directory structure at root level. All the db files, journal file and conf files are created under this directory. In a cluster setup, the directory structure has to be created under the mountpoint specified with the -V option.

Log file named.run is created under /var/opt/novell/log/named with respect to chroot directory. novell-named expects this directory structure to be created at load time. In the absence of chroot directory, the installation (YaST) creates this directory structure at root level. In a cluster setup this directory structure should be created under mountpoint. In case chroot is mentioned, it expects this structure to be created under chroot directory. All logging information goes to this named.run and not to /var/log/messages.

Setuid Syntax:

setuid() to user after completing privileged operations, such as creating sockets that listen on privileged ports.

NOTE:On Linux, novell-named uses the kernel's capability mechanism to drop all root privileges except the ability to bind() to a privileged port and set process resource limits. This means that the -u option only works when novell-named is run on kernel 2.2.18 or later, or kernel 2.3.99-pre3 or later, since previous kernels did not allow privileges to be retained after setuid().

Cluster Enabling Syntax: –V mount_point

This option enables clustering, by providing a volume other than /opt/novell/named/bin/. The volume name specified as the argument should exist and be mounted on the Linux server.

Example: Load novell-named –V new_volume

If new volume exists and is mounted on the Linux server, the DNS server stores all files to this volume.

Zone Update: -z on/off

This option is optional. Setting this option to on, ensures that the DNS zone is updated one after the other. The default value is off. For example, if two simultaneous DDNS requests are received, one from NetWare DHCP server and another from SLES DHCP server, then this option updates the DNS zone one after the other.

Usage Display Syntax: –?