SUMMARY: Lame servers

From: Stephen Harris (
Date: Tue Oct 15 1996 - 03:50:50 CDT


Well, It's nice to know my servers aren't at fault :-)

I originally asked about the following entries in my log files, and what
they meant (and should I panic :-))

Oct 14 19:07:38 nebula named[105]: Lame server on '' (in ''?):
  [].53 '': learnt (A=,NS=
Oct 14 19:09:27 nebula named[105]: Lame server on '' (in 'AU'?):
  [].53 'NS.UU.NET': learnt (A=,NS=
Oct 14 21:07:21 nebula named[105]: Lame server on '' (in ''?):
  [].53 'NS.UU.NET': learnt (A=,NS=

  it's not my fault :-)

The TCP-IP/Domains FAQ (internet/tcp-ip/domains-faq/part1) has some information
on this. A copy of the May 95 (old...?) version is available at - check out section 3.5
(but 3.3 is relevant as well.

Basically a lame delegation is one where the domain hierarchy above (eg
COM) servers have NS records pointing to a machine (ie a delegation) but
that machine doesn't respond with an "authorative" answer.
eg if I ask for the NS records for ""

  % nslookup -type=ns
  Server: localhost

  Non-authoritative answer: nameserver = NS3.CHINA.COM nameserver = NS1.CHINA.COM

  Authoritative answers can be found from:
  NS3.CHINA.COM internet address =
  NS1.CHINA.COM internet address =
But if I ask NS3.CHINA.COM the same question, the answer does not come back

  % nslookup -type=ns

  Non-authoritative answer: nameserver = NS1.CHINA.COM nameserver = NS3.CHINA.COM

  Authoritative answers can be found from: nameserver = NS1.CHINA.COM nameserver = NS3.CHINA.COM
  NS1.CHINA.COM internet address =
  NS3.CHINA.COM internet address =

So the delegation to NS3.CHINA.COM is "Lame".

How can Lame delegations come about? A number of ways:
  1) the designated server doesn't have a "primary" or "secondary" line in
     the named.boot file
  2) the Zone file has a parse error
  3) Zone transfer from primary fails (Bill Townsley: is this your problem
            with rogue? It seems to be responding authorative now!)

Ugh, there are a LOT of Lame servers out there...:-(

Thanks to:
  Gokhan Ozkan
  Rachel Polanskis
  Raju Krishnamurthy
  David Schiffrin
  Reto Lichtensteiger


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