Dynamic DNS with Zentyal (Community approach)

Communication, Development  Tagged , , , 9 Comments »

DHCP and DNS infrastructure services are quite good for working
together. So Zentyal whose aim is to provide a tightly integrated
product had to make it work together.

Its cooperation is based on DHCP server asking to add the DHCP clients
in DNS zones. For instance, your client called foo asks for a IP
address lease to connect to your local network. Once the lease is
done, the DHCP server ask to DNS server to add foo client with the
given IP address to the configured dynamic DNS zone, for example,

Therefore, if you ask for foo.example.lan then the leased IP address
is returned, and reverse resolution also returns as expected.

The above explanation was the simplest and easiest to understand by
Zentyal community as these posts reminds me. But I thought the right
way to do it is to set the hostname by the sysadmin. That is, if your
host is a dynamic one and it is not a server, then a dynamic name is
set such as dyn- . Furthermore, due to time
constraints I was not able to finish a complete dynamic DNS + DHCP feature in
the past and reverse resolution was not implemented. That was odd for
Zentyal users although it is stated clearly in the documentation.

So, we decided to fix these things when a slot of time was available, so
I was able to finish the proper implementation with this shiny

  • Set the hostname based on DHCP client data when the client belongs to a DHCP range
  • Reverse resolution is working for DHCP client names
  • Mix static and dynamic defined DNS zones

The latter feature is a very neat one. This allows you as Zentyal
administrator to have a DHCP server assigning names and IP addresses
dynamically, as the hosts requests and releases demands to, and you as
system administrator are able to manage the zone to add different
resource records to that zone, such as, specific host names, alias,
name servers or mail exchangers.

In order to do that, I used nsupdate tool to dynamically set the
manual settings in a dynamic zone allowing us not to corrupt the
journal file by named daemon and be as kind as possible with bind.

List of DNS domains

Dynamic and static DNS domains

To sum up, to maximise this new feature you firstly must create a domain in
DNS section and then select it in the Dynamic DNS options from DHCP
section. Once this is done, save changes. Then, every new client
request will update your DNS zones to give direct and reverse
resolution for this name – IP address pair.

Dynamic DNS options in DHCP module

Dynamic DNS options in DHCP module

This feature is available in 2.X package series of Zentyal server. Namely, ebox-dns 2.0.3 and ebox-dhcp 2.0.4 are the packages with this feature.

Listening to your community requirements usually make your product better! :)

Best regards and thanks a million for your feedback on this great feature!

Edit: I have updated the post to include the definite version of the packages.

A post by Enrique Hernandez

My internship at Zentyal

Communication No Comments »

When a student decides to do an internship, he/she sets a number of objectives and also has an idea of the advantages and disadvantages such an internship can bring. As a student, when I began my internship at Zentyal some of my own goals were to get some working experience and some credits to complete the computer engineering degree. But I did not know what could happen, so I will tell you about my experience.

In total, I have made five hundred hours of internship, during which my main task has been helping the QA Team to update and create automated tests to verify proper operation of the software. I have covered areas such as programming in Perl and shell script, use of Selenium tool (web application testing system) that is a Firefox add-on and ANSTE tool (Advanced Network Service Testing Environment) for virtualization of machines and running of such tests. In addition, I have also spent time in high-level programming using Perl, and of course, to perform my task I have used and expanded my knowledge of UNIX system and its commands. At the same time, I could study in depth an open source server, gaining better understanding of its operation and some of the services it integrates.

I feel satisfied when I think about the experience gained, I have enhanced my education by participating in the daily life of a company, but I have also enjoyed an independence that has given me the opportunity to get to where I wanted. I have been considered as one of the staff members at all times, I have worked without pressure or obligation and I have never lacked support from the colleagues. Thus, I have been free to take advantage of this internship by checking my own limits, which undoubtedly has been beneficial.

On the other hand, the developed project has great challenges, covering many different fields of industry, which enables a professional growth without limits.

But that has not been all, I have worked with great people, in addition to their help, they have given me a great atmosphere both inside and outside the company. It has been like working in a small family business, although in this case, the small business is a great project and this little family is formed by great professionals.

Freedom, independence and a great atmosphere makes Zentyal a really nice place to work and the project provides an excellent motivation. From my point of view as a student, I could not have picked a better place to do my internship.

A post by Óscar

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