Setting up alternative name servers for your domain(s) using custom setup on your own server

**OS type and version:**CentOS Linux 7.9.2009
**Webmin version:**1.973
**Virtualmin version:**6.16 Pro
Related products version: RECOMMENDED

How do I set up alternative DNS on my VPS? The hosting company is decommissioning its DNS service and I need an alternative.

I don’t feel comfortable doing it myself and need assistance.


In the early days of the net it was quite common for people to do this: if memory serves, would be dns2 to Northwest Nexus’ and vice versa. It would be wonderful if Virtualmin 7 or a future version of Webmin / Cloudmin cloud include a feature which offers to host secondary DNS, in order to facilitate easier on-boarding of first-time and novice users and also offer a level of redundancy to lay users.

#FeatureRequest @Ilia. Could the project offer a free secondary DNS as a service to all users?

Back to you, @toofastdad: if you could spin up a new virtual server of modest configuration and install just Webmin on it, that could serve as a secondary DNS for your existing Virtualmin server. If not, then the newer versions of Virtualmin support Route 53, Amazon’s excellent (but perhaps expensive) DNS as a service. It will cost at least USD 0.5 per domain per month so it can become quite expensive if you have many domains. OTOH, it is also be quite cheap if you have one domain with lots of sub-domains, like I do with AWS charges me less than USD 2 per month for over 200 sub-domains and a few million DNS lookups a month.

Finally, I will walk the talk and offer to work with you to host your secondary DNS on one of my Virtualmin servers if you have the time and inclination to experiment.


Hosting secondary DNS on the same machine and/or in the same data-center (network) is pointless redundancy.

How do I set up alternative DNS on my VPS?

I have my top-level server and five sub-servers, so how do I create the slave server? Do I create a sub-server or a top-level one?

I have BIND DNS server already installed on my main server version 9.11


Hi, calport,

I’m not an admin, but I have set my server up about three years ago and have my central server and five sub servers that I host for a couple of friends and a charitable foundation. I wasn’t expecting my hosting company to decommission their DNS service — I need it like a hole in my head. So I need to point my domains somewhere and do not have the know-how. So if you can help me in any way, I would be grateful.

I want to install a slave server as recommended but am unsure how to do it and add Webmin as a secondary server. I looked through the documentation sent by @Ilia, but I don’t feel confident in the process.

If we could start by working on one of the sites to see if it works, I’m up for the challenge. FYI I’m in the AST time zone.


We have run our own slave DNS with Virtualmin for years. It’s fast and pretty easy.

We rent a VPS from for about $5/mo (1GB + 25GB).

We run Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS, just like our other Virtualmin servers.

You can use either the Pro or free version of Virtualmin on the slave. They let you use the Pro version for free for the second (slave DNS) server, or the GPL version works too.

We use the CSF firewall for all external hosts which is fantastic as it creates a clustered firewall.

You do have to create ‘glue’ records at your domain name registrar due to the chicken and egg situation of DNS.

Thanks for your input, it is appreciated. I will look into these options. Since my posting, my hosting company as of this morning have offered to help me with my DNS. I will let you know what they do and if it is an optimal solution. I will definitely explore setting up my own DNS on a slave.

It would be nice if Virtualmin could create a secondary sever option and an easy way to initiate IPv6 too.

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