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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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named [options]

TCP/IP command. Internet domain nameserver. named is used by resolver libraries to provide access to the Internet distributed naming database. With no arguments, named reads /etc/named.conf for any initial data and listens for queries on a privileged port. See RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 for more details.

There are several named binaries available at different Linux archives, displaying various behaviors. Here we describe named as provided by Internet Software Consortium's Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) Version 9.2.x.


-c file

Read configuration information from file instead of /etc/named.conf.

-d debuglevel

Print debugging information. debuglevel is a number indicating the level of messages printed.


Run named in the foreground.


Run named in the foreground and send all log messages to standard error.

-n n

Specify the number of processors in a multiprocessor system. Normally named can autodetect the number of CPUs.

-p port

Use port as the port number. Default is 53.

-t dir

Change root to specified directory after reading command arguments but before reading the configuration file. Useful only when running with option -u.

-u user

Set the user ID to user after completing any privileged operations.


Print version, then exit.



Read when named starts up.

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