How to configure a Cisco router to be a DNS server

How to configure a Cisco router to be a DNS server

  • Posted by DIY Chris
  • On May 13, 2020
  • cisco, cisco dns, cisco router, dns, dns cisco, dns server, nslookup, server

This is probably not something you’ll want to do in a large scale enterprise environment.. let routers be routers.. but for that one off situation where you just need a DNS server and its more convenient than spinning up new hardware to handle a few host entries then this is the perfect solution.

First things first. Connect to your Cisco router by whatever means you have available to you.

Once you’re connected we will need to enable domain lookup

R1# configure terminal
R1(config)# ip dns server
R1(config)# ip domain-lookup

Next, we will need to configure the router with a public name server, this will be necessary so that the router can perform recursive lookups for when a workstation requests a DNS lookup that is not part of the routers DNS hosts it will use those name servers we specify here. I’ll just use Google’s name servers, they have served me well so far.

R1(config)# ip name-server
R1(config)# ip name-server

If you’re curious, the IOS will allow for up to 6 name servers to be specified. Now we can add some hosts

R1(config)# ip host chris
R1(config)# ip host donna
R1(config)# ip host hailey

The only thing left to do on the workstation side of things is to set the DNS server of the workstation to your router’s inside IP address and then you should be able to ping chris and you should get a reply from the router with the IP address

Hopefully this was able to help someone.


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