In this week’s installment of Charles Edge’s streaming book, “Take Control of OS X Server,” we’re moving on from directory services to something that’s significantly easier: DNS, the domain name system. Put simply, DNS servers match host names that users type to the IP addresses that identify servers. It’s a lot easier to enter
tidbits.com in your Web browser than to remember and type
To be fair, DNS can be a whole lot more complicated than the book gets into in the short Chapter 5, “,” but that’s because Charles isn’t trying to teach you how to run an industrial-grade DNS server with 24/7 uptime. That’s necessary for a public Internet server, where it’s unacceptable for the server to become inaccessible due to DNS problems. For such situations, we recommend that you host your DNS at your primary DNS registrar, such as .
Instead, Charles continues to focus on the small home or office network with just one or two servers and a reasonable number of clients. In that scenario, a DNS server provides two useful benefits: improved performance through caching of requests from the internal network and naming of internal servers. Setting up memorable names is especially helpful if you want to move file services, say, from one server to another later on, without making your users reconfigure everything to access the new server.
As before, everyone is welcome to read Chapter 1, “” and Chapter 2, “ ,” to see where the book will be going, but Chapter 3, “ ,” and Chapter 4, “ ,” are available only to . If you have already joined the TidBITS membership program,  to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined. The full ebook of “Take Control of OS X Server” will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete.
Publishing this book in its entirety for TidBITS members as it’s being written is just one of the ways we thank TidBITS members for their support. We hope it encourages those of you who have been reading TidBITS for free for years to help us continue to bring you more of the professionally written and edited articles you’ve become accustomed to each week. For more details on what the membership program means to us, see “” (9 December 2013).