Editing an OVHcloud DNS zone

Find out how to edit an OVHcloud DNS zone via the OVHcloud Control Panel

Last updated 7th July 2022

Objective

Understanding DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name System and is a set of data used to map a domain name to an IP address.

For example, when you want to access the website mydomain.ovh, your request is initially processed by this DNS set, which will direct it to the IP address of the server hosting the website mydomain.ovh.

Given the changes you will need to make in the OVHcloud Control Panel, it is important to differentiate between DNS servers and the DNS zone. A DNS zone is effectively configured on the DNS server on which it is stored.

You can find information about DNS servers and how to change them in our guide on Editing DNS servers for an OVHcloud domain name.

DNS

If we go back to the example above, when you type mydomain.ovh, the DNS servers associated with this domain name will be queried. These contain the DNS zone for the domain name mydomain.ovh, which contains the IP address of the hosting mydomain.ovh. This way, your browser can display the mydomain.ovh website’s content on the web hosting plan. This is called a DNS resolution.

DNS

DNS zone

The DNS zone for a domain name is a configuration file made up of records. You can use these to link your domain name to the servers that host your internet services, such as websites (with the A record) and email addresses (with the MX record).

DNS

This guide explains how to edit your OVHcloud DNS zone via the OVHcloud Control Panel.

Requirements

  • If your domain name does not use OVHcloud DNS servers, you will need to edit the configuration using the interface of your service provider that manages your domain name.

  • If your domain name is registered with OVHcloud, you can check if it is using our configuration. To do this, go to your Control Panel, and open the DNS servers tab of the domain name in question.

In both of the above cases, be careful when making your DNS server changes. The old configuration that can be applied to your domain name will no longer be active if you have not previously reconfigured and customised the new DNS zone present at OVHcloud.
You can only have one active DNS zone per domain name at a time.

Instructions

Access the area for managing an OVHcloud DNS zone

Log in to the OVHcloud Control Panel and go to the Web Cloud section. Click Domain names, then choose the domain name concerned. Go to the DNS zone tab.

The table that appears will display a DNS record linked to your OVHcloud domain name for each row. You can filter the table content by DNS record type or by domain name.

dnszone

DNS records

We strongly recommend taking great care when you edit a DNS zone. Incorrect changes could make your website inaccessible, or prevent your email address from receiving new emails.

By understanding what each of these records does, you will gain a better understanding of the changes you make if you edit your domain name’s DNS zone. Please refer to the list below. It lists the objectives and specificities of each registration.

Pointing records

  • A (Address): Links a domain name to an X.X.X.X IPv4 address (where Xs are numbers between 0 and 255). For example, the IPv4 address of the server your website is hosted on.

  • AAAA (Four A characters because this record is encoded on four times more bits than the historical A field): Links a domain name to an IPv6 address. For example, the IPv6 address of the server your website is hosted on.

IPv6 addresses are gradually being set up to compensate for the lack of IPv4 addresses due to the continuous expansion of digital usage. The 128-bit encoding of IPv6 addresses allows for a larger number of IP addresses.

However, if your server already has an IPv4 address, we recommend using it over IPv6.
IPv6 addresses are not yet correctly interpreted across the Internet, which can cause disruptions to display or access.

  • CNAME (Canonical NAME): Uses the IP address of another domain name by creating a link called an alias. For example, if www.mydomain.ovh is an alias of mydomain.ovh, this indicates that www.mydomain.ovh will use the IP address of mydomain.ovh.

A TXT record using the same domain or subdomain as a CNAME record will disrupt the CNAME record. Your CNAME record will only work partially or not at all.

By convention, CNAME records cannot be used directly by a domain in its own DNS zone. Indeed, the domain alone must obligatorily and directly point to an IP address with a type A field (or AAAA if it is an IPv6).

To use the example given above, you cannot create a CNAME record for the domain mydomain.ovh in the DNS zone you created for it. However, you can create CNAME records with all subdomains (examples: subdomain.mydomain.ovh or www.mydomain.ovh) of the domain mydomain.ovh in the DNS zone created for mydomain.ovh.

If you would like to go further technically on this subject, you can find at the bottom of this page a particular use case concerning CNAME records and DNS zones created for subdomains.

  • DNAME (Delegation NAME): Allows to generate an "alias" for all subdomains of a domain. This record avoids creating a multitude of CNAME records. A CNAME record redirects only one subdomain to a single target, independently.

Example: By creating a DNAME record from mydomain.ovh to ovh.com, all subdomains from mydomain.ovh (such as dname.mydomain.ovh and xxx.mydomain.ovh) will be redirected respectively to subdomains from ovh.com (such as dname.ovh.com and xxx.ovh.com).

In other words, the DNAME record indicates that dname.mydomain.ovh and xxx.mydomain.ovh must display the results of dname.ovh.com and xxx.ovh.com, respectively.

However, mydomain.ovh as a domain will not display the target of the ovh.com domain, because the DNAME record is only valid for the subdomains of the domains defined in the DNAME record.

Also, using one of the examples above, if the target subdomain xxx.ovh.com does not point to anything, then the DNAME record will not display anything for xxx.mydomain.ovh either.

The DNAME record is usually used for company name changes. It can also be set up when a user has several domain extensions (.fr, .net, .com, .info, ...) to redirect them easily.

  • NS (Name Server): Define the DNS servers associated with your DNS zone. For example, if the NS records in your DNS zone display the servers dns19.ovh.net and ns19.ovh.net, you will need to use them in the DNS servers tab in your OVHcloud Control Pane. Please refer to our guide on Editing DNS servers for an OVHcloud domain name for more information.

Do not modify the NS records in your DNS zone using the button Change in text format, in favour of DNS servers external to OVHcloud. This DNS zone works only with OVHcloud DNS servers.

Email records

  • MX (Mail eXchanger): Links a domain name to an email server. For example, the address 10 mx1.mail.ovh.net corresponds to one of the OVHcloud email servers when you have an OVHcloud email solution. Your email provider may have several email servers: Several MX fields must therefore be created. Please read our guide on Adding an MX record to your domain name’s configuration.

In general, we recommend using only one or more servers from the same email provider in your DNS zone. If you already have email services from another email provider and you are adding your new email provider’s servers in parallel (without replacing them), you risk randomly receiving your emails from either of your two email providers.

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Avoids potential identity theft on email addresses using your domain name (spoofing). For example, the record v=spf1 include:mx.ovh.com ~all indicates that only outgoing servers linked to your OVHcloud mail service can be considered legitimate by the incoming server. You can enter this record as a TXT record, or via our automatic configuration system. For further information, please refer to our guide on Adding an SPF record to your domain name’s configuration.

  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): Checks the authenticity of the sender’s domain name, and ensures the integrity of the email sent. The DKIM record is a key that consists of several characters. The DKIM key is provided by your email service provider (if this feature is offered by them). You can enter it as a TXT record.

  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance): Helps authenticate emails in association with SPF and/or DKIM methods. This value will be given to you by your email provider (if this feature is offered by them), and will at least be associated with an SPF or DKIM record.

Extended records

  • TXT (TeXT): Allows you to add the value of your choice, in text format, in your domain name’s DNS zone. This record is often used during verification/validation or security processes.

The TXT record is limited to 255 characters. However, in some cases, you can split your value into several records. Ask your service provider if they request to enter a value that exceeds the 255-character quota.

However, this limit does not exist if you use the “Modify in text mode” feature described below in this guide (for advanced users).

  • SRV (SeRVice resource): The SRV record is used to define information on the address of a server that manages a service. For example, it can indicate the address of a SIP server or the address of a server that allows the automatic configuration of an email software.

  • CAA (Certification Authority Authorisation): The CAA record is used to list certificate authorities authorised to deliver SSL certificates for a domain name.

If you use a Let's Encrypt SSL certificate with your domain on an OVHcloud shared hosting plan, and you enter a CAA record, the latter will prevent the Let's Encrypt SSL certificate from being regenerated.

  • NAPTR (Name Authority PointTeR): Used in telecommunication to direct a request from a mobile device to a server. An SRV record can be associated to dynamically generate target URIs (Uniform Resource Identifier).

  • LOC (LOCation): Used to populate location information (including latitude, longitude and altitude).

  • SSHFP (Secure SHell FingerPrint): Used to fill in the fingerprint of an SSH public key.

  • TLSA (Transport Layer Security Authentication): Used to fill in the fingerprint of an SSL/TLS certificate.

Edit your domain name’s OVHcloud DNS zone

You can edit your domain name’s OVHcloud DNS zone by adding, modifying or deleting a DNS record. There are two ways you can do this:

Manually edit the zone in text mode

This is only recommended for experienced users. Also be very careful about the syntax when you make changes.

In the DNS zone tab, click Change in text format, then follow the steps that appear.

Use our configuration assistants

From this point onwards, this guide will only cover configuration using our configuration assistants.

In order to modify your OVHcloud DNS zone successfully, make sure to gather all the required information first. If you are making this change at the request of a service provider, the service provider must provide you with a list of the items to change.

Add a new DNS record

To add a new DNS record, in your domain name’s DNS zone tab, click the Add an entry button to the right of the table. Select the DNS record type, then follow the steps.

Please check in advance whether this record already exists and might point to a different target. To check this, you can filter the table contents by record type or domain. If the record exists, you can modify it using the steps described below.

dnszone

When the target of your record is a URL, remember to punctuate it. If you do not do this, your domain name will be automatically added to the end of your target.

Example: You want to create a CNAME record from test.mydomain.ovh to mydomain.ovh.

You must then target mydomain.ovh. and not mydomain.ovh without "." at the end.

Modify an existing DNS record

To modify a DNS record, click the ... icon in the table in the row of the record you want to edit in the DNS zone tab. Then click Modify record, and follow the steps that open.

dnszone

Delete a DNS record

To delete a DNS record, click the ... icon in the table in the row of the record you want to edit in the DNS zone tab. Then click Delete record, and follow the steps that open.

You can delete several entries at once by ticking them on the left-hand side of the table, then clicking the Delete button.

dnszone

Reset the DNS zone

Resetting your DNS zone allows you to:

  • Go back to a minimum configuration with the default OVHcloud records.
  • Return to an empty DNS zone (with the exception of the NS entries), to define a subsequent manual configuration.

In the DNS zone tab, click on Reset my DNS zone, then follow the steps in the window that appears.

dnszone

You can choose between these options:

  • Yes, I want to reset my DNS zone with the minimum records. This allows you to direct your domain name and email service to:
    • One of your Web Cloud services available in your OVHcloud Control Panel.
    • The OVHcloud redirection service, accessible via your domain name’s Redirection tab in the Domain names and Emails sections.
    • The Custom function. Enter the A and/or MX records of your choice.
  • No, but I want to reset my DNS zone. Your DNS zone will then be empty except for the NS records, which will be automatically attached to the OVHcloud DNS servers in your DNS zone.

Before resetting your DNS zone, please ensure that your domain name is not attached to services that are currently in use, such as a website or email addresses.

Propagation time

Once you have modified your domain name’s DNS zone, you will need to allow a maximum of 24 hours for the changes to propagate fully, and be effective.

If you would like the propagation time to be shorter the next time you edit your OVHcloud DNS zone, you can shorten it slightly by adjusting the TTL (Time To Live) that applies to all of the DNS records.

To do this, go to the DNS Zone tab in the OVHcloud Control Panel, click Modify default TTL, and follow the steps.

You can also modify the TTL of a DNS record. However, you can only do this on one record at a time, by editing it, or when adding it.

Special use case: Utilising CNAME records

Some users create DNS zones directly for a domain’s subdomain (for example: subdomain-with-its-own-DNS-zone.mydomain.ovh). The rule set out above in this guide applies here as well.

Since the DNS zone is created for the subdomain (in our example subdomain-with-its-own-DNS-zone.mydomain.ovh), it is considered as a fully-fledged domain in its DNS zone.

As a result, and in this specific case, you will not be able to create a CNAME record for a subdomain-with-its-own-DNS-zone.mydomain.ovh in the DNS zone you have created for it. However, you can create CNAME records such as subdomain.subdomain-with-its-own-DNS-zone.mydomain.ovh or xxx.subdomain-with-its-own-DNS-zone.mydomain.ovh.

Go further

Editing the DNS servers for an OVHcloud domain name

Adding a SPF record to your domain name’s configuration

Securing your domain name with DNSSEC

Join our community of users on https://community.ovh.com/en/.


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