Last Updated: August 26, 2001
The domain name service (DNS) is the distributed database used to provide name-related information for all the hosts connected to the internet. ITServices maintains the primary DNS database and servers for Queen's University (although in a few cases departments within the University have been delegated some local naming authority). Consequently, ITServices is often asked to assign names to workstations and servers around campus so that they can be 'found' on the network by other hosts. This document is intended to present the policy on the naming of hosts at Queen's University.
The Internet identity for Queen's University is based on the .queensu.ca name. All services that are provided by members of the Queen's University community as part of their official functions and as part of the mission of the institution should be registered within the queensu.ca domain. All services that are provided by either members or nonmembers of the Queen's University community, but which are not part of their official functions as members of the community or as part of the mission of the institution, must be registered outside the queensu.ca domain.
Users are reminded that the content and activities of all hosts and domains must still adhere to the Queen's University Computer User Code of Ethics. Failure to do so will result in the removal of the domain and possible other penalties as specified in the code.
Queen's University has two primary public access DNS servers, located at:
Not all hosts at Queen's need to have a DNS name entry. For example, PCs with no incoming connections have no need of a hostname. Machines at Queen's University must be named in accordance with the current practices and guidelines. These practices restrict top level names (ie 'name.queensu.ca') to groups such as:
Thus, most machines will be within an existing "subdomain".
Host names may only include alphanumeric characters and hyphens (-). Names will be checked by ITServices staff to ensure that they are not offensive, antagonistic, or otherwise unacceptable.
New network names will be assigned as necessary. Please note that departments do not, as a rule, get two subdomains within the queensu.ca domain.
Dynamic DNS is not supported at Queen's University.
Hostnames for offsite IP addresses will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
First, a list of suggestions as to things to avoid when naming a host will be presented. This will be followed by a list of suggestions to aid the naming of a machine. More suggestions are listed in RFC 1178 (see Section G).
Things to consider doing:
Please note that there is generally no need to change machine names if the machine moves unless the network and/or department changes.
Domain names are like street addresses -- they are meant to be fairly permanent identifiers. As such, they are not intended to be changed particularily often. If can be a significant amount of work (most of which is not at the ITServices end) and will have a large amount of "fallout". For example, every email address that refers to the old domain will have to be changed, every web page with a reference to the old domain will have to be changed, and so forth.
In order to update regular host DNS entries at Queen's University, an individual should contact his or her ITAdmin Rep. ITServices will only take DNS requests from ITAdmin Reps. Once the ITAdmin Rep has approved the name, the request should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. The request must contain the following information:
Updating third level domains is dealt with in a different manner. If a department changes their official name, then it is possible that they will desire a new third level domain. As noted in the Naming Restrictions section, departments do not get two subdomains within the queensu.ca name. However, a domain change will be made under the following circumstances:
If these conditions are met, the domain change will be made with the old names remaining for six months. We will not, however, make multiple domain changes for the same organization, and future such changes will be assessed an administrative fee.
As described above, addresses and naming service within the queensu.ca domain are provided to the Queen's community as part of the basic suite of services provided by ITServices. Names outside of this domain, however, represent extra costs and are not provided gratis.
ITServices will host domains other than queensu.ca for members of the Queen's community. This is intended for university faculty, staff, and research organizations only. It is also intended for computers directly on the Queen's network only. The domain sponsor and backup must be a full-time faculty or staff member and provide on-campus contact information. Updates will only be accepted from the sponsor and backup contacts. Ownership of the domain may not be transferred. Other requests may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Please refer to our page on Service Fees for details. Payment methods accepted are Inter-departmental Supply Requisition (ISR), Mastercard, Departmental Visa, and cheque.
The yearly billing occurs each May. Accounts set up between the months of November and April only incur a charge of 50% of the regular rate. All billing inquiries should be sent to John Travers (x32059).
Registration fees and communications with top-level authorities (such as .com and .ca) are the responsibility of the owner. Lists of these authorities can be found at:
The addresses to be given for name servers at Queen's University are as follows:
All host machines on the Queen's network will that do not have a DNS name will be automatically assigned one. The name will be prefixed with a character referring to the IP address designation as well as the final two octets of the IP address.
Below are the characters that will prefixed the DNS name:W - IP is DHCP assigned and on the Queen's wireless network
For example, if a user was connected over the wireless network and their IP address was 188.8.131.52, then their DNS name would be W35.N42.queensu.ca.
RFC1178/FYI005, 'Name Your Computer' by D. Libes, August 1990 available from: