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The first resource record in any Domain Name System (DNS) zone file is the Start of Authority (SOA) resource record.

The SOA resource record is an essential part of the DNS zone file, it indicates the basic properties of the domain name server and the zone that the domain is in.

Most commonly written as @ (which substitutes the $ORIGIN) but can be the explicit base Domain Name in FQDN format (which is the same as the $ORIGIN or its synthesized version) as shown above.

To mimimise confusion this is most commonly written as a Fully-qualified Domain Name (FQDN - ends with a dot).

All directives and resource records should be entered on individual lines.

Comments can be placed after semicolon characters ( Sets the default Time to Live (TTL) value for the zone.

Directives tell the nameserver to perform tasks or apply special settings to the zone.(Though it may follow $ORIGIN or $TTL directives.) owner-name ttl class rr name-server email-addr (sn ref ret ex min) If DDNS is not used this may be any suitable name server either within the zone file (in-zone) or in an external or foreign zone (also called out-of-zone or even out-of-bailiwick by those of a more literary bent or with a taste for the exotic). ( NOTE: We are reliably informed that while a blank is a perfectly valid format certain DNSSEC signing tools may choke on this format. Standard TTL values apply (range 0 to 2147483647 clarified by RFC 2181). The SOA defines the global parameters for the zone (domain). A Slave DNS does not use this TTL value but various parameters defined within the SOA RR - see below. Any name server that will respond authoritatively for the domain.Only one SOA resource record (RR) is allowed in a zone file and it must be the first RR in the zone. ( 2003080800 ; sn = serial number 172800 ; ref = refresh = 2d 900 ; ret = update retry = 15m 1209600 ; ex = expiry = 2w 3600 ; nx = nxdomain ttl = 1h ) ; the following are also valid using @ and blank @ IN SOA ns. Called the Primary Master in the context of Dynamic DNS (DDNS).

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