Setting up an additional DNS-Only nameserver. How to get all existing zonefiles to new nameserver?


Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2001

We currently have two DNS-Only servers that we use for ns1/ All of our cpanel web servers are connected to these two servers using DNS Cluster in the WHM.

We want to create and add one more additional DNS-Only server (

What is the process to do that? After we install cpanel DNS-Only... what is next?

How do we get the new nameserver populated with all the existing zonefiles from all our servers? (Several thousand zonefiles...) Also, do we have to log into every web server and add this new nameserver as a "Sync" role? (Log into a dozen different web servers.) Or can we setup the dns cluster connection to each web server from within the new DNS-Only server DNS cluster page?

For example:

1. Get server hardware.
2. Install cpanel DNS-Only.
3. ..... ?



Technical Analyst
Staff member
Feb 13, 2019
Houston TX
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator

What we suggest the easiest method is adding the new server (ns3) to a cluster with one of the other nameservers. For example, you can sign into ns3 and go to "DNS Clusters" in WHM and add ns1 to a cluster. After the nameservers are clustered together, you can go to WHM's [Home »DNS Functions »Synchronize DNS Records] Once there, you can use this option:

Synchronize all zones to this server onlyThe system will copy all updated versions of local zone files from the other servers in the DNS cluster to this server. The documentation for this feature can be found here: cPanel Documentation | Synchronize DNS Records

Given this example, this should copy the existing zone files from ns1 to ns3. Also, this function should work regardless of the role's that are setup in the DNS cluster.

I hope this helps - Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns!


Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2001
Ok, thanks!

Is it possible to add all our cpanel webservers to the new ns3 nameserver without having to login to every single web server indivually and add the new nameserver? (Can we add all our web servers from the WHM->DNS Cluster page on the new ns3 server only?) If we must add each webserver individually, should we select the "Setup Reverse Trust Relationship" option? (Also, to confirm.. we should select the "Syncronize changes" DNS Role, correct?)

Also, what kind of relationship should we see on the ns3 server with our webservers? Should it be standalone? Or do they need to be listed at all?
Last edited:


Technical Analyst Team Lead
Nov 20, 2019
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hello @electric,

Yes, if you do not want to log into each of the other servers to add ns3 to them, you can log into ns3 itself and add all the other servers at once.

As noted in the DNS Cluster documentation regarding the Setup Reverse Trust Relationship option:
  • If you select this setting, you will not need to log in to WHM’s DNS Cluster interface on the remote server. However, you may do so if you wish to modify the remote server’s DNS cluster configuration.
  • This setting automatically sets the remote server’s DNS role to Standalone.
If you add all the other servers to ns3 with the reverse trust option enabled, then the DNS role of ns3 will be Synchronize and the role of the other servers in the cluster with respect to ns3 would be Standalone.

While the DNS roles and relationships between each of the servers should be carefully considered and decided by you, I personally find that the best option is to set the DNS role of the main hosting server to Synchronize, and each of the name servers to Standalone. The documentation defines each of the available roles:
  • Standalone — This method fetches DNS records from the remote server, but does not write records from the local server to the remote server.
  • Synchronize — This method synchronizes records between the local server and the remote server. Most administrators use this setting.
  • Write-only — This method pushes the local server’s records to write to the remote server, but does not query records from the remote server to write to the local server.
Please let us know if you have any questions.