This article describes how to automate the process of configuring the domain suffix search list on your Domain Name System (DNS) clients.
This article does not describe when it is necessary to configure the domain suffix search list on a client. This article only describes how to distribute a large-scale domain suffix search list.
The typical name resolution process for Microsoft Windows 2000 uses the primary DNS suffix and any connection-specific DNS suffixes. If these suffixes do not work, the devolution of the primary DNS suffix is attempted by the name resolution process.
When a domain suffix search list is configured on a client, only that list is used. The primary DNS suffix and any connection-specific DNS suffixes are not used, nor is the devolution of the primary suffix attempted. The domain suffix search list is an administrative override of all standard Domain Name Resolver (DNR) look-up mechanisms.
For more information about how DNS suffixes are used, go to Windows 2000 Help and view the Configuring Client Settings topic (located in the Networking/DNS/Concepts/Using DNS/Managing Clients/ folder).
Pushing the domain suffix search list to DNS clients
The following methods of distribution are available for pushing the domain suffix search list to DNS clients:
Regini.exe. The Regini.exe tool from the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit can be used to place the domain suffix search list setting into the registry. A sample Regini script is provided in the "Sample Regini Script" section of this article.
Unattended installation. You can populate the domain suffix search list settings during an unattended installation. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
178277 Setting DNS domain suffix search order during an unattended installation
The following methods of distribution are not available for pushing the domain suffix search list to DNS clients:
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). You cannot configure DHCP to send out a domain suffix search list. This is currently not supported by the Microsoft DHCP server.
Netsh (Netshell). The Netsh utility has no command to set or to change the domain suffix search list.
Group Policy. In Windows 2000, Group Policy has no mechanism for distributing the domain suffix search list. However, Windows Server 2003 includes this feature. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
294785 New group policies for DNS in Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript). No application programming interfaces (APIs) are available that enable you to script a change to the domain suffix search list.
Sample Regini script
Create a text file with the following two lines of text and save it as the Suffix.txt file. The following spacing must be exactly as shown, where adatum.xxx signifies a domain suffix. Up to six domain suffixes may be specified. The search order is left to right.