When VestaCP NAMED refuses to start & you’re pulling your hair out…

When VestaCP NAMED refuses to start & you’re pulling your hair out…

When the VestaCP NAMED service, refuses to restart & you’re pulling your hair out, for 2 hours, wondering why…

So I like the VestaCP control panel a lot. It’s pretty easy to use and they seem to have done a good job. Plus it’s basically free and when your business runs multiple host VPS servers, CPANEL’s $20pm per server, can soon add up.

But of course, you’re basically on your own, as a virtual server admin.

My SSH skills have improved a lot over the last 2 decades, but some things are still pretty frustrating, when they go wrong – like DNS ZONE FILES.


But today’s 2 hour rabbit hole journey was a little different. My NAMED service had stopped and it would not restart.

As far as I could remember, nothing had changed since the last time it worked. but NOTHING would make it work again.

I scoured the forums, with the usual hundreds of out of date, rabbit holes, trying to find one that HAD A SOLUTION and that MADE SENSE, because stray people have all sorts of weird ideas. The problem with unpaid software is always, there is no one to answer.

When your NAMED service has stopped working in VestaCP?

Finally one lead caught me eye. It intimated it was a DNS error in the zone file and there was a REBUILD function. YAY!

Eagerly I ran it 🙂

BHAM! It failed. Named would still not run 🙁

For no good reason, other than I could undo it, I disabled the DNS for the 1 domain zone on this server. Named freaking worked. SO for sure it was a Zone File error, but what and how? As far as I remembered nothing had changed.

During the testing I kept getting this strange error report about the BERKLEY something lookup failing. I had no idea I was even using it.

Anyway, disabling the zone, made named work, so this Berkley thing had to be connected with that.

Finally, I twigged!

I had run gsuite on this domain, to use it for cold email, and the gsuite package had lapsed (AKA I stopped paying).

Even though all you have to do to make gsuite work is basically add some MX (email) records, it was when I removed these, that everything started working again as it should.

The Moral & the takeaway:

The moral is, something really HAS changed – LOL

The takeaway is you get a NAMED start/restart error you can’t clear, if you temporarily disable a zone and NAMED works, you can be sure it is that. Then the question is why?

So if you happened to have stopped using Google gSuite on that domain, like I had, then that could well be your issue. Clean up your DNS entries 😉

This isn’t what I normally talk about, but it took 2 hours of my life, so this is for as much as if I forget in the future, as it is about helping any VestaCP user, work out why their NAMED service has stopped working.

Here are some VestaCP control panel notes about this:

To control the NAMED service on VestaCP control Panel;

service named stop
service named start
service named restart

Other useful SSH commands for VestaCP control panel:

sudo systemctl status named.service
named-checkconf /etc/named.conf
v-rebuild-dns-domain USERACCOUNT DOMAIN.COM

You can rebuild the DNS of your users.

VestaCP (admin) -> USERS -> Toggle All -> rebuild DNS.

Then start service again. If not work check config from SSH with;

named-checkconf /etc/named.conf

If there is no output, the configuration is considered correct and you can safely restart or reload bind configuration file.

Rebuilding your DNS in VestaCP server control panel

Hope your day was less stressful than mine 🙂


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