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Is there any convention on possible naming for local domain names (like .local), apart from not using any possible or existing top-level domain?

Wikipedia says that

  • .local conflicts with zeroconf
  • .localhost is reserved, but is traditionally translated statically to
  • .site and .internal are discussed
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

dan bernstein (of qmail fame) has a site dedicated to choosing a dnsname for the local network (

It isn't easy to choose a safe top-level local name. The global root
operators add new top-level names every once in a while: for example,
.info was added in 2001, so people using .info as a local name were
unable to reach global .info sites. Software authors sometimes set 
aside top-level names; for example, I'm told that Mac OS 9 does something
weird with .local, so it can't access local names in .local. Here are 
some reasonable choices of top-level local names:

 .0       (good for machine-specific names)
 .3       (good for department-specific names)
 .6       (good for corporation-specific names)
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Well ... Dan Bernstein is an authority. Think I'll be going with .internal or .3 then. – nidi Mar 7 '10 at 11:31
Bad advice, like many things coming from Bernstein (who said a lot of stupid things about the DNS). – bortzmeyer Mar 8 '10 at 16:51
@bortzmeyer: you couldnt be more unspecific .. right? – akira Mar 8 '10 at 19:36
@MarkJohnson: all nil. djb is completely irrelevant here. if you have an argument against this proposed answer: bring it on, otherwise dont use the comments here against / in favor of djb. if you have a different advice / answer to the question: bring it on. – akira Nov 12 '11 at 7:45
@nidi: Dan Bernstein has his own ways of doing things and doesn't always play nice with others. If you think something he proposes is a good idea based on its own merit, fine, but don't just take his word for it (Or anybody else's) because of a name. – Mark Johnson Dec 3 '11 at 1:58

The question has been treated in detail on ServerFault. Executive summary; do not use .local or another dummy TLD, use a real domain.

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This. A thousand times, this. Do not pay any attention to any of the other answers if your sanity or your paycheck are on the line. – Mark Johnson Nov 11 '11 at 22:20


There is no official naming convention for private domains, because they're private.

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But the chosen naming might conflict at some point (with new TLDs or network services), so a convention would be useful and should be discussed! – nidi Mar 7 '10 at 11:16
The only convention that can guarantee no conflict is to use a real domain name as bortzmeyer suggests. – Mark Johnson Nov 12 '11 at 3:22

It's open season on TLDs. They're all fair game. There is nothing you can use that ICANN won't sell to any entity with the proper funding.

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i always use .local

try to refrain from using .com if its a domain that exists on the web you may have issues if its a Windows AD domain, and with certificates (SSL)

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Zeroconf and other things use .local. – Mark Johnson Jan 3 '12 at 3:23

Make as many as you want.

.dev .new .bak .fun

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Very bad advice since 1) They could be created by ICANN later and 2) your organization may merge with another one which already uses it – bortzmeyer Mar 8 '10 at 16:48
What bortzmeyer said, though #2 is perhaps less likely with a home network. – Mark Johnson Jan 3 '12 at 3:26

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