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Each of the following errors are due to the same reason - /etc/rndc.key file does not exist:

rndc: neither /etc/rndc.conf nor /etc/rndc.key was found
rndc: get key: not found

Simple solution

  • Generate /etc/rndc.key:
rndc-confgen -a

Default behavior

Utility rndc uses /etc/rndc.key automatically if /etc/rndc.conf is not provided. When controls statement is not present in /etc/named.conf for named, (1) only connections from the loopback address will be allowed, and (2) the key located in /etc/rndc.key will be used.

Checklist to avoid other problems

  • Make sure proper permissions are set:
chown named /etc/rndc.key
  • Make sure file /etc/rndc.conf does not exist.
  • Make sure controls statement is not present in /etc/named.conf.
  • Make sure localhost is allowed to connect to TCP port 954.
  • Restart named service.