Allow User Configuration of PTR Records

For the second time now I’ve run afoul of Dreamhost’s automated handling of PTR records; although I did change some DNS entries, none should have affected my PTR records, yet they’ve been switched to a domain that I hardly use, and certainly isn’t the one I want.

And unfortunately the only way to deal with this is to contact support, but this can be a slow process as I’ve found. And really it begs the question, why can’t we just do this ourselves?

The DNS control panel in general is an area where I think Dreamhost could improve, as it’s slow and clunky, and lacks the ability to set many types of records (the one I’ve encountered recently are DS records, required for DNSSEC support when reverse proxying via CloudFlare). It also seems to apply individual DNS changes instantly, which is a weird way to do things; I’d much rather make the changes in a nice responsive Javascript powered page, then apply them all at once once I’m happy with them. It looks like there are quite a lot of DNS related suggestions in here, so it’s something Dreamhost could really do with redesigning I think!

Anyway, to my specific request, when it comes to configuring PTR records it doesn’t have to be complex; all we really need is the ability to (optionally) assign a primary domain for each fixed IP VPS and compute instance. For a VPS this would simply be a case of selecting one of the domains hosted by it, or a sub-domain thereof. For DreamCompute instances it’s a little more complex, but can still be limited to only domains registered with Dreamhost (and sub-domains thereof), for the sake of sanity.

While it would be useful to pull data from the DNS records themselves, to ensure there’s a two-way link (i.e- a PTR record only exists for a corresponding A/AAAA record or CNAME pointing to one), this could risk creating the same unreliable behaviour we have now if a DNS record temporarily doesn’t match up, but could still be useful as a warning/reminder in the UI to keep users right.

Anyway, what’s clear is that whatever automated behaviour Dreamhost currently uses is… ill advised, and really just not a good idea in general, as it can only guarantee it guesses correctly if a user only has a single domain, and even then they might prefer not to have a PTR record at all!

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