recursive query

Definition of recursive query in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Recursive Query (in computer networking)?

A Domain Name System (DNS) query in which a resolver contacts a name server to perform a name lookup and the name server returns a result or an error.

The name server cannot refer the client to a different name server, but it can forward the query directly to another name server if it has a forwarder configured.

How Recursive Query Works

When a name lookup is performed on a name server, the resolver sends a recursive query to a nearby name server. If the name is outside the name server’s zone of authority, the name server cannot resolve the name and returns an error unless it is also configured as a forwarder. If this is the case, the nearby name server performs an iterative query on a root name server, which then responds with the IP address of a name server whose zone of authority includes the desired top-level domain. Further iterative queries are performed until the name is resolved into its IP address or an error is produced.

See also