Overview: DNS domain registration

In general these will have been purchased commercially (eg org.uk, .com zones). Some projects may be eligible for their own ac.uk domain; please see the Janet Eligibility Policy for more information.

Please note that this document is concerned with domain registration and DNS hosting only. These are separate from other services that may be required for a domain. Hosting for web, email and other services will need to be arranged separately, either within a college or department, via our web publishing services, or from commercial hosting providers.

Expand All

All domain names used for University business, whether or not they are under ox.ac.uk, must conform to the University's DNS Naming Policy.

It is University policy that web pages for projects being carried out in the University should be within the web structure of the department responsible. This is to maintain a cohesive image for the University, and avoid dissipation of the University's image by weakening the link between its name and activities being carried out under its aegis. Names outside the Oxford domain should only be used for projects that have a wider reach than the University and need an identifiable web presence. Requests for hosting are treated on a case-by-case basis.

Approval for hosting such names should be sought in the first instance from domains@it.ox.ac.uk. Please state clearly why the ox.ac.uk is not considered appropriate for the project in question.

Please note that new domain names must be approved by the appropriate Head of Department or Head of House. Please also note that some requests may have to be referred to other bodies within the University, for example to Legal Services, who maintain the University's Trademark and Domain Name Policy.

Here is the full list of zones currently hosted on our nameservers.

The DNS: Domain Registration / Hosting page has details of all charges.

We will host zones on the following servers:

  • dns0.ox.ac.uk
  • dns2.ox.ac.uk

These servers are located on different physical networks for increased resilience.

Following purchase, you will need to contact your domain registrar to arrange for the domain to be transferred to our servers. Larger registrars may provide a web interface through which you can set up the transfer. Please note that dns1.ox.ac.uk will not be authoritative for such zones.

In some cases (for instance an inter-university collaboration) a domain may already be hosted elsewhere and you only require us to provide a secondary server for the zone. In such cases we may be prepared to host the zone on dns2.ox.ac.uk only. You will need to inform us which server will be the primary for the domain and ensure that our server is able to make zone transfers from it.

We offer hosting for JANET secondary connections for which we provide network connectivity, although some choose to host their domains themselves or to use third-party hosting. We strongly recommend that secondary connections ensure that both their forward and reverse DNS zones are delegated to our servers. Currently all requests for additions or changes must go via hostmaster, but we are looking to provide a web interface to delegate control of zones to local IT staff in the future.

Subject to agreement, IT Services can offer limited web hosting functionality for non-ox.ac.uk domains meeting the above eligibility criteria via the Web Publishing Service at no additional charge. More advanced hosting (e.g. Drupal CMS) can be provided as a chargeable service via the Web Hosting service; alternatively sites can be hosted on college/department servers or via an external provider.

Central provision for email for non-ox.ac.uk domains is unfortunately limited. We are happy to offer mail relaying for such domains through oxmail, allowing you to take advantage of oxmail's anti spam and antivirus facilities. However, oxmail must pass mail all addresses within the domain to a nominated SMTP server within your college/department from which all local deliveries or subsequent forwardings are handled. If this is not possible to arrange, it may be preferable to use a commercial provider for email forwarding.


Contact us


Get support

If you cannot find the solution you need here then we have other ways to get IT support

Get IT support