Were A record domain names ever limited to 23 characters?

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Oct 8 01:16:46 UTC 2011

NSI was never the only registrar. They were just the only registrar
for COM, ORG, NET, EDU, and possibly a few other TLDs, but,
they were, for example, never the registrar for US or many other

Therefore, it was not internet wide, though I will admit that it did
cover most of the widely known gTLDs.


On Oct 7, 2011, at 4:45 PM, steve pirk [egrep] wrote:

> It turns out it was an artificial limitation on Network Solution's part.
> Being the only registrar at the time, it was pretty much internet wide at
> that point, contrary to the RFC spec.
> What was so funny was that someone got Internic/Network Solutions to up the
> limit. Apparently just to save some money on reprinting movie posters... ok,
> so they would have had to change some trailers...
> ;-]
> On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 16:39, Jimmy Hess <mysidia at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 10:32 PM, Joe Hamelin <joe at nethead.com> wrote:
>>> I remember tales from when there was an eight character limit.  But that
>> was
>>> back when you didn't have to pay for them and they assigned you a class-c
>>> block automatically.  Of course it took six weeks to register because
>> there
>>> was only one person running the registry.
>> You may be referring to a limitation of a certain OS regarding a
>> hostname; or some network's policy.
>> But the DNS protocol itself never had a limit of 8 characters.
>> When we are talking about the contents of "A" record names,
>> I would refer you to
>> http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2181.txt
>> "RFC 2181
>> Clarifications to the DNS Specification R. Elz, R. Bush
>> [ July 1997 ] (TXT = 36989) (Updates RFC1034, RFC1035, RFC1123)
>> (Updated-By RFC4035, RFC2535, RFC4343, RFC4033, RFC4034, RFC5452)
>> (Status: PROPOSED STANDARD) (Stream: IETF, Area: int, WG: dnsind) "
>> "
>> Elz & Bush                  Standards Track                    [Page 12]
>> ...
>> Occasionally it is assumed that the Domain Name System serves only
>>  the purpose of mapping Internet host names to data, and mapping
>>  Internet addresses to host names.  This is not correct, the DNS is a
>>  general (if somewhat limited) hierarchical database, and can store
>>  almost any kind of data, for almost any purpose.
>> ...
>> 11. Name syntax
>> "
>> The length of any one label is limited to between 1 and 63 octets.  A
>> full domain
>>  name is limited to 255 octets (including the separators).  The zero
>>  length full name is defined as representing the root of the DNS tree,
>>  and is typically written and displayed as ".".  Those restrictions
>>  aside, any binary string whatever can be used as the label of any
>>  resource record.
>> "
>> --
>> -JH
> -- 
> steve pirk
> refiamerica.org
> "father... the sleeper has awakened..." paul atreides - dune
> kexp.org member august '09

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