This is part of an introductory guide to buying and owning domain names, written by Mary Gardiner for LinuxChix in 2004. It is no longer being updated but is available for modification and republication under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence.

Buying and owning a domain name: Introduction

This site hosts formatted, updated copies of the Guide to Owning a Domain Name originally published on

This course is a kind of a buyer's guide: what should you look for in a domain name, where should you buy it, what can you do with it?

A domain name is a unique Internet identifier like "", "", "", "", "" and so on.

This course is aimed at people interested or possibly interesting in buying and using a domain name who do not know much about the process. It should also be useful for people who aren't interested in having a domain name at the moment but are curious about the process.

This course assumes no knowledge of Linux or of Internet protocols, nor will it give you much knowledge of either thing (some concepts about name serving will be introduced in post 3 because you will need to know a minimal amount to register a domain in the first place). It will mostly assume that the mail servers, web servers, name servers and so on for your domain will be managed by a third party.