2. TLDs for Testing, & Documentation Examples
There is a need for top level domain (TLD) names that can be used for
creating names which, without fear of conflicts with current or
future actual TLD names in the global DNS, can be used for private
testing of existing DNS related code, examples in documentation, DNS
related experimentation, invalid DNS names, or other similar uses.
For example, without guidance, a site might set up some local
additional unused top level domains for testing of its local DNS code
and configuration. Later, these TLDs might come into actual use on
the global Internet. As a result, local attempts to reference the
real data in these zones could be thwarted by the local test
versions. Or test or example code might be written that accesses a
TLD that is in use with the thought that the test code would only be
run in a restricted testbed net or the example never actually run.
Later, the test code could escape from the testbed or the example be
actually coded and run on the Internet. Depending on the nature of
the test or example, it might be best for it to be referencing a TLD
permanently reserved for such purposes.
To safely satisfy these needs, four domain names are reserved as
listed and described below.
".test" is recommended for use in testing of current or new DNS
".example" is recommended for use in documentation or as examples.
".invalid" is intended for use in online construction of domain
names that are sure to be invalid and which it is obvious at a
glance are invalid.
The ".localhost" TLD has traditionally been statically defined in
host DNS implementations as having an A record pointing to the
loop back IP address and is reserved for such use. Any other use
would conflict with widely deployed code which assumes this use.
3. Reserved Example Second Level Domain Names
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) also currently has the
following second level domain names reserved which can be used as