This page explains how to buy yourself a domain name from a registrar, and how to manage it at HCoop.
If you don't want to pay to register a "real" domain, then you can request a domain of the form SOMETHING.hcoop.net from us. Use the domain permissions request form and then, when you receive a confirmation that your request has been approved, configure your subdomain as usual with DomTool.
Find a registrar
Otherwise, if you want to manage a domain with DomTool, you must first buy a domain from a domain registrar. Search for "domain registrar" via your search engine of choice to see several of the available options.
HCoop as a whole does not endorse any particular domain registrar. That said, here are a few that some of our members like.
FrankBynum and RobinTempleton recommend https://gandi.net/. They are a French registrar who has a nice English-language site and are one of the only few registrars that declares in the agreement that you actually own the domain name. HCoop uses Gandi for its own domain names.
Be sure that you provide valid contact information. Your domain can be disabled if someone complains that your contact information is incorrect.
Don't let that domain lapse. Be careful not to let your domain lapse. Otherwise, unscrupulous people may buy it and then try to sell it back to you at a profit.
Lock your domain once it is set up. All registrars should permit you to "lock" your domain. The reason you want to do this is because you can lose your domain by not answering an email from ICANN within 5 days if your domain is not locked. Do this after setting up your nameserver information. You can lock and unlock your domain at any time, though the change may not be instantaneous.
If your registrar provides a web interface for managing the DNS records of your domain, then you can either use their web interface to fully manage your DNS, or you can use DomTool.
Before choosing either option, you will first want to request control of a domain using the HCoop Portal.
Be aware that it sometimes takes a while for the changes that you make to the DNS records to propagate to all ISP's, depending on how long various ISP's cache data. Usually by 3 days they are all updated.
Managing DNS using the registrar's website
If you want to use your registrar's web interface to manage DNS for you domain, you can do that. Just be sure to set the DNS option to noDns in the DomTool configuration file for your domain. Here's an example:
domain "yourdomain" where DNS = noDns with (* Other directives go here. *) end;
You should set up a CNAME (or an A) record for your domain pointing to shelob.hcoop.net, the current machine server users web sites.
Using Domtool to manage DNS
If you want to use DomTool to manage your DNS, then use your registrar's web interface to specify the nameservers ns1.hcoop.net and ns2.hcoop.net for your domain.