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Amazon Route 53 is a great way to manage the DNS entries of your cloud services. A key feature is its ability to map your domain apex such as “keyapt.com” to an elastic load balancer instance.

To actually create the mapping you use the Elastic Load Balancer CLI (command line interface). The command

  • elb-associate-route53-hosted-zone

and to disassociate you use

  • elb-disassociate-route53-hosted-zone

Last week I terminated and rebuilt my ElasticBeanstalk environment. A unintended consequence was that my load balancer name changed. Now keyapt.com was mapped to a non-existent load balancer. It was possible to associate the domain with the new load balancer but it was not possible to delete the old DNS entry. Perhaps unsurprisingly the DNS resolution of keyapt.com was unreliable, this could have been because of DNS propagation times but I think that having a orphan and erroneous DNS record pointing at the old load balancer was not helpful.

Others have had this problem.

These tools could not delete the orphan DNS record

(Updated 2011-10-12: added links to tools)

but R53 Fox could. You can download R53 Fox from sourceforge but there is no documentation.

These screenshots should help you. First you will need to enter your Amazon credentials so that you can download your zones. I have not shown this step. When you have done it you will see a screen containing one or more zones. Right click on the zone to see your choices. Choose “Resource Record Sets”.

The resource record set looks like:

Right click to get the pop-up menu and then left click to delete the orphan record.

Many thanks to Genki Sugawara for writing this life saving tool.

Note: In future I will avoid this problem by disassociating the domain before rebuilding the environment. Even so we may suffer from domain name propagation delays.