Why can't I create a CNAME record for the zone name itself?

A CNAME-record cannot exist with any other records for the same name, because a name cannot both be an alias (CNAME) and something else at the same time.

From RFC1912 section 2.4:
"A CNAME record is not allowed to coexist with any other data."

If you try to create a CNAME-record for the name of the zone itself, you will always encounter this conflict because a zone always has at least a SOA-record and typically one or more NS-records with the zone name:

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Instead of the CNAME-record, you can setup an A-record pointing directly to the IP address of whatever server the aliased name is pointing to.

Or you can use an ALIAS-record which is similar to CNAME but doesn't have the problem mentioned above.

PLEASE NOTE:
While certain other DNS servers may allow you to configure such a CNAME-record, it is still an error to do so.
The results of this are unpredictable, and often causes serious problems because in some situations the CNAME-record will override other critical records at the zone root level - for example hiding the NS- and SOA-records.

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Other DNS providers are offering this capability and it has become the standard as most cloud-based platforms like Amazon EC2 are requiring this. Amazon's solution is to have the customer switch from our DNS to Amazon's DNS servers because they support it. We are losing business because of this.
BT (July 8, 2013 at 9:33 PM)
Here is the link to Amazon's Elastic Load Balancer requirements which recommend switching to their "Amazone Route 53" DNS service. http://docs.aws.amazon.com/ElasticLoadBalancing/latest/DeveloperGuide/using-domain-names-with-elb.html GoDaddy's DNS already supports CNAME'ing the zone name itself.
BT (July 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM)
We understand that there is a growing need for a solution to this issue, as more and more services are virtualized and clouded. Allowing CNAME-records for the domain name itself is not a good solution, as this WILL cause problems, and I dont hear anyone recommending this - on the contrary. We have however seen some solutions with a virtual alias record , which is synthesized into an A/AAAA-record on the fly (the alias is resolved for each request behind the scenes). I believe this is what Amazon does too. We are looking into including such a feature in Simple DNS Plus.
JH Software (July 10, 2013 at 6:37 AM)
We get the request for the ability to do this about once a week now. Other DNS software supports this. With the proliferation of CDNs and cloud-based services, everyone is being asked by the CDN provider to CNAME the root of their site to the CDN. This has become a standard even if the people responsible for writing the DNS specifications have not included it. Is there an ETA on when this might be a function of SimpleDNS? Thanks.
BT (October 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM)
Azure Web Services are requiring a cname as a form of verification of domain ownership prior to allowing authorization to request a static ip address. I'm stuck until I'm able to define a cname. I really would like to have this option so that I can define an A Record. :) https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/net/common-tasks/custom-dns-web-site/
Phil (October 30, 2013 at 3:39 PM)
Wondering if this functionality will be added to SimpleDNS.

This functionality may not be part of the original DNS specifications but has become essential to providing DNS due to the proliferation of cloud services.

SimpleDNS will become obsolete if it doesn't support this.

BT (December 8, 2014 at 11:09 AM)
Sad to see that this is still and issue after so many years and so many services now requiring this setup. It's understandable that the RFC won't allow a root CNAME but that does not prevent SimpleDNS from providing another method (ALIAS?) of addressing the issue. Now we are handcuffed and our clients have no reason not to blame us for not being able to support their needs.
Scott Berry (March 9, 2015 at 9:15 AM)
Does anyone know if this has been resolved?
Michael Cummins (April 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM)
Solved in v. 5.3 with the new "ALIAS" record - see http://support.simpledns.com/kb/a211/alias-records-auto-resolved-alias.aspx
JH Software (October 27, 2015 at 3:29 PM)

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