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I had exactly the same problem, and I've been battling it for days, until I eventually hit on the solution... (I also posted this dame info in another thread here, regarding the same issue)
I tried everything: I checked all over the Internet, and found many people with the same problem, but few seem to have solved it, and when they do, they don't bother posting the solution!
I found several references to checking the named.conf and rndc.conf files, to make sure they refer to the same key, port and localhost.
I found several other references to checking that named really is listening on port 953.
But I found no references to what is ACTUALLY the problem in many cases: Even though the rndc.key matches in named.conf and rndc.conf, and named really is listening on port 953, none of that helps if iptables is blocking the communications!
In my case, the solution was simple (after beating my head against the wall for three days...)
Just tell iptables to allow your system to talk to itself on port 953!
This should probably go in probably from /etc/sysconfig/iptables, but if you are not sure then you can look in the init script that launches iptables, like this:
# more /etc/init.d/iptables
Look for a line that says something like "IPTABLES_CONFIG=/etc/sysconfig/iptables". That will tell you where it loads the default configuration from. That's the file you need to edit, and insert the line above at the appropriate point (before the first “REJECT” rule.
I sure hope this helps someone! I know I would have LOVED to have this info three days ago...
The new server only had
::1 localhost.localdomain localhost
Once I added the line from the old server and restarted named the problem was fixed. I figure rndc and named ask the localhost who it is and with only an IPv6 line in the hosts, it didn't know it was localhost 127.0.0.1, so had no pointer to bind to.
Did you try telnetting to localhost on port 953 to see if it will connect? Or checking your firewall ruleset?
I stuffed around with this for about 2 hours before I realized I needed to open the port with iptables