I use dnsmasq for name services on my home server. It seems much easier to configure than bind and will resolve names using the server's /etc/hosts file.
For my use, the default config file just works. I add all the machines for which I want local names to /etc/hosts:
192.168.37.11 thisbox.example.com thisbox
192.168.37.11 thatbox.example.com thatbox
Then, on my local machines, I make /etc/resolv.conf something like:
This setup has worked for many years on my about-to-be-retired Slackware 10.2 box. It even works on our non-Linux machines, as I told the router that the first DNS server is server.example.com -)
For more info, see:
Hope that helps!