DNS Server (and Related) Software for Unix

[Message quoted below has been re-edited to update it.]

From: Rick Moen (rick@linuxmafia.com)
To: SlugLUG (sluglug@hermosa.cse.ucsc.edu)
Subject: Re: [SlugLUG] DNS links
User-Agent: Mutt/1.4i
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2002 14:51:17 -0800


(Referring to Albitz and Liu's DNS and BIND.) This edition (4th) struck me as weak on new BIND 9.x features; frustrating, because there's not enough available on-line about that, either.

Anyhow, one limitation of both the Albitz book and troubleshooters.com's DNS page is that they concern BIND, solely. Even after the from-scratch 9.x rewrite, BIND is a slow, RAM-grabbing, overfeatured, monolithic daemon binary. Pity that most DNS information is BIND-specific; that's held us back.

Here is a list of the real choices, comparing and contrasting BIND9 with all known alternative DNS server implementations for Unixes -- many that in particular deployments will prove superior:

Table of Contents

Maintained open source packages:

Unmaintained open source packages (deprecated!):

Related Software:

Proprietary Software:

(See list at page bottom.)

Guide for the Perplexed

If like most people you are unclear on how a recursive nameserver, an authoritative nameserver, and a forwarding nameserver differ, please see my explanatory anecdote: 1, 2.

Maintained open source packages:

Unmaintained open source packages:

(The July 2008 DNS security blowup made starkly obvious that it's in general dangerous to run poorly maintained DNS nameserver software. Some of the below-cited, unmaintained or apparently neglected codebases may be of interest for other reasons, e.g., adoption for revival & update by sufficiently interested coders.)

Related software:


Cheers,                                Before enlightenment, caffeine.
Rick Moen                              After enlightenment, caffeine.

Proprietary software:

See also:

To do:

http://daniel.haxx.se/projects/c-ares/  c-ares by by Daniel Stenberg and
others (derived from ares library written by Greg Hudson at MIT.
Asyncrhonous.  See notes on http://www.corpit.ru/mjt/udns.html about it
and adns.

Notes about libresolv at https://lwn.net/Articles/665055/ .

ldns https://www.nlnetlabs.nl/projects/ldns/

systemd-resolved.service stub resolver, etc.

More at https://packages.gentoo.org/categories/net-dns