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 1. Introduction
 2. Reporting bugs and getting help
 3. Contributing to BIND
 4. BIND 9.12 features
 5. Building BIND
 6. Compile-time options
 7. Automated testing
 8. Documentation
 9. Change log
10. Acknowledgments


BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is a complete, highly portable
implementation of the DNS (Domain Name System) protocol.

The BIND name server, named, is able to serve as an authoritative name
server, recursive resolver, DNS forwarder, or all three simultaneously. It
implements views for split-horizon DNS, automatic DNSSEC zone signing and
key management, catalog zones to facilitate provisioning of zone data
throughout a name server constellation, response policy zones (RPZ) to
protect clients from malicious data, response rate limiting (RRL) and
recursive query limits to reduce distributed denial of service attacks,
and many other advanced DNS features. BIND also includes a suite of
administrative tools, including the dig and delv DNS lookup tools,
nsupdate for dynamic DNS zone updates, rndc for remote name server
administration, and more.

BIND 9 is a complete re-write of the BIND architecture that was used in
versions 4 and 8. Internet Systems Consortium (, a 501
(c)(3) public benefit corporation dedicated to providing software and
services in support of the Internet infrastructure, developed BIND 9 and
is responsible for its ongoing maintenance and improvement. BIND is open
source software licenced under the terms of the Mozilla Public License,
version 2.0.

For a summary of features introduced in past major releases of BIND, see
the file HISTORY.

For a detailed list of changes made throughout the history of BIND 9, see
the file CHANGES. See below for details on the CHANGES file format.

For up-to-date release notes and errata, see

Reporting bugs and getting help

Please report assertion failure errors and suspected security issues to

General bug reports can be sent to

Feature requests can be sent to

Please note that, while ISC's ticketing system is not currently publicly
readable, this may change in the future. Please do not include information
in bug reports that you consider to be confidential. For example, when
sending the contents of your configuration file, it is advisable to
obscure key secrets; this can be done automatically by using
named-checkconf -px.

Professional support and training for BIND are available from ISC at

To join the BIND Users mailing list, or view the archives, visit https://

If you're planning on making changes to the BIND 9 source code, you may
also want to join the BIND Workers mailing list, at

Contributing to BIND

A public git repository for BIND is maintained at,
and also on Github at

Information for BIND contributors can be found in the following files: -
General information: doc/dev/ - BIND 9 code style: doc/dev/ - BIND architecture and developer guide: doc/dev/

Patches for BIND may be submitted either as Github pull requests or via
email. When submitting a patch via email, please prepend the subject
header with "[PATCH]" so it will be easier for us to find. If your patch
introduces a new feature in BIND, please submit it to
; if it fixes a bug, please submit it to

BIND 9.12 features

BIND 9.12.0 is the newest development branch of BIND 9. It includes a
number of changes from BIND 9.11 and earlier releases. New features

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  * named and related libraries have been substantially refactored for for
    improved query performance -- particularly on delegation heavy zones
    -- and for improved readability, maintainability, and testability.
  * Code implementing the name server query processing logic has been
    moved into a new libns library, for easier testing and use in tools
    other than named.
  * Cached, validated NSEC and other records can now be used to synthesize
    NXDOMAIN responses.
  * The DNS Response Policy Service API (DNSRPS) is now supported.
  * Setting max-journal-size default now limits the size of journal files
    to twice the size of the zone.
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  * The query handling code has been substantially refactored for improved
    readability, maintainability and testability .
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  * dnstap-read -x prints a hex dump of the wire format of each logged DNS
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  * dnstap output files can now be configured to roll automatically when
    reaching a given size.
  * Log file timestamps can now also be formatted in ISO 8601 (local) or
    ISO 8601 (UTC) formats.
  * Logging channels and dnstap output files can now be configured to use
    a timestamp as the suffix when rolling to a new file.
  * named-checkconf -l lists zones found in named.conf.
  * Added support for the EDNS Padding and Keepalive options.
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  * 'new-zones-directory' option sets the location where the configuration
    data for zones added by rndc addzone is stored
  * named-checkconf -l lists the zones found in named.conf.
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Building BIND

BIND requires a UNIX or Linux system with an ANSI C compiler, basic POSIX
support, and a 64-bit integer type. Successful builds have been observed
on many versions of Linux and UNIX, including RedHat, Fedora, Debian,
Ubuntu, SuSE, Slackware, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS X, Solaris,
HP-UX, AIX, SCO OpenServer, and OpenWRT.

BIND is also available for Windows XP, 2003, 2008, and higher. See
win32utils/readme1st.txt for details on building for Windows systems.

To build on a UNIX or Linux system, use:

    $ ./configure
    $ make

If you're planning on making changes to the BIND 9 source, you should run
make depend. If you're using Emacs, you might find make tags helpful.

Several environment variables that can be set before running configure
will affect compilation:

Variable       Description
CC             The C compiler to use. configure tries to figure out the
               right one for supported systems.
               C compiler flags. Defaults to include -g and/or -O2 as
CFLAGS         supported by the compiler. Please include '-g' if you need
               to set CFLAGS.
               System header file directories. Can be used to specify
STD_CINCLUDES  where add-on thread or IPv6 support is, for example.
               Defaults to empty string.
               Any additional preprocessor symbols you want defined.
STD_CDEFINES   Defaults to empty string. For a list of possible settings,
               see the file OPTIONS.
LDFLAGS        Linker flags. Defaults to empty string.
BUILD_CC       Needed when cross-compiling: the native C compiler to use
               when building for the target system.
BUILD_CFLAGS   Optional, used for cross-compiling

Compile-time options

To see a full list of configuration options, run configure --help.

On most platforms, BIND 9 is built with multithreading support, allowing
it to take advantage of multiple CPUs. You can configure this by
specifying --enable-threads or --disable-threads on the configure command
line. The default is to enable threads, except on some older operating
systems on which threads are known to have had problems in the past.
(Note: Prior to BIND 9.10, the default was to disable threads on Linux
systems; this has now been reversed. On Linux systems, the threaded build
is known to change BIND's behavior with respect to file permissions; it
may be necessary to specify a user with the -u option when running named.)

To build shared libraries, specify --with-libtool on the configure command

Certain compiled-in constants and default settings can be increased to
values better suited to large servers with abundant memory resources (e.g,
64-bit servers with 12G or more of memory) by specifying --with-tuning=
large on the configure command line. This can improve performance on big
servers, but will consume more memory and may degrade performance on
smaller systems.

For the server to support DNSSEC, you need to build it with crypto
support. To use OpenSSL, you should have OpenSSL 1.0.2e or newer
installed. If the OpenSSL library is installed in a nonstandard location,
specify the prefix using "--with-openssl=/prefix" on the configure command
line. To use a PKCS#11 hardware service module for cryptographic
operations, specify the path to the PKCS#11 provider library using
"--with-pkcs11=/prefix", and configure BIND with "--enable-native-pkcs11".

To support the HTTP statistics channel, the server must be linked with at
least one of the following: libxml2 or json-c https:// If these are installed at a nonstandard location,
specify the prefix using --with-libxml2=/prefix or --with-libjson=/prefix.

To support compression on the HTTP statistics channel, the server must be
linked against libzlib. If this is installed in a nonstandard location,
specify the prefix using --with-zlib=/prefix.

To support storing configuration data for runtime-added zones in an LMDB
database, the server must be linked with liblmdb. If this is installed in
a nonstandard location, specify the prefix using "with-lmdb=/prefix".

To support GeoIP location-based ACLs, the server must be linked with
libGeoIP. This is not turned on by default; BIND must be configured with
"--with-geoip". If the library is installed in a nonstandard location, use
specify the prefix using "--with-geoip=/prefix".

For DNSTAP packet logging, you must have libfstrm
farsightsec/fstrm and libprotobuf-c
protocol-buffers, and BIND must be configured with "--enable-dnstap".

Python requires the 'argparse' and 'ply' modules to be available.
'argparse' is a standard module as of Python 2.7 and Python 3.2. 'ply' is
available from

On some platforms it is necessary to explicitly request large file support
to handle files bigger than 2GB. This can be done by using
--enable-largefile on the configure command line.

Support for the "fixed" rrset-order option can be enabled or disabled by
specifying --enable-fixed-rrset or --disable-fixed-rrset on the configure
command line. By default, fixed rrset-order is disabled to reduce memory

If your operating system has integrated support for IPv6, it will be used
automatically. If you have installed KAME IPv6 separately, use --with-kame
[=PATH] to specify its location.

make install will install named and the various BIND 9 libraries. By
default, installation is into /usr/local, but this can be changed with the
--prefix option when running configure.

You may specify the option --sysconfdir to set the directory where
configuration files like named.conf go by default, and --localstatedir to
set the default parent directory of run/ For backwards
compatibility with BIND 8, --sysconfdir defaults to /etc and
--localstatedir defaults to /var if no --prefix option is given. If there
is a --prefix option, sysconfdir defaults to $prefix/etc and localstatedir
defaults to $prefix/var.

Automated testing

A system test suite can be run with make test. The system tests require
you to configure a set of virtual IP addresses on your system (this allows
multiple servers to run locally and communicate with one another). These
IP addresses can be configured by by running the script bin/tests/system/ up as root.

Some tests require Perl and the Net::DNS and/or IO::Socket::INET6 modules,
and will be skipped if these are not available. Some tests require Python
and the 'dnspython' module and will be skipped if these are not available.
See bin/tests/system/README for further details.

Unit tests are implemented using Automated Testing Framework (ATF). To run
them, use configure --with-atf, then run make test or make unit.


The BIND 9 Administrator Reference Manual is included with the source
distribution, in DocBook XML, HTML and PDF format, in the doc/arm

Some of the programs in the BIND 9 distribution have man pages in their
directories. In particular, the command line options of named are
documented in bin/named/named.8.

Frequently (and not-so-frequently) asked questions and their answers can
be found in the ISC Knowledge Base at

Additional information on various subjects can be found in other README
files throughout the source tree.

Change log

A detailed list of all changes that have been made throughout the
development BIND 9 is included in the file CHANGES, with the most recent
changes listed first. Change notes include tags indicating the category of
the change that was made; these categories are:

Category       Description
[func]         New feature
[bug]          General bug fix
[security]     Fix for a significant security flaw
[experimental] Used for new features when the syntax or other aspects of
               the design are still in flux and may change
[port]         Portability enhancement
[maint]        Updates to built-in data such as root server addresses and
[tuning]       Changes to built-in configuration defaults and constants to
               improve performance
[performance]  Other changes to improve server performance
[protocol]     Updates to the DNS protocol such as new RR types
[test]         Changes to the automatic tests, not affecting server
[cleanup]      Minor corrections and refactoring
[doc]          Documentation
[contrib]      Changes to the contributed tools and libraries in the
               'contrib' subdirectory
               Used in the master development branch to reserve change
[placeholder]  numbers for use in other branches, e.g. when fixing a bug
               that only exists in older releases

In general, [func] and [experimental] tags will only appear in new-feature
releases (i.e., those with version numbers ending in zero). Some new
functionality may be backported to older releases on a case-by-case basis.
All other change types may be applied to all currently-supported releases.


  * The original development of BIND 9 was underwritten by the following

    Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Hewlett Packard
    Compaq Computer Corporation
    Process Software Corporation
    Silicon Graphics, Inc.
    Network Associates, Inc.
    U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency
    USENIX Association
    Stichting NLnet - NLnet Foundation
    Nominum, Inc.

  * This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project for
    use in the OpenSSL Toolkit.
  * This product includes cryptographic software written by Eric Young
  * This product includes software written by Tim Hudson