BIND 10 Guide

Administrator Reference for BIND 10

This is the reference guide for BIND 10 version 20110120.


BIND 10 is a Domain Name System (DNS) suite managed by Internet Systems Consortium (ISC). It includes DNS libraries and modular components for controlling authoritative and recursive DNS servers.

This is the reference guide for BIND 10 version 20110120. The most up-to-date version of this document, along with other documents for BIND 10, can be found at

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Supported Platforms
Required Software
Starting and Stopping the Server
Managing BIND 10
2. Installation
Building Requirements
Quick start
Installation from source
Download Tar File
Retrieve from Git
Configure before the build
Install Hierarchy
3. Starting BIND10 with bind10
Starting BIND 10
4. Command channel
5. Configuration manager
6. Remote control daemon
Configuration specification for b10-cmdctl
7. Control and configure user interface
8. Authoritative Server
Server Configurations
Data Source Backends
Loading Master Zones Files
9. Incoming Zone Transfers
10. Outbound Zone Transfers
11. Secondary Manager
12. Recursive Name Server
13. Statistics

Chapter 1. Introduction

BIND is the popular implementation of a DNS server, developer interfaces, and DNS tools. BIND 10 is a rewrite of BIND 9. BIND 10 is written in C++ and Python and provides a modular environment for serving and maintaining DNS.


This guide covers the experimental prototype of BIND 10 version 20110120.


BIND 10 provides a EDNS0- and DNSSEC-capable authoritative DNS server and a forwarding DNS server.

Supported Platforms

BIND 10 builds have been tested on Debian GNU/Linux 5, Ubuntu 9.10, NetBSD 5, Solaris 10, FreeBSD 7 and 8, and CentOS Linux 5.3. It has been tested on Sparc, i386, and amd64 hardware platforms. It is planned for BIND 10 to build, install and run on Windows and standard Unix-type platforms.

Required Software

BIND 10 requires Python 3.1. Later versions may work, but Python 3.1 is the minimum version which will work.


For this development prototype release, the only supported data source backend is SQLite3. The authoritative server requires SQLite 3.3.9 or newer. The b10-xfrin, b10-xfrout, and b10-zonemgr modules require the libpython3 library and the Python module.


Some operating systems do not provide these dependencies in their default installation nor standard packages collections. You may need to install them separately.

Starting and Stopping the Server

BIND 10 is modular. Part of this modularity is accomplished using multiple cooperating processes which, together, provide the server functionality. This is a change from the previous generation of BIND software, which used a single process.

At first, running many different processes may seem confusing. However, these processes are started, stopped, and maintained by a single command, bind10. This command starts a master process which will start other processes as needed. The processes started by the bind10 command have names starting with "b10-", including:

  • b10-msgq — Message bus daemon. This process coordinates communication between all of the other BIND 10 processes.
  • b10-auth — Authoritative DNS server. This process serves DNS requests.
  • b10-cfgmgr — Configuration manager. This process maintains all of the configuration for BIND 10.
  • b10-cmdctl — Command and control service. This process allows external control of the BIND 10 system.
  • b10-resolver — Recursive name server. This process handles incoming queries.
  • b10-stats — Statistics collection daemon. This process collects and reports statistics data.
  • b10-xfrin — Incoming zone transfer service. This process is used to transfer a new copy of a zone into BIND 10, when acting as a secondary server.
  • b10-xfrout — Outgoing zone transfer service. This process is used to handle transfer requests to send a local zone to a remote secondary server, when acting as a master server.
  • b10-zonemgr — Secondary manager. This process keeps track of timers and other necessary information for BIND 10 to act as a slave server.

These are ran automatically by bind10 and do not need to be run manually.

Managing BIND 10

Once BIND 10 is running, a few commands are used to interact directly with the system:

  • bindctl — interactive administration interface. This is a command-line tool which allows an administrator to control BIND 10.
  • b10-loadzone — zone file loader. This tool will load standard masterfile-format zone files into BIND 10.
  • b10-cmdctl-usermgr — user access control. This tool allows an administrator to authorize additional users to manage BIND 10.

The tools and modules are covered in full detail in this guide. In addition, manual pages are also provided in the default installation.

BIND 10 also provides libraries and programmer interfaces for C++ and Python for the message bus, configuration backend, and, of course, DNS. These include detailed developer documentation and code examples.

Chapter 2. Installation

Building Requirements


Some operating systems have split their distribution packages into a run-time and a development package. You will need to install the development package versions, which include header files and libraries, to build BIND 10 from source code.

Building from source code requires the Boost build-time headers. At least Boost version 1.35 is required.

The Python Library and Python _sqlite3 module are required to enable the Xfrout and Xfrin support.


The Python related libraries and modules need to be built for Python 3.1.

Building BIND 10 also requires a C++ compiler and standard development headers, make, and pkg-config. BIND 10 builds have been tested with GCC g++ 3.4.3, 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.2.1, 4.3.2, and 4.4.1.

Quick start


This quickly covers the standard steps for installing and deploying BIND 10 as an authoritative name server using its defaults. For troubleshooting, full customizations and further details, see the respective chapters in the BIND 10 guide.


The development prototype of the b10-auth server listens on (all interfaces) port 5300. (This is not the standard domain service port.)

To quickly get started with BIND 10, follow these steps.

  1. Install required build dependencies.
  2. Download the BIND 10 source tar file from
  3. Extract the tar file:

    $ gzcat bind10-VERSION.tar.gz | tar -xvf -

  4. Go into the source and run configure:

    $ cd bind10-VERSION
      $ ./configure

  5. Build it:

    $ make

  6. Install it (to default /usr/local):

    $ make install

  7. Start the server:

    $ /usr/local/sbin/bind10

  8. Test it; for example:

    $ dig @ -p 5300 -c CH -t TXT authors.bind

  9. Load desired zone file(s), for example:

    $ b10-loadzone

  10. Test the new zone.

Installation from source

BIND 10 is open source software written in C++ and Python. It is freely available in source code form from ISC via the Git code revision control system or as a downloadable tar file. It may also be available in pre-compiled ready-to-use packages from operating system vendors.

Download Tar File

Downloading a release tar file is the recommended method to obtain the source code.

The BIND 10 releases are available as tar file downloads from Periodic development snapshots may also be available.

Retrieve from Git

Downloading this "bleeding edge" code is recommended only for developers or advanced users. Using development code in a production environment is not recommended.


When using source code retrieved via Git additional software will be required: automake (v1.11 or newer), libtoolize, and autoconf (2.59 or newer). These may need to be installed.

The latest development code, including temporary experiments and un-reviewed code, is available via the BIND 10 code revision control system. This is powered by Git and all the BIND 10 development is public. The leading development is done in the master.

The code can be checked out from git://; for example:

$ git clone git://

When checking out the code from the code version control system, it doesn't include the generated configure script, files, nor the related configure files. They can be created by running autoreconf with the --install switch. This will run autoconf, aclocal, libtoolize, autoheader, automake, and related commands.

Configure before the build

BIND 10 uses the GNU Build System to discover build environment details. To generate the makefiles using the defaults, simply run:

$ ./configure

Run ./configure with the --help switch to view the different options. The commonly-used options are:

Define the the installation location (the default is /usr/local/).
Define the path to find the Boost headers.
Define the path to Python 3.1 if it is not in the standard execution path.
Enable building the C++ Unit Tests using the Google Tests framework. Optionally this can define the path to the gtest header files and library.

For example, the following configures it to find the Boost headers, find the Python interpreter, and sets the installation location:

$ ./configure \
      --with-boost-include=/usr/pkg/include \
      --with-pythonpath=/usr/pkg/bin/python3.1 \

If the configure fails, it may be due to missing or old dependencies.


After the configure step is complete, to build the executables from the C++ code and prepare the Python scripts, run:

$ make


To install the BIND 10 executables, support files, and documentation, run:

$ make install


The install step may require superuser privileges.

Install Hierarchy

The following is the layout of the complete BIND 10 installation:

  • bin/ — general tools and diagnostic clients.
  • etc/bind10-devel/ — configuration files.
  • lib/ — libraries and python modules.
  • libexec/bind10-devel/ — executables that a user wouldn't normally run directly and are not run independently. These are the BIND 10 modules which are daemons started by the bind10 tool.
  • sbin/ — commands used by the system administrator.
  • share/bind10-devel/ — configuration specifications.
  • share/man/ — manual pages (online documentation).
  • var/bind10-devel/ — data source and configuration databases.

Chapter 3. Starting BIND10 with bind10

Table of Contents

Starting BIND 10

BIND 10 provides the bind10 command which starts up the required processes. bind10 will also restart processes that exit unexpectedly. This is the only command needed to start the BIND 10 system.

After starting the b10-msgq communications channel, bind10 connects to it, runs the configuration manager, and reads its own configuration. Then it starts the other modules.

The b10-msgq and b10-cfgmgr services make up the core. The b10-msgq daemon provides the communication channel between every part of the system. The b10-cfgmgr daemon is always needed by every module, if only to send information about themselves somewhere, but more importantly to ask about their own settings, and about other modules. The bind10 master process will also start up b10-cmdctl for admins to communicate with the system, b10-auth for authoritative DNS service or b10-resolver for recursive name service, b10-stats for statistics collection, b10-xfrin for inbound DNS zone transfers, b10-xfrout for outbound DNS zone transfers, and b10-zonemgr for secondary service.

Starting BIND 10

To start the BIND 10 service, simply run bind10. Run it with the --verbose switch to get additional debugging or diagnostic output.

Chapter 4. Command channel

The BIND 10 components use the b10-msgq message routing daemon to communicate with other BIND 10 components. The b10-msgq implements what is called the Command Channel. Processes intercommunicate by sending messages on the command channel. Example messages include shutdown, get configurations, and set configurations. This Command Channel is not used for DNS message passing. It is used only to control and monitor the BIND 10 system.

Administrators do not communicate directly with the b10-msgq daemon. By default, BIND 10 uses port 9912 for the b10-msgq service. It listens on

Chapter 5. Configuration manager

The configuration manager, b10-cfgmgr, handles all BIND 10 system configuration. It provides persistent storage for configuration, and notifies running modules of configuration changes.

The b10-auth and b10-xfrin daemons and other components receive their configurations from the configuration manager over the b10-msgq command channel.

The administrator doesn't connect to it directly, but uses a user interface to communicate with the configuration manager via b10-cmdctl's REST-ful interface. b10-cmdctl is covered in Chapter 6, Remote control daemon.


The development prototype release only provides the bindctl as a user interface to b10-cmdctl. Upcoming releases will provide another interactive command-line interface and a web-based interface.

The b10-cfgmgr daemon can send all specifications and all current settings to the bindctl client (via b10-cmdctl).

b10-cfgmgr relays configurations received from b10-cmdctl to the appropriate modules.

The stored configuration file is at /usr/local/var/bind10-devel/b10-config.db. (The full path is what was defined at build configure time for --localstatedir. The default is /usr/local/var/.) The format is loosely based on JSON and is directly parseable python, but this may change in a future version. This configuration data file is not manually edited by the administrator.

The configuration manager does not have any command line arguments. Normally it is not started manually, but is automatically started using the bind10 master process (as covered in Chapter 3, Starting BIND10 with bind10).

Chapter 6. Remote control daemon

b10-cmdctl is the gateway between administrators and the BIND 10 system. It is a HTTPS server that uses standard HTTP Digest Authentication for username and password validation. It provides a REST-ful interface for accessing and controlling BIND 10.

When b10-cmdctl starts, it firsts asks b10-cfgmgr about what modules are running and what their configuration is (over the b10-msgq channel). Then it will start listening on HTTPS for clients — the user interface — such as bindctl.

b10-cmdctl directly sends commands (received from the user interface) to the specified component. Configuration changes are actually commands to b10-cfgmgr so are sent there.

The HTTPS server requires a private key, such as a RSA PRIVATE KEY. The default location is at /usr/local/etc/bind10-devel/cmdctl-keyfile.pem. (A sample key is at /usr/local/share/bind10-devel/cmdctl-keyfile.pem.) It also uses a certificate located at /usr/local/etc/bind10-devel/cmdctl-certfile.pem. (A sample certificate is at /usr/local/share/bind10-devel/cmdctl-certfile.pem.) This may be a self-signed certificate or purchased from a certification authority.


The HTTPS server doesn't support a certificate request from a client (at this time). The b10-cmdctl daemon does not provide a public service. If any client wants to control BIND 10, then a certificate needs to be first received from the BIND 10 administrator. The BIND 10 installation provides a sample PEM bundle that matches the sample key and certificate.

The b10-cmdctl daemon also requires the user account file located at /usr/local/etc/bind10-devel/cmdctl-accounts.csv. This comma-delimited file lists the accounts with a user name, hashed password, and salt. (A sample file is at /usr/local/share/bind10-devel/cmdctl-accounts.csv. It contains the user named root with the password bind10.)

The administrator may create a user account with the b10-cmdctl-usermgr tool.

By default the HTTPS server listens on the localhost port 8080. The port can be set by using the --port command line option. The address to listen on can be set using the --address command line argument. Each HTTPS connection is stateless and timesout in 1200 seconds by default. This can be redefined by using the --idle-timeout command line argument.

Configuration specification for b10-cmdctl

The configuration items for b10-cmdctl are: key_file cert_file accounts_file

The control commands are: print_settings shutdown

Chapter 7. Control and configure user interface


For this development prototype release, bindctl is the only user interface. It is expected that upcoming releases will provide another interactive command-line interface and a web-based interface for controlling and configuring BIND 10.

The bindctl tool provides an interactive prompt for configuring, controlling, and querying the BIND 10 components. It communicates directly with a REST-ful interface over HTTPS provided by b10-cmdctl. It doesn't communicate to any other components directly.

Configuration changes are actually commands to b10-cfgmgr. So when bindctl sends a configuration, it is sent to b10-cmdctl (over a HTTPS connection); then b10-cmdctl sends the command (over a b10-msgq command channel) to b10-cfgmgr which then stores the details and relays (over a b10-msgq command channel) the configuration on to the specified module.

Chapter 8. Authoritative Server

The b10-auth is the authoritative DNS server. It supports EDNS0 and DNSSEC. It supports IPv6. Normally it is started by the bind10 master process.


This development prototype release listens on all interfaces and the non-standard port 5300.

Server Configurations

b10-auth is configured via the b10-cfgmgr configuration manager. The module name is Auth. The configuration data item is:

This is an optional string to define the path to find the SQLite3 database file. Note: Later the DNS server will use various data source backends. This may be a temporary setting until then.

The configuration command is:

Stop the authoritative DNS server.

Data Source Backends


For the development prototype release, b10-auth only supports the SQLite3 data source backend. Upcoming versions will be able to use multiple different data sources, such as MySQL, Berkeley DB, or in-memory DB.

By default, the SQLite3 backend uses the data file located at /usr/local/var/bind10-devel/zone.sqlite3. (The full path is what was defined at build configure time for --localstatedir. The default is /usr/local/var/.) This data file location may be changed by defining the database_file configuration.

Loading Master Zones Files

RFC 1035 style DNS master zone files may imported into a BIND 10 data source by using the b10-loadzone utility.

b10-loadzone supports the following special directives (control entries):

Loads an additional zone file. This may be recursive.
Defines the relative domain name.
Defines the time-to-live value used for following records that don't include a TTL.

The -o argument may be used to define the default origin for loaded zone file records.


In the development prototype release, only the SQLite3 back end is used. By default, it stores the zone data in /usr/local/var/bind10-devel/zone.sqlite3 unless the -d switch is used to set the database filename. Multiple zones are stored in a single SQLite3 zone database.

If you reload a zone already existing in the database, all records from that prior zone disappear and a whole new set appears.

Chapter 9. Incoming Zone Transfers

The b10-xfrin process is started by bind10. It can be manually triggered to request an AXFR zone transfer. When received, it is stored in the BIND 10 data store, and its records can be served by b10-auth. In combination with b10-zonemgr (for automated SOA checks), this allows the BIND 10 server to provide secondary service.


The current development release of BIND 10 only supports AXFR. (IXFR is not supported.)

To manually trigger a zone transfer to retrieve a remote zone, you may use the bindctl utility. For example, at the bindctl prompt run:

> Xfrin retransfer zone_name="" master=

Chapter 10. Outbound Zone Transfers

The b10-xfrout process is started by bind10. When the b10-auth authoritative DNS server receives an AXFR request, b10-xfrout sends the zone. This is used to provide master DNS service to share zones to secondary name servers. The b10-xfrout is also used to send NOTIFY messages to slaves.


The current development release of BIND 10 only supports AXFR. (IXFR is not supported.) Access control is not yet provided.

Chapter 11. Secondary Manager

The b10-zonemgr process is started by bind10. It keeps track of SOA refresh, retry, and expire timers and other details for BIND 10 to perform as a slave. When the b10-auth authoritative DNS server receives a NOTIFY message, b10-zonemgr may tell b10-xfrin to do a refresh to start an inbound zone transfer. The secondary manager resets its counters when a new zone is transferred in.


Access control (such as allowing notifies) is not yet provided. The primary/secondary service is not yet complete.

Chapter 12. Recursive Name Server

The b10-resolver process is started by bind10.


The current version only provides a forwarding DNS server. It does not cache and does not iterate to find answers. It simply forwards the query on to another full resolver.

The main bind10 process can be configured to select to run either the authoritative or resolver. By default, it starts the authoritative service. You may change this using bindctl, for example:

> config set Boss/start_auth false
> config set Boss/start_resolver true
> config commit


In the current version, the master bind10 process must be stopped and restarted to start up the resolver.

Then the upstream address and port must be configured to forward queries to, such as:

> config set Resolver/forward_addresses [{ "address": "", "port": 53 }]
> config commit

(Replace to point to your full resolver.)

The resolver also needs to be configured to listen on an address and port:

> config set Resolver/listen_on [{ "address": "", "port": 53 }]
> config commit

Chapter 13. Statistics

The b10-stats process is started by bind10. It periodically collects statistics data from various modules and aggregates it.

This stats daemon provides commands to identify if it is running, show specified or all statistics data, set values, remove data, and reset data. For example, using bindctl:

> Stats show
    "auth.queries.tcp": 1749,
    "auth.queries.udp": 867868,
    "bind10.boot_time": "2011-01-20T16:59:03Z",
    "report_time": "2011-01-20T17:04:06Z",
    "stats.boot_time": "2011-01-20T16:59:05Z",
    "stats.last_update_time": "2011-01-20T17:04:05Z",
    "stats.lname": "",
    "stats.start_time": "2011-01-20T16:59:05Z",
    "stats.timestamp": 1295543046.823504