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DNS Performance Testing Tools
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dnsperf and resperf are free tools developed by Nominum/Akamai (2006-2018) and DNS-OARC (since 2019) that make it simple to gather accurate latency and throughput metrics for Domain Name Service (DNS). These tools are easy-to-use and simulate typical Internet, so network operators can benchmark their naming and addressing infrastructure and plan for upgrades. The latest version of the dnsperf and resperf can be used with test files that include IPv6 queries.

dnsperf "self-paces" the DNS query load to simulate network conditions. New features in dnsperf improve the precision of latency measurements and allow for per packet per-query latency reporting is possible. dnsperf is now multithreaded, multiple dnsperf clients can be supported in multicore systems (each client requires two cores). The output of dnsperf has also been improved so it is more concise and useful. Latency data can be used to make detailed graphs, so it is simple for network operators to take advantage of the data.

resperf systematically increases the query rate and monitors the response rate to simulate caching DNS services.

For more information, see the dnsperf(1) and resperf(1) man pages.


dnsperf and resperf read input files describing DNS queries, and send those queries to DNS servers to measure performance.


dnsperf requires a couple of libraries beside a normal C compiling environment with autoconf, automake, libtool and pkgconfig.

dnsperf has a non-optional dependency on the BIND library and development files along with all dependencies it requires.

To install the dependencies under Debian/Ubuntu:

apt-get install -y libbind-dev libkrb5-dev libssl-dev libcap-dev libxml2-dev libjson-c-dev libgeoip-dev

Depending on how BIND is compiled on Debian and Ubuntu you might need these dependencies also:

apt-get install -y libprotobuf-c-dev libfstrm-dev liblmdb-dev libssl-dev

To install the dependencies under CentOS (with EPEL enabled):

yum install -y bind-devel krb5-devel openssl-devel libcap-devel libxml2-devel json-c-devel GeoIP-devel

To install the dependencies under FreeBSD 12+ using pkg:

pkg install -y bind913-9.13.5 openssl-devel GeoIP

To install the dependencies under OpenBSD 6+ using pkg_add:

pkg_add isc-bind-9.11.4pl2 GeoIP

Building from source tarball

The source tarball from DNS-OARC comes prepared with configure:

tar zxvf dnsperf-version.tar.gz
cd dnsperf-version
./configure [options]
make install

Building from Git repository

git clone
cd dnsperf
./configure [options]
make install

Additional Software

The contrib directory contains additional software related to dnsperf and resperf.


Copyright 2019 OARC, Inc.
Copyright 2017-2018 Akamai Technologies
Copyright 2006-2016 Nominum, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.
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