Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit

As of 2022-06-23, the Hetzner DNS API is still responding with a 422
 when a CAA record contains a quoted value with spaces.
format: number of fields does not match record type, expecting 3
Their support acknowledged my bug report a few weeks back and suggested
 the removal of spaces to get past the limitation.
Spaces in CAA records are not common. Let's just skip the test and put
 a notice in the docs.

Signed-off-by: Jakob Ackermann <>

Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


CircleCI Gitter chat Google Group PkgGoDev

DNSControl is a system for maintaining DNS zones. It has two parts: a domain specific language (DSL) for describing DNS zones plus software that processes the DSL and pushes the resulting zones to DNS providers such as Route53, Cloudflare, and Gandi. It can send the same DNS records to multiple providers. It even generates the most beautiful BIND zone files ever. It runs anywhere Go runs (Linux, macOS, Windows). The provider model is extensible, so more providers can be added.

Currently supported DNS providers:

  • AWS Route 53
  • Active Directory (Deprecated, see Microsoft DNS)
  • Akamai Edge DNS
  • AutoDNS
  • Azure DNS
  • BIND
  • ClouDNS
  • Cloudflare
  • deSEC
  • DNS Made Easy
  • DNSimple
  • DigitalOcean
  • Exoscale
  • Gandi
  • Google DNS
  • Hetzner
  • Hurricane Electric DNS
  • INWX
  • Linode
  • Microsoft Windows Server DNS Server
  • NS1
  • Namecheap
  • Netcup
  • OVH
  • OctoDNS
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Packetframe
  • PowerDNS
  • SoftLayer
  • TransIP
  • Vultr

Currently supported Domain Registrars:

  • AWS Route 53
  • CSC Global
  • easyname
  • Gandi
  • INWX
  • Namecheap
  • OVH
  • OpenSRS

At Stack Overflow, we use this system to manage hundreds of domains and subdomains across multiple registrars and DNS providers.

You can think of it as a DNS compiler. The configuration files are written in a DSL that looks a lot like JavaScript. It is compiled to an intermediate representation (IR). Compiler back-ends use the IR to update your DNS zones on services such as Route53, Cloudflare, and Gandi, or systems such as BIND and Active Directory.

An Example


// define our registrar and providers
var namecom = NewRegistrar("", "NAMEDOTCOM");
var r53 = NewDnsProvider("r53", "ROUTE53")

D("", namecom, DnsProvider(r53),
  A("@", ""),
  A("test", "")

Running dnscontrol preview will talk to the providers (here as registrar and route 53 as the dns host), and determine what changes need to be made.

Running dnscontrol push will make those changes with the provider and my dns records will be correctly updated.

See Getting Started page on documentation site.


  • Less error-prone than editing a BIND zone file.
  • More reproducible than clicking buttons on a web portal.
  • Easily switch between DNS providers: The DNSControl language is vendor-agnostic. If you use it to maintain your DNS zone records, you can switch between DNS providers easily. In fact, DNSControl will upload your DNS records to multiple providers, which means you can test one while switching to another. We've switched providers 3 times in three years and we've never lost a DNS record.
  • Adopt CI/CD principles to DNS! At StackOverflow we maintain our DNSControl configurations in Git and use our CI system to roll out changes. Keeping DNS information in a VCS means we have full history. Using CI enables us to include unit-tests and system-tests. Remember when you forgot to include a "." at the end of an MX record? We haven't had that problem since we included a test to make sure Tom doesn't make that mistake... again.
  • Adopt PR-based updates. Allow developers to send updates as PRs, which you can review before you approve.
  • Variables save time! Assign an IP address to a constant and use the variable name throughout the file. Need to change the IP address globally? Just change the variable and "recompile."
  • Macros! Define your SPF records, MX records, or other repeated data once and re-use them for all domains.
  • Control Cloudflare from a single source of truth. Enable/disable Cloudflare proxying (the "orange cloud" button) directly from your DNSControl files.
  • Keep similar domains in sync with transforms and other features. If one domain is supposed to be a filtered version of another, this is easy to set up.
  • It is extendable! All the DNS providers are written as plugins. Writing new plugins is very easy.


From source

DNSControl can be built with Go version 1.16 or higher.

The go get command will download the source, compile it, and install dnscontrol in your $GOBIN directory.

To install, simply run

GO111MODULE=on go get

To download the source

git clone

If these don't work, more info is in #805.

Via packages

Get prebuilt binaries from github releases

Alternatively, on Mac you can install it using homebrew:

brew install dnscontrol

Via docker

docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd)/dnsconfig.js:/dns/dnsconfig.js -v $(pwd)/creds.json:/dns/creds.json stackexchange/dnscontrol dnscontrol preview

The documentation can be viewed via Docker:

cd docs
docker run --rm -it --volume="$PWD:/srv/jekyll" --volume="$PWD/vendor/bundle:/usr/local/bundle" --env JEKYLL_ENV=production jekyll/jekyll:3.8 jekyll build -V
# Open docs/_site/index.html in your web browser to see the results.
# (Note: The preview isn't perfect. Links that use the site.github.url variable won't work.

Via Github Actions (GHA)

See dnscontrol-action

Depreciation warnings (updated 2022-06-04)

  • Call for new volunteer maintainers for NAMEDOTCOM, and SOFTLAYER. These providers have no maintainer. Maintainers respond to PRs and fix bugs in a timely manner, and try to stay on top of protocol changes.
  • ACME/Let's Encrypt support is frozen and will be removed after December 31, 2022. The get-certs command (renews certs via Let's Encrypt) has no maintainer. There are other projects that do a better job. If you don't use this feature, please do not start. If you do use this feature, please plan on migrating to something else. See discussion in #1400
  • convertzone is frozen and will be removed after June 30, 2022. The convertzone stand-alone program is replaced by the get-zone subcommand of DNSControl. It does everything convertzone did and more.
  • Provider ACTIVEDIRECTORY_PS is frozen and will be removed after June 30, 2022. It is replaced by MSDNS which is 100% feature compatible and works better. (We believe nobody uses it.)
  • get-zones syntax changes in v3.16 Starting in v3.16, the command line arguments for dnscontrol get-zones changes. For backwards compatibility change provider to -. See documentation for details.

More info at our web site

The website:

The getting started guide: