A BOSH release of the xip.io back end bundled with PowerDNS
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


xip Release

xip is a BOSH release of the PowerDNS nameserver combined with an enhanced xip.io Pipe backend.

Deploying this release will create a DNS nameserver that will reply to xip.io-style queries, e.g. a query for the A record of the hostname "" will return the IP address "". The domain can be customized (it does not need to be xip.io)

The enhanced xip.io Pipe backend allows the lookup of hostnames with dashes as separators (not solely dots), for example, "172-16-100-1.xip.io" resolves to

xip BOSH Manifest

1. Job Properties

xip's BOSH Properties are scoped under the xip element. A typical BOSH manifest has the following layout:

- name: xip
      xip_pdns_conf: |
      named_conf: |
      pdns_conf: |

xip has the following job properties:

  • xip_pdns_conf: Required. This is the configuration for the xip.io backend. It is a bash script that sets the environment variables that configure the behavior (e.g. the domain name). In the following example, we configure the domain name to be "sslip.io":

    XIP_NS_ADDRESSES=( "" "" )
  • pdns_conf: Optional. Defaults to:

    pipe-command=/var/vcap/jobs/xip/bin/xip-pdns /var/vcap/jobs/xip/etc/xip-pdns.conf

    To use PowerDNS's BIND backend, include and configure it here, for example,

    pipe-second-command=/var/vcap/jobs/xip/bin/xip-pdns /var/vcap/jobs/xip/etc/xip-pdns.conf
  • named_conf: Optional. Defaults to empty string. If using PowerDNS's BIND backend, populate this property. For example, to configure a slave nameserver for the domain nono.com,

    zone "nono.com" {
      type slave;
      file "/var/vcap/jobs/xip/etc/nono.com";
      masters {; };

2. Upload Release to BOSH Director

If using BOSH (not bosh-init), upload the release to the BOSH director:

bosh upload release https://s3.amazonaws.com/xip-release/xip-1.tgz

If using bosh-init, the BOSH manifest must contain the URL and SHA of the release, for example:

- name: xip
  url:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/xip-release/xip-1.tgz
  sha1: b544389803a6ef21b6dd05a5c13526dab0df7ac3

3. Install Required boost library

Note: this step should be fixed in the release. Pull requests are welcome.

yum install -y boost-serialization

Deploying a Custom Version of xip to Amazon AWS

In this example, we deploy custom version of xip.io to a t2.micro instance on Amazon AWS:

1. Create the Amazon AWS infrastructure

The BOSH documentation has an excellent walk-through that describes how to create the proper infrastructure. After we have finished the walk-through, we have the following items which we will use to populate our BOSH manifest:

  • Elastic IP:
  • Subnet: subnet-1c90ef6b
  • Private Key: /Users/cunnie/.ssh/aws_nono.pem
  • Access Key: AKIAxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Access Key Secret: 0+B1Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • AWS Key Pair name: aws_nono
  • Security Group: no-filter-vpc

2. Customize xip's Configuration

In addition to the infrastructure items above, we also need to customize our xip-specific information, which we will use in the jobs.properties.xip.xip_pdns_conf section of our BOSH manifest:

  • a current timestamp: 2015090512
  • our domain name: sslip.io
  • our domain's nameservers (as verified by nslookup -query=ns sslip.io): and
  • our domain's webserver's IP address (for http://slip.io):

3. Construct the BOSH Manifest

We construct a manifest using the information gathered in the previous steps. Our manifest looks like this. (Hint: search for all occurrences of 'CHANGEME' within the manifest and update appropriately)

4. Deploy

We deploy our manifest using bosh-init

bosh-init deploy examples/xip-bosh-init-aws.yml

5. Test

We test our newly-deployed nameserver to make sure it's functioning properly:

dig +short @$NAMESERVER_IP
dig +short @$NAMESERVER_IP 192-168-0-1.sslip.io
dig +short @$NAMESERVER_IP google.com
# '', no answer, does not perform recursive queries

6. Update Domain's Registrar's Nameserver Records

Now that we're satisfied that our newly-deployed nameserver is functioning properly, we log into our registrar and update our domain's (sslip.io's) nameserver records to include our new nameserver.

Note that we need to repeat this process at least one more time in order to have two nameservers (minimum requirement for a domain), and we must not forget to retire our old nameservers.


  • The BOSH packaging script uses apt-get and yum to install dependencies (boost). This is considered undesirable, for good reason. It's also wonderfully convenient.
  • PowerDNS is not built with database backends, only the Pipe, Remote, and BIND backends.
  • This release has only been tested on a CentOS stemcell (not Ubuntu),only deployed with bosh-init (not with a BOSH director), only deployed to Amazon AWS (not vSphere or OpenStack).