Working with zonefiles (RFC 1035 section 5 and RFC 1034 section 3.6.1) in Ruby
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The format of a DNS Zonefile is defined in RFC 1035 section 5 and RFC 1034 section 3.6.1. To anyone who's using BIND they'll look very familiar.

This is an attempt to use Ruby parse them into an object graph which can be investigated programatically, manipulated, validated or printed into some canonical form.

Getting setup

Add gem dns-zonefile to your Gemfile


gem install dns-zonefile

Okay, you're ready to move onto the examples now.


Using raw data from the parser. Note that "@" isn't translated in this mode. Nor are inherited TTLs interpreted.

zonefile = "/path/to/"
zone_string =
zone = DNS::Zonefile.parse(zone_string)

puts zone.soa.origin.to_s
puts zone.soa.ns.to_s
puts zone.rr[0].to_s

Using more structure data. @, TTLs, and empty hostname inheritance are all handled in this mode.

zonefile = "/path/to/"
zone_string =
zone = DNS::Zonefile.load(zone_string)
# or, if no $origin is in the zone file
zone = DNS::Zonefile.load(zone_string, '')

puts zone.soa.origin
puts zone.soa.nameserver
puts zone.records[1]
# get all MX records
puts zone.records_of(DNS::Zonefile::MX)

Open the examples in the ./examples directory to see more examples.


Original code and concept:

Craig R Webster



See the TODO. Read for more details on how to contribute to this project.

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