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This is the module that will enable the ability to extract and build BIND DNS server configurations from the database. It will output the configuration text that would normally be located in something like /etc/bind/named.conf or similar.


  • If you have not already, run the following command echo '/opt/ona' > /etc/onabase. This assumes you installed ONA into /opt/ona
  • Ensure you have the following prerequisites installed:
    • A BIND DNS server. It is not required to be on the same host as the ONA system.
    • sendEmail for notification messages. Download here or use the package from your distribution.
    • A functioning install on your DHCP server.
  • Download the archive and place it in your $ONABASE/www/local/plugins directory, the directory must be named build_bind
  • Make the plugin directory owned by your webserver user I.E.: chown -R www-data /opt/ona/www/local/plugins/build_bind
  • From within the GUI, click Plugins->Manage Plugins while logged in as an admin user
  • Click the install icon for the plugin which should be listed by the plugin name
  • Follow any instructions it prompts you with.
  • Install the $ONABASE/www/local/plugins/build_bind/build_bind script on your DNS server. It is suggested to place it in /opt/ona/bin
  • Modify the variables at the top of the build_bind script to suit your environment.


At least one host within ONA should be defined as a DNS server for whatever domains you expect it to be responsible for. The install process above should have also created a system configuration variable called "build_dns_type" with a value of "bind".

You should now see the configuration being built real time in the web interface each time you select the server host and view its DNS server display page.

This now also exposes the module called build_bind_conf and build_bind_domain. These will be used by the build_bind script to extract the configuration. It is also used by the web interface to generate configuration data.

There are a few configuration options in the build script that should be examined. Edit the file /opt/ona/bin/build_bind and adjust the following options as needed:

# this will default to placing data files in /opt/ona/etc/bind, you can update the following for your system as needed
# for things like chroot jails etc

# Get the local hosts FQDN.  It will be an assumption!! that it is the same as the hostname in ONA
# Also, the use of hostname -f can vary from system type to system type.  be aware!
SRV_FQDN="$(hostname -f)"

# Path to the command.  Also include any options that might be needed

# Define path for curl binary requires if pulling templates from remote web server

# Specify a URL to a directory located on a web server containing domain based
# footers with additional DNS records to be appended to respective DNS zones.
# Using this method footer files don't have to be manually synced between
# name servers. The remote path can be located on the web server that also
# provided for the OpenNetAdmin instance.
# It is highly recommended to use HTTPS (SSL/TLS) for transport security but
# at least ip address based access control e.g. using a htaccess file.
# When using http basic authentication you can embed the user credentials
# within the URI like this:
# # e.g. FOOTER_URL="https://USERNAME:PASSWORD@ipam.mydomain.tld/zone_footers"
FOOTER_URL="https://USER:PASSWORD@ona.domain.tld/zone_footers" # no trailing slash

# The command used to check the configuration syntax prior to restarting the daemon
CHECKCOMMAND="named-checkconf -z"

# The command used to restart bind
# two options would be standard init.d or something like RNDC if it is configured
# in your environment
SYSTEMINIT="/etc/init.d/named reload"

# Email settings for config_archive to send status information to (diffs etc)            # name or IP of the mail server to use
MAIL_FROM=ona-build_dhcpd@${SRV_FQDN}   # email address to use in the from field          # email address(es) to send our notifications to

Most BIND servers default to using /etc/bind/named.conf or similar as their config. You should make this a symbolic link to /opt/ona/etc/bind/named.conf.ona or do an include of this config file in your main named.conf.

On some systems you may need to add the ONA related files to your apparmor or similar security tool.

Now that it is installed you should be able to execute /opt/ona/bin/build_bind as root. This will build a configuration file from the data in ONA, test its syntax, and place it into the file /opt/ona/etc/bind/named.conf.ona. When the test is ran it will process configurations built from the database that are stored in /opt/ona/etc/bind. If it is successful it will restart the BIND server using the init program defined in the SYSTEMINIT config variable. Also set the value of CHECKCOMMAND to somethine like named-config -z to test the configuration before restarting.

Once you have a successful rebuild of your configuration, you can then put the /opt/ona/bin/build_bind build script into a cron that runs at whatever interval you see as appropriate for your environment. I would suggest at least 2 times a day all the way down to once every 15 minutes. Remember, you can always run it on demand if needed. You will need to run it as root since it needs to restart the daemon.

Many modern linux systems use the /etc/cron.d method. You can put ONA related cron jobs into this directory. As an example you can create a file called /etc/cron.d/ona with the following content:

# Please store only OpenNetAdmin related cron entries here.

# Rebuild BIND configuration file and restart daemon every hour
0 * * * * root /opt/ona/bin/build_bind > /dev/null 2>&1

Configuration (version 1.6+)

Since version 1.6 the configuration is no longer embedded within the build_bind script itself. Instead it uses a separate config file expected at ${ONABASE}/etc/build_bind.conf.

Simply copy the sample config build_bind.conf.sample to etc/ within your base folder and adjust its parameters to fit your needs. However, it is also possible to provide a custom config using the -c <PATH>/CONFIG option.

Fetching Zone Footers from Remote Web Server

ONA does not yet support DNS records to be placed within DNS zones as long as those aren't handled through ONA itself. For instance, as of the moment it is not possible to add records for mail servers (MX) or canonical names (CNAMES) that are pointing to external servers. Creating local zone records for such email servers is one way to work around this limitation. However, it's fairly inconvenient especially when facing the fact that addresses for MX servers of large providers like Google are operated using volatile ip pools.

The reason why this wasn't fixed within ONA yet? It is related to the current database design. Matt explains it in the following threads:

Non ONA managed CNAMES (external DNS references) opennetadmin/ona#70

Adding remote host or CNAME - DNS import

To overcome this limitation for the moment, one can use zone footers in order to add necessary DNS records per zone e.g. using a script that's executed right after zones were generated by the build_bind script.

At the moment build_dns tries to implement this using so called 'remote footers'. By simply specifying the -t option build_dns can look for domain specific footers within a directory on a remote web server. Once a match was found the content of the footer file will be automatically appended to the local zone of the respective domain.

This approach allows for footers to be kept centrally without the need to manually synchronize them across servers. E.g. in order to add the global mail exchange servers of Google to the zone file of do the following:

[root@ona ~]# cd /var/www/html/ona/
[root@ona ona]# mkdir zone_footers
[root@ona ona]# cat <<'HERE' > zone_footers/
; MX Records
@   1800    IN  MX  10
@   1800    IN  MX  20
@   1800    IN  MX  30
@   1800    IN  MX  40
@   1800    IN  MX  50

In this example we're deploying the footers on the web server that is also hosting our ONA instance. This way one can re-use the .htpasswd file that's used to protect access to the dcm.php script. You do restrict access to your dcm.php script, don't you?

A bit out of scope but here's a snippet for a httpd virtual host containing the directives required to secure your installation including the footers folder:

<Files dcm.php>
  Order deny,allow
  # name server ip address
  allow from
  allow from localhost

  AuthUserFile /opt/ona/www/.htpasswd
  AuthName "dcm access"
  AuthType basic
  Require valid-user

<Location "/zone_footers">
  Order deny,allow
  # name server ip address
  allow from
  allow from localhost

  Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
  AllowOverride All

  AuthUserFile /opt/ona/www/.htpasswd
  AuthName "footer access"
  AuthType basic
  Require valid-user

Create a separate account for authenticating access to the footers directory (the username reflects within the web server log file).

[root@ona ona]# htpasswd /opt/ona/www/.htpasswd footers
New password: *******
Re-type new password: ******* 
Adding password for user footers

On the name server you should now be able to fetch the footer for zone we've created earlier:

[root@ns01 ~]# curl -s --output https://footers:MYPASSWORD@ona.domain.tld/zone_footers/
[root@ns01 ~]# cat

Lets run build_bind with the -t option and see what happens:

[root@ns01 ~]# /opt/ona/bin/build_bind -t
Sep 30 22:51:17 [ONA:build_bind]: INFO => Building BIND DNS config for
Sep 30 22:51:23 [ONA:build_bind]: INFO => Scanning for footers on remote server ...
Sep 30 22:51:23 [ONA:build_bind]: INFO => Found a match for zone appending.
Sep 30 22:51:26 [ONA:build_bind]: INFO => Testing new config files for SYNTAX only...
Sep 30 23:01:37 [ONA:build_bind]: INFO => Completed BIND configuration
extraction and daemon reload.

[root@ns01 ~]# tail -6 /var/named/zone_data/ 
; MX Records
@   1800    IN  MX  10
@   1800    IN  MX  20
@   1800    IN  MX  30
@   1800    IN  MX  40
@   1800    IN  MX  50

Hint: It is highly recommended to implement transport security by using TLS. In a medium scale deployment w/o a proper way of distributing security certificates it almost always makes sense to use certs issued by a public CA. It is furthermore recommended to use a platform that delivers support for Perfect Forward Secrecy such as Apache 2.4 as part of CentOS 7.


OpenNetAdmin plugin to manage and build BIND DNS server configurations







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