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DNSSEC for tinydns

This project adds DNSSEC support to D. J. Bernstein's tinydns (see ).

It consists of two parts (mostly):

- tinydns-sign, a perl script for augmenting a tinydns-data file with
  DNSSEC-related RRs, and

- a patch to tinydns / axfrdns to make them produce DNSSEC-authenticated

The patch tries to preserve the behaviour of tinydns/axfrdns wrt non-DNSSEC
queries, with these noteworthy exceptions:

- The interpretation of wildcard records now matches the description in
  RFC-1034 section 4.3.3. Specifically, if there's a wildcard *.x and a
  record for a.x, then a query for y.a.x will *not* be answered using the
  wildcard (for a label 'a' and series of labels 'x' and 'y').
  This change is required for signed domains, because authentication of
  negative responses requires a common understanding between client and
  server about the meaning of wildcards.

- EDNS0 in queries will be honoured also for non-DNSSEC queries, i. e.
  tinydns may produce answers exceeding 512 bytes. (There is a hard
  limit of 4000 bytes, though.)
  This *can* lead to problems on IPv6 networks.

- TXT records are split into character-strings of 255 bytes, not 127.
  This is not really a DNSSEC-related change, but this is kind of a FAQ [5] and
  tinydns-data and tinydns-sign must agree on how this is handled or the
  generated RRSIG won't match.

- The patch includes a fix for the broken CNAME handling in tinydns. See [6]
  for a description of the problem. The patch referenced by that description
  conflicts with fefe's IPv6 patch and requires further modifications for
  DNSSEC, so I decided to roll my own solution.

Be careful with publishing signed zones as a secondary nameserver: the
modified tinydns/axfrdns require certain helper RRs in the database to
simplify locating NSEC3 records. Without these helpers, tinydns cannot
generate valid negative response nor valid wildcard responses.

Axfrdns *will* publish these helper RRs, other primaries will most
likely *not*.


0. Install tinydns-sign and patched tinydns/axfrdns.

1. Generate key(s). See the tinydns-sign manpage for details.

   It is common practice to have a "Key signing key" (KSK, with flags=257)
   and a "Zone signing key" (ZSK, with flags=256). The KSK is used only for
   signing the DNSKEY RRs, the ZSK is used for signing the rest. The KSK is
   more difficult to change because it is used in the delegating domain's
   referral, therefore it usually has more bits. The ZSK is used for signing
   all the other records, and is therefore usually shorter and changed more

   You should keep the keys in a safe place (outside the tinydns ROOT), e. g.
   in a directory "keys" located above the ROOT.

2. Add the K pseudo records from the key files to your tinydns-data file.
   Also, add a P pseudo record for each signed zone.

3. Adapt the Makefile to pipe your data file through tinydns-sign before
   before running tinydns-data, e. g.

data.cdb: data update
	tinydns-sign ../keys/* <data >data.tmp
	mv data.tmp data
	rm -f update

	touch update

4. Run make.

5. Set up a cronjob to periodically re-sign your data file before the
   signatures expire.

6. TEST! For example:

   * Use dig axfr <domain> @<server> and validate the result with a dnssec zone
     validator, like yazvs [1].

   * Use an online DNS or DNSSEC test tool. See [2] for a list.

7. Read RFC-4641 [3] to get a feeling for what is explicitly not called
   "Best Current Practices". :-)

   In particular, think about key lifetime and how to do a key rollover.

8. Sacrifice a few small animals to a deity of your choice. Get yourself a
   drink for really tough guys, like prune juice [4].

9. If you feel brave, contact your upstream delegator to publish DS records
   for your zone.

   Note that this is a really good way to cut yourself off from the rest of the
   internet. You've been warned, so don't blame me.


(C) 2012,2015,2017,2019,2020 Peter Conrad <>

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 as
published by the Free Software Foundation.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <>.

[1] .


DNSSEC for tinydns






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