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The NameDrop Protocol (draft version 0.2.0)

NameDrop is developed by TakingNames.io for delegating control over DNS domains and subdomains. It is an open protocol, and implementation by others is encouraged.

Overview

NameDrop is based on OAuth2, with a few additions to facilitate domain name delegation.

One key difference from how OAuth2 is generally implemented, is that client registration with the authorization server is not required before initiating grant flows. To maintain a level of security, it is required that the client_id be a prefix string of the redirect_uri, ie the redirect_uri (which is where the token ends up) must be on the same domain as the client_id. This method is essentially what is described here. NameDrop authorization servers should display the client_id to users and inform them that is who is requesting access.

All API endpoints described in this article are assumed to be appended to a base URL. For example, TakingNames.io uses

https://takingnames.io/namedrop

It is not necessary for the API name to start with /namedrop, but it can be useful for namespacing if the server has other non-NameDrop endpoints.

OAuth2 scopes

NameDrop currently only supports a single OAuth2 scope: subdomain. This scope requests complete control over a domain or subdomain. There will likely be additional scopes added in the future, such as wildcard, dyndns, scopes that restrict to specific record types, etc.

OAuth2 endpoints

The basic OAuth2 endpoints are defined as follows:

GET /authorize

Authorization endpoint (user consent to get code). Can be a web browser redirect, or a direct link, such as one printed from a CLI application.

GET /callback

Redirect endpoint (where code is returned on client). Always a web browser redirect.

POST /token

Token endpoint (swap code for token). Always server-to-server.

Other endpoints

GET /token-data

Retrieves data for the token used in the request. This is critical for the client application to determine what permissions have been granted.

Data is returned as JSON in the following format:

{
  "owner": "<owner identifier>",
  "scopes": [
    {
      "domain": "<domain of scope>",
      "host": "<host of scope>",
    },
    {
      "domain": "<domain of scope>",
      "host": "<host of scope>",
    }
    ...
  ]
}

Host values can contain wildcard characters. In this case, the scope grants permissions for any subdomain which has the host as a suffix, minus the wildcard character '*'.

POST /records

Creates a new record. The provided token must have the proper permissions.

The request is JSON in the following format:

{
  "domain": "<domain>",
  "host": "<host>",
  "type": "<type>",
  "value": "<value>",
  "ttl": <ttl>,
  "priority": <priority>,
}

Where type is the record type such as A, CNAME, MX, etc. ttl and priority are both integers.

GET /my-ip

Returns the public IP of the client, as seen from the server. This is useful for helping self-hosted clients test whether they can be reached by the outside world.

The IP is returned as a simple string.

GET /ip-domain

This causes the server to create a special A and/or AAAA record pointing at the client's IP address, as seen by the server. The domain must start with the IP address, but with '.' or ':' characters replaced with '-'. The rest of the domain can be anything. The created domain is returned as a simple string.

So, for example, TakingNames.io creates the record and returns something like this:

157-245-231-242.bootstrap.takingnames.live

The purpose of these domains is to allow the client to retrieve a TLS certificate from a service like LetsEncrypt, which makes the OAuth2 flows more secure. This is particularly useful for self-hosters who are trying to bootstrap a service that doesn't yet have a domain or certificate.

The server should ensure the domain remains valid for at least 5 minutes after a successful request, but no guarantees are required beyond that.

About

Specification for the NameDrop DNS delegation protocol

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