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  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 
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
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
4. Run make.
5. Set up a cronjob to periodically re-sign your data file before the
6. TEST! For example:
* Use dig axfr <domain> @<server> and validate the result with a dnssec zone
validator, like yazvs .
* Use an online DNS or DNSSEC test tool. See  for a list.
7. Read RFC-4641  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 .
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 Peter Conrad <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
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 <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
 http://yazvs.verisignlabs.com/ .