BIND 9.11.0a3 is now available

Michael McNally mcnally at
Thu Jun 2 03:43:45 UTC 2016

BIND 9.11.0a3, the third alpha development pre-release of BIND 9.11,
is now available for download from ISC's website:

This release includes the debut of an experimental new 9.11 feature,
catalog zones.  Catalog zones are designed to allow easier dynamic
configuration of zones on secondary servers than previous methods.

To use the new feature:

  A special zone of a new type, a catalog zone (CZ), is set up on the
  master and secondary servers in the normal way.  Once a catalog zone
  is configured, when an operator wishes to add a new zone to the nameserver
  constellation s/he can provision the zone on the master server and add
  an entry describing the zone to the catalog zone.  As the secondary
  servers receive the updated copy of the catalog zone data they will
  note the new entry and automatically create a zone for it, pull the
  zone data from the master server in the normal way, and begin serving
  the zone.

  Deletion of a zone listed in a CZ is done by deleting the entry in the
  catalog zone data.  The update of the CZ data on the secondary
  servers will cause them to stop serving the zone in question and to
  delete it from the secondaries, after which the operator can manually
  remove the zone from the master server.

We have other new exciting features and fixes as well -- see the release
notes below for more information about catalog zones and other changes.



   BIND 9.11.0 is a new feature release of BIND, still under development.
   This document summarizes new features and functional changes that have
   been introduced on this branch. With each development release leading
   up to the final BIND 9.11.0 release, this document will be updated with
   additional features added and bugs fixed.


   The latest versions of BIND 9 software can always be found at There you will find additional
   information about each release, source code, and pre-compiled versions
   for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Security Fixes

     * None.

New Features

     * A new method of provisioning secondary servers called "Catalog
       Zones" has been added. This is an implementation of
       draft-muks-dnsop-dns-catalog-zones/ .
       A catalog zone is a regular DNS zone which contains a list of
       "member zones", along with the configuration options for each of
       those zones. When a server is configured to use a catalog zone, all
       the zones listed in the catalog zone are added to the local server
       as slave zones. When the catalog zone is updated (e.g., by adding
       or removing zones, or changing configuration options for existing
       zones) those changes will be put into effect. Since the catalog
       zone is itself a DNS zone, this means configuration changes can be
       propagated to slaves using the standard AXFR/IXFR update mechanism.
       This feature should be considered experimental. It currently
       supports only basic features; more advanced features such as ACLs
       and TSIG keys are not yet supported. Example catalog zone
       configurations can be found in the Chapter 9 of the BIND
       Administrator Reference Manual.
     * Added rndc python module.
     * Added support for DynDB, a new interface for loading zone data from
       an external database, developed by Red Hat for the FreeIPA project.
       (Thanks in particular to Adam Tkac and Petr Spacek of Red Hat for
       the contribution.)
       Unlike the existing DLZ and SDB interfaces, which provide a limited
       subset of database functionality within BIND -- translating DNS
       queries into real-time database lookups with relatively poor
       performance and with no ability to handle DNSSEC-signed data --
       DynDB is able to fully implement and extend the database API used
       natively by BIND.
       A DynDB module could pre-load data from an external data source,
       then serve it with the same performance and functionality as
       conventional BIND zones, and with the ability to take advantage of
       database features not available in BIND, such as multi-master
     * New quotas have been added to limit the queries that are sent by
       recursive resolvers to authoritative servers experiencing
       denial-of-service attacks. When configured, these options can both
       reduce the harm done to authoritative servers and also avoid the
       resource exhaustion that can be experienced by recursives when they
       are being used as a vehicle for such an attack.
          + fetches-per-server limits the number of simultaneous queries
            that can be sent to any single authoritative server. The
            configured value is a starting point; it is automatically
            adjusted downward if the server is partially or completely
            non-responsive. The algorithm used to adjust the quota can be
            configured via the fetch-quota-params option.
          + fetches-per-zone limits the number of simultaneous queries
            that can be sent for names within a single domain. (Note:
            Unlike "fetches-per-server", this value is not self-tuning.)
       Statistics counters have also been added to track the number of
       queries affected by these quotas.
     * Added support for dnstap, a fast, flexible method for capturing and
       logging DNS traffic, developed by Robert Edmonds at Farsight
       Security, Inc., whose assistance is gratefully acknowledged.
       To enable dnstap at compile time, the fstrm and protobuf-c
       libraries must be available, and BIND must be configured with
       A new utility dnstap-read has been added to allow dnstap data to be
       presented in a human-readable format.
       For more information on dnstap, see
     * New statistics counters have been added to track traffic sizes, as
       specified in RSSAC002. Query and response message sizes are broken
       up into ranges of histogram buckets: TCP and UDP queries of size
       0-15, 16-31, ..., 272-288, and 288+, and TCP and UDP responses of
       size 0-15, 16-31, ..., 4080-4095, and 4096+. These values can be
       accessed via the XML and JSON statistics channels at, for example,
       http://localhost:8888/xml/v3/traffic or
     * A new DNSSEC key management utility, dnssec-keymgr, has been added.
       This tool is meant to run unattended (e.g., under cron). It reads a
       policy definition file (default: /etc/dnssec.policy) and creates or
       updates DNSSEC keys as necessary to ensure that a zone's keys match
       the defined policy for that zone. New keys are created whenever
       necessary to ensure rollovers occur correctly. Existing keys'
       timing metadata is adjusted as needed to set the correct rollover
       period, prepublication interval, etc. If the configured policy
       changes, keys are corrected automatically. See the dnssec-keymgr
       man page for full details.
       Note: dnssec-keymgr depends on Python and on the Python lex/yacc
       module, PLY. The other Python-based tools, dnssec-coverage and
       dnssec-checkds, have been refactored and updated as part of this
       (Many thanks to Sebastián Castro for his assistance in developing
       this tool at the IETF 95 Hackathon in Buenos Aires, April 2016.)
     * The serial number of a dynamically updatable zone can now be set
       using rndc signing -serial number zonename. This is particularly
       useful with inline-signing zones that have been reset. Setting the
       serial number to a value larger than that on the slaves will
       trigger an AXFR-style transfer.
     * When answering recursive queries, SERVFAIL responses can now be
       cached by the server for a limited time; subsequent queries for the
       same query name and type will return another SERVFAIL until the
       cache times out. This reduces the frequency of retries when a query
       is persistently failing, which can be a burden on recursive
       serviers. The SERVFAIL cache timeout is controlled by servfail-ttl,
       which defaults to 1 second and has an upper limit of 30.
     * The new rndc nta command can now be used to set a "negative trust
       anchor" (NTA), disabling DNSSEC validation for a specific domain;
       this can be used when responses from a domain are known to be
       failing validation due to administrative error rather than because
       of a spoofing attack. NTAs are strictly temporary; by default they
       expire after one hour, but can be configured to last up to one
       week. The default NTA lifetime can be changed by setting the
       nta-lifetime in named.conf. When added, NTAs are stored in a file
       (viewname.nta) in order to persist across restarts of the named
     * The EDNS Client Subnet (ECS) option is now supported for
       authoritative servers; if a query contains an ECS option then ACLs
       containing geoip or ecs elements can match against the address
       encoded in the option. This can be used to select a view for a
       query, so that different answers can be provided depending on the
       client network.
     * The EDNS EXPIRE option has been implemented on the client side,
       allowing a slave server to set the expiration timer correctly when
       transferring zone data from another slave server.
     * A new masterfile-style zone option controls the formatting of text
       zone files: When set to full, the zone file will dumped in
       single-line-per-record format.
     * dig +ednsopt can now be used to set arbitrary EDNS options in DNS
     * dig +ednsflags can now be used to set yet-to-be-defined EDNS flags
       in DNS requests.
     * dig +[no]ednsnegotiation can now be used enable / disable EDNS
       version negotiation.
     * dig +header-only can now be used to send queries without a question
     * dig +ttlunits causes dig to print TTL values with time-unit
       suffixes: w, d, h, m, s for weeks, days, hours, minutes, and
     * dig +zflag can be used to set the last unassigned DNS header flag
       bit. This bit is normally zero.
     * dig +dscp=value can now be used to set the DSCP code point in
       outgoing query packets.
     * dig +mapped can now be used to determine if mapped IPv4 addresses
       can be used.
     * serial-update-method can now be set to date. On update, the serial
       number will be set to the current date in YYYYMMDDNN format.
     * dnssec-signzone -N date also sets the serial number to YYYYMMDDNN.
     * named -L filename causes named to send log messages to the
       specified file by default instead of to the system log.
     * The rate limiter configured by the serial-query-rate option no
       longer covers NOTIFY messages; those are now separately controlled
       by notify-rate and startup-notify-rate (the latter of which
       controls the rate of NOTIFY messages sent when the server is first
       started up or reconfigured).
     * The default number of tasks and client objects available for
       serving lightweight resolver queries have been increased, and are
       now configurable via the new lwres-tasks and lwres-clients options
       in named.conf. [RT #35857]
     * Log output to files can now be buffered by specifying buffered yes;
       when creating a channel.
     * delv +tcp will exclusively use TCP when sending queries.
     * named will now check to see whether other name server processes are
       running before starting up. This is implemented in two ways: 1) by
       refusing to start if the configured network interfaces all return
       "address in use", and 2) by attempting to acquire a lock on a file
       specified by the lock-file option or the -X command line option.
       The default lock file is /var/run/named/named.lock. Specifying none
       will disable the lock file check.
     * rndc delzone can now be applied to zones which were configured in
       named.conf; it is no longer restricted to zones which were added by
       rndc addzone. (Note, however, that this does not edit named.conf;
       the zone must be removed from the configuration or it will return
       when named is restarted or reloaded.)
     * rndc modzone can be used to reconfigure a zone, using similar
       syntax to rndc addzone.
     * rndc showzone displays the current configuration for a specified
     * Added server-side support for pipelined TCP queries. Clients may
       continue sending queries via TCP while previous queries are
       processed in parallel. Responses are sent when they are ready, not
       necessarily in the order in which the queries were received.
       To revert to the former behavior for a particular client address or
       range of addresses, specify the address prefix in the
       "keep-response-order" option. To revert to the former behavior for
       all clients, use "keep-response-order { any; };".
     * The new mdig command is a version of dig that sends multiple
       pipelined queries and then waits for responses, instead of sending
       one query and waiting the response before sending the next. [RT
     * To enable better monitoring and troubleshooting of RFC 5011 trust
       anchor management, the new rndc managed-keys can be used to check
       status of trust anchors or to force keys to be refreshed. Also, the
       managed-keys data file now has easier-to-read comments. [RT #38458]
     * An --enable-querytrace configure switch is now available to enable
       very verbose query tracelogging. This option can only be set at
       compile time. This option has a negative performance impact and
       should be used only for debugging. [RT #37520]
     * A new tcp-only option can be specified in server statements to
       force named to connect to the specified server via TCP. [RT #37800]
     * The nxdomain-redirect option specifies a DNS namespace to use for
       NXDOMAIN redirection. When a recursive lookup returns NXDOMAIN, a
       second lookup is initiated with the specified name appended to the
       query name. This allows NXDOMAIN redirection data to be supplied by
       multiple zones configured on the server or by recursive queries to
       other servers. (The older method, using a single type redirect
       zone, has better average performance but is less flexible.) [RT
     * The following types have been implemented: CSYNC, NINFO, RKEY,
       SINK, TA, TALINK.
     * A new message-compression option can be used to specify whether or
       not to use name compression when answering queries. Setting this to
       no results in larger responses, but reduces CPU consumption and may
       improve throughput. The default is yes.
     * A read-only option is now available in the controls statement to
       grant non-destructive control channel access. In such cases, a
       restricted set of rndc commands are allowed, which can report
       information from named, but cannot reconfigure or stop the server.
       By default, the control channel access is not restricted to these
       read-only operations. [RT #40498]
     * When loading a signed zone, named will now check whether an RRSIG's
       inception time is in the future, and if so, it will regenerate the
       RRSIG immediately. This helps when a system's clock needs to be
       reset backwards.
     * The new minimal-any option reduces the size of answers to UDP
       queries for type ANY by implementing one of the strategies in
       "draft-ietf-dnsop-refuse-any": returning a single
       arbitrarily-selected RRset that matches the query name rather than
       returning all of the matching RRsets. Thanks to Tony Finch for the
       contribution. [RT #41615]

Feature Changes

     * The ISC DNSSEC Lookaside Validation (DLV) service is scheduled to
       be disabled in 2017. A warning is now logged when named is
       configured to use this service, either explicitly or via
       dnssec-lookaside auto;. [RT #42207]
     * The timers returned by the statistics channel (indicating current
       time, server boot time, and most recent reconfiguration time) are
       now reported with millisecond accuracy. [RT #40082]
     * Updated the compiled-in addresses for H.ROOT-SERVERS.NET and
     * ACLs containing geoip asnum elements were not correctly matched
       unless the full organization name was specified in the ACL (as in
       geoip asnum "AS1234 Example, Inc.";). They can now match against
       the AS number alone (as in geoip asnum "AS1234";).
     * When using native PKCS#11 cryptography (i.e., configure
       --enable-native-pkcs11) HSM PINs of up to 256 characters can now be
     * NXDOMAIN responses to queries of type DS are now cached separately
       from those for other types. This helps when using "grafted" zones
       of type forward, for which the parent zone does not contain a
       delegation, such as local top-level domains. Previously a query of
       type DS for such a zone could cause the zone apex to be cached as
       NXDOMAIN, blocking all subsequent queries. (Note: This change is
       only helpful when DNSSEC validation is not enabled. "Grafted" zones
       without a delegation in the parent are not a recommended
     * Update forwarding performance has been improved by allowing a
       single TCP connection to be shared between multiple updates.
     * By default, nsupdate will now check the correctness of hostnames
       when adding records of type A, AAAA, MX, SOA, NS, SRV or PTR. This
       behavior can be disabled with check-names no.
     * Added support for OPENPGPKEY type.
     * The names of the files used to store managed keys and added zones
       for each view are no longer based on the SHA256 hash of the view
       name, except when this is necessary because the view name contains
       characters that would be incompatible with use as a file name. For
       views whose names do not contain forward slashes ('/'), backslashes
       ('\'), or capital letters - which could potentially cause namespace
       collision problems on case-insensitive filesystems - files will now
       be named after the view (for example, internal.mkeys or
       external.nzf). However, to ensure consistent behavior when
       upgrading, if a file using the old name format is found to exist,
       it will continue to be used.
     * "rndc" can now return text output of arbitrary size to the caller.
       (Prior to this, certain commands such as "rndc tsig-list" and "rndc
       zonestatus" could return truncated output.)
     * Errors reported when running rndc addzone (e.g., when a zone file
       cannot be loaded) have been clarified to make it easier to diagnose
     * When encountering an authoritative name server whose name is an
       alias pointing to another name, the resolver treats this as an
       error and skips to the next server. Previously this happened
       silently; now the error will be logged to the newly-created "cname"
       log category.
     * If named is not configured to validate answers, then allow fallback
       to plain DNS on timeout even when we know the server supports EDNS.
       This will allow the server to potentially resolve signed queries
       when TCP is being blocked.
     * Large inline-signing changes should be less disruptive. Signature
       generation is now done incrementally; the number of signatures to
       be generated in each quantum is controlled by
       "sig-signing-signatures number;". [RT #37927]
     * The experimental SIT option (code point 65001) of BIND 9.10.0
       through BIND 9.10.2 has been replaced with the COOKIE option (code
       point 10). It is no longer experimental, and is sent by default, by
       both named and dig.
       The SIT-related named.conf options have been marked as obsolete,
       and are otherwise ignored.
     * When dig receives a truncated (TC=1) response or a BADCOOKIE
       response code from a server, it will automatically retry the query
       using the server COOKIE that was returned by the server in its
       initial response. [RT #39047]
     * A alternative NXDOMAIN redirect method (nxdomain-redirect) which
       allows the redirect information to be looked up from a namespace on
       the Internet rather than requiring a zone to be configured on the
       server is now available.
     * Retrieving the local port range from net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range
       on Linux is now supported.
     * A new nsip-wait-recurse directive has been added to RPZ, specifying
       whether to look up unknown name server IP addresses and wait for a
       response before applying RPZ-NSIP rules. The default is yes. If set
       to no, named will only apply RPZ-NSIP rules to servers whose
       addresses are already cached. The addresses will be looked up in
       the background so the rule can be applied on subsequent queries.
       This improves performance when the cache is cold, at the cost of
       temporary imprecision in applying policy directives. [RT #35009]
     * Within the response-policy option, it is now possible to configure
       RPZ rewrite logging on a per-zone basis using the log clause.
     * The default preferred glue is now the address type of the transport
       the query was received over.
     * On machines with 2 or more processors (CPU), the default value for
       the number of UDP listeners has been changed to the number of
       detected processors minus one.
     * Zone transfers now use smaller message sizes to improve message
       compression. This results in reduced network usage.
     * Added support for the AVC resource record type (Application
       Visibility and Control).
       Changed rndc reconfig behaviour so that newly added zones are
       loaded asynchronously and the loading does not block the server.

Porting Changes

     * None.

Bug Fixes

     * Fixed a crash when calling rndc stats on some Windows builds: some
       Visual Studio compilers generate code that crashes when the "%z"
       printf() format specifier is used. [RT #42380]
     * Windows installs were failing due to triggering UAC without the
       installation binary being signed.
     * A change in the internal binary representation of the RBT database
       node structure enabled a race condition to occur (especially when
       BIND was built with certain compilers or optimizer settings),
       leading to inconsistent database state which caused random
       assertion failures. [RT #42380]

End of Life

   The end of life for BIND 9.11 is yet to be determined but will not be
   before BIND 9.13.0 has been released for 6 months.

Thank You

   Thank you to everyone who assisted us in making this release possible.
   If you would like to contribute to ISC to assist us in continuing to
   make quality open source software, please visit our donations page at

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