Clients get DNS timeouts because ipv6 means more queries for each lookup

Doug Barton dougb at
Tue Jul 12 00:15:30 UTC 2011

On 07/11/2011 11:11, Jonathan Kamens wrote:
> The number of DNS queries required for each address lookup requested by
> a client has gone up considerably because of IPV6. The problem is being
> exacerbated by the fact that many DNS servers on the net don't yet
> support IPV6 queries.

I have to disagree with your premise here. It's true that DNS software
has a notoriously long deprecation cycle, but AAAA records have been
around for long enough that it's highly unlikely there are enough name
servers that don't handle them to make a noticeable difference. And even
if you can find one, it should be upgraded for a vast array of other

> The result is that address lookups are frequently
> taking so long that the client gives up before getting the result.

It sounds to me like you don't have IPv6 connectivity. If so, you've
already been given the advice to configure your OS to avoid asking for
AAAA at all, or at least to ask for A first. Heed this advice.

> The example I am seeing this with most frequently is my RSS feed reader,
> rss2email, trying to read a feed from in a cron job
> that runs every 15 minutes. I am regularly seeing this in the output of
> the cron job:
>     W: Name or service not known [8]
> The domain has three DNS servers. Let's assume that the
> root and org. nameservers are cached already when rss2email does its
> query. If so, then it has to do the following queries:
> A
> This is fine when the nameservers are working, but let's
> postulate for the moment that two of them are down, unreachable, or
> responding slowly, which apparently happens pretty often. Then we end up
> doing:
> AAAA /times out
>     / AAAA /times out
>     / AAAA
> A /times out/
> A /times out
>     / A
> By now the end of that sequence, the typical 30-second DNS request
> timeout has been exceeded, and the client gives up.

See above. YOU need to configure your software to not ask for AAAA, or
to ask for A first.

> I said above that the problem is exacerbated by the fact that many DNS
> servers don't yet support IPV6 queries. This is because the AAAA queries
> don't get NXDOMAIN responses, which would be cached, but rather FORMERR
> responses, which are not cached. As a result, the scenario describes
> above happens much more frequently because the DNS server has to redo
> the AAAA queries often.

Can you provide examples of specific name servers, on the network now,
that respond this way? The authoritative name servers for
respond correctly (NOERROR/ANSWER=0) to AAAA queries for If you are seeing a FORMERR response to these queries
the problem lies somewhere in your resolution chain.

Before taking mitigating steps in correctly functioning software is
considered there needs to be substantial evidence that there are enough
really really old name servers that behave the way you describe still on
line to make the effort worthwhile.




	Nothin' ever doesn't change, but nothin' changes much.
			-- OK Go

	Breadth of IT experience, and depth of knowledge in the DNS.
	Yours for the right price.  :)

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