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Last pushed: a year ago
Short Description
Nsd is an authoritative DNS resolver.
Full Description


NSD is an authoritative only and open source DNS server. It is developed by NLnet Labs and it is distributed under the BSD license.

NSD website

The following OS are aviable

  • Ubuntu
    • 14.04
    • 12.04
    • 15.04
    • 15.10

How to use this image

Testing with an empty NSD server

By default, this image provides a NSD server with no configuration and no zone. It may still be tested by running on the host:

docker run -d --name nsd-server weldpua2008/docker-nsd

To interrogate this local empty name server, simply use dig:

dig @`docker inspect --format "{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}" nsd-server`

This command should return an empty QUESTION SECTION and some details about the request.

If you receive no response from the NSD server and an error message "connection timed out; no servers could be reached", this may be due to an input blockage from your firewall. In such a case, check the rules related to the docker0 interface.

Accessing the data

Two volumes devoted to handle the mutable data are included in the image. An easy way to deal with them consists in running /bin/bash in a container that can see them,

docker run -it --name nsd-data --hostname nsd-data \
               --volumes-from nsd-server \
               debian:wheezy /bin/bash

Thus, the log file nsd.log is located in /var/log/nsd,

root@nsd-data:/# cat /var/log/nsd/nsd.log

and the configuration and zone files are in /etc/nsd3,

root@nsd-data:/# ls /etc/nsd3

Adding configuration and zone files

For the moment, the container nsd-server is empty and does not serve to anything. Now we want to have fun with our own configuration and zone files.

The default configuration file is nsd.conf and is located in /etc/nsd3. Help about this file can be found with man 5 nsd.conf and in the sample configuration file,

root@nsd-data:/# cat /etc/nsd3/nsd.conf.sample

Let us take a basic example to test our server,

root@nsd-data:/# cat <<EOF > /etc/nsd3/nsd.conf
  hide-version: yes
  identity: ""

  name: test.nsd

The zone files can also be located in /etc/nsd3. The format of a zone file is defined in RFC 1035 (section 5) and RFC 1034 (section 3.6.1). For more details, see

In our example of nsd.conf, we have declared a zone test.nsd defined in a zone file Let us create it,

root@nsd-data:/# cat <<EOF > /etc/nsd3/
\$ORIGIN test.nsd.
\$TTL 86400

@ IN SOA test.nsd. admin.test.nsd. (
    201410292335 ;
    28800 ;
    28800 ;
    864000 ;
    28800 ;

@ IN A

To take into account the changes, simply restart the container of the NSD server from the host,

docker restart nsd-server

You can use docker logs nsd-server to make sure there was no error and, if everything works, you can test the NSD server,

dig @`docker inspect --format "{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}" nsd-server` A test.nsd

You should obtain


;test.nsd.    IN    A

test.nsd.    86400    IN    A


Exposing the port

To use the container as a name server listening on the standard domain port of the host, we need to map its port 53/udp to the one of the host:

docker run -p 53:53/udp -d --name nsd-server nsd-server

Advanced configuration

Dealing with the configuration, log and zone files through the volumes given by the NSD server can be annoying. A better approach to handle these files is to proceed in the other way: create a container for the mutable data and share the volumes with the container of the NSD server. For this, we propose to use a host directory for the configuration and zones files, /nsd-conf in the sequel, and a simple volume for the logs. Thus, we create the container nsd-data with

docker run -it --name nsd-data --hostname nsd-data \
       -v /nsd-conf:/etc/nsd3 \
       -v /var/log/nsd \
       debian:wheezy /bin/bash

The host directory /nsd-conf contains your configuration and zone files and is mounted as a data volume on /etc/nsd3. Moreover, a classical volume is mounted on /var/log/nsd for the logs.

It is now simple to use this two volumes to create the container for the NSD server,

docker run -d -p 53:53/udp --name nsd-server \
       --volumes-from nsd-data \

As above, if you modify a file in /nsd-conf (or in the directory /etc/nsd3 of the container /nsd-data), it is sufficient to restart the container nsd-server for taking it into account,

docker restart nsd-server

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This is currently a work in progress, I am not responsible and shall not
be held responsible in any manner if this tool causes loss of data, hardware
faults, act of gods, invocation of old or ancient ones, elder gods and other
horrors from the depths.


If you have any problems with or questions about this image, please contact us through a GitHub issue.


You are invited to contribute new features, fixes, or updates, large or small; we are always thrilled to receive pull requests, and do our best to process them as fast as we can.

Before you start to code, we recommend discussing your plans through a GitHub issue, especially for more ambitious contributions. This gives other contributors a chance to point you in the right direction, give you feedback on your design, and help you find out if someone else is working on the same thing.

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