BIND is open source software that implements the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols for the Internet. It is a reference implementation of those protocols, but it is also production-grade software, suitable for use in high-volume and high-reliability applications. The name BIND stands for “Berkeley Internet Name Domain”, because the software originated in the early 1980s at the University of California at Berkeley.
BIND is by far the most widely used DNS software on the Internet, providing a robust and stable platform on top of which organizations can build distributed computing systems with the knowledge that those systems are fully compliant with published DNS standards.
BIND and DNS
The DNS protocols are part of the core Internet standards. They specify the process by which one computer can find another computer on the basis of its name. The BIND software distribution contains all of the software necessary for asking and answering name service questions.
The BIND software distribution has three parts:
1. Domain Name Resolver
A resolver is a program that resolves questions about names by sending those questions to appropriate servers and responding appropriately to the servers’ replies. In the most common application, a web browser uses a local stub resolver library on the same computer to look up names in the DNS. That stub resolver is part of the operating system. (Many operating system distributions use the BIND resolver library.) The stub resolver usually will forward queries to a caching resolver, a server or group of servers on the network dedicated to DNS services. Those resolvers will send queries to one or multiple authoritative servers in order to find the IP address for that DNS name.
2. Domain Name Authority server
An authoritative DNS server answers requests from resolvers, using information about the domain names it is authoritative for. You can provide DNS services on the Internet by installing this software on a server and giving it information about your domain names.
We include a number of diagnostic and operational tools. Some of them, such as the popular DIG tool, are not specific to BIND and can be used with any DNS server.
Why Use BIND?
- BIND is transparent open source. If your organization needs some functionality that is not in BIND, you can modify it, and contribute the new feature back to the the community by sending us your source. Download a tar ball from the ISC web site or ftp.isc.org, or a binary from your operating system repository.
- BIND has evolved to be a very flexible, full-featured DNS system. Whatever your application is, BIND most likely has the features required.
- As the first, oldest and most commonly deployed solution, there are more network engineers who are already familiar with BIND than any other system. Help is available via our community mailing-list, or you may subscribe for expert, confidential 7×24 support from the ISC team.
BIND is distributed as source code, with executables provided for Windows. You download the code from this website, unpack the archive, and build it for whatever system you plan to run it on. You will need a UNIX system with an ANSI C compiler, basic POSIX support, and a 64 bit integer type. BIND runs and is supported on a very wide variety of new and old operating systems, including most UNIX and LINUX variants, and some Windows platforms.
Most users run BIND on CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, Fedora, FreeBSD, Solaris, Ubuntu or Windows. The most up-to-date versions of BIND are always available from ISC on our web site and ftp server. Most operating systems also offer BIND packages for their users. These may be built with a different set of defaults than the standard BIND distribution and some of them add a version number of their own that does not map exactly to the BIND version.
For configuration assistance, and overall understanding of how to use BIND, the BIND Administrative Reference Manual (ARM) is the primary tool. Resolver users may find Getting started for Recursive Resolvers to be useful. Windows users may find the explanation of the versions available for Windows useful. There are a number of excellent books on BIND. Ron Hutchinson’s DNS for Rocket Scientists is generously posted on the Internet at Zytrax.com and can be a very helpful on-line reference tool.