Even later to the party - dnsmasq v. BIND

Disclaimer: I wrote dnsmasq, so you shouldn't believe anything I write about it. :-)

Re: the discussion about dnsmasq and BIND at

This application of one of the thing dnsmasq was designed for, you should definitely (IMHO) consider using it instead of BIND in caching-only mode.


1) It _is_ much smaller: I just checked the stripped binaries in Debian and BIND 9 is 270K, whilst dnsmasq is 89K, with the built in DHCP server. (The DHCP server stays silent, unless configured, so it wouldn't get in the way in this application.) Amongst the niches where dnsmasq is found are embedded "cheap plastic routers" like the Linksys and single floppy router-linux distros, so I'm commited to keeping it small and lightweight. I didn't check total memory use against BIND, but I'd be surprised if that weren't even more in favour of dnsmasq than the exec sizes, for the same size cache.

2) dnsmasq is intended for use where the upstream nameservers can change underneath it. It polls /etc/resolv.conf (or equivalent, when resolv.conf points at for the benefit of everything else running) and will read new nameservers and continue without even needing a restart, or losing the contents of the cache. I'll happily add a DBUS interface to allow new nameserver(s) to be supplied that way.

3) Configuration for use as a DNS forwarder is zero - it will work without a configuration file at all, if necessary.

4) I've never benchmarked dnsmasq against BIND, but as a DNS cache it's certainly "fast enough" even on processors which would never cope with a sensible desktop.



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