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PowerDNS is copyright © 2001-2019 by PowerDNS.COM BV and lots of
contributors, using the GNU GPLv2 license (see NOTICE for the
exact license and exception used).

All documentation can be found on

This file may lag behind at times. For most recent updates, always check

Another good place to look for information is:

To file bugs, head towards:

But please check if the issue is already reported there first.

Source code is available on GitHub:

git clone

This repository contains the sources for the PowerDNS Recursor, the PowerDNS
Authoritative Server, and dnsdist (a powerful DNS loadbalancer). All three can
be built from this repository. However, all three released separately as .tar.bz2,
.deb and .rpm.

COMPILING Authoritative Server
The PowerDNS Authoritative Server depends on Boost, OpenSSL and requires a
compiler with C++-2011 support.

On Debian 9, the following is useful:

apt install g++ libboost-all-dev libtool make pkg-config default-libmysqlclient-dev libssl-dev virtualenv

When building from git, the following packages are also required:

apt install autoconf automake ragel bison flex

For Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver), the following packages should be installed:

apt install libcurl4-openssl-dev luajit lua-yaml-dev libyaml-cpp-dev libtolua-dev lua5.3 autoconf automake ragel bison flex g++ libboost-all-dev libtool make pkg-config libssl-dev virtualenv lua-yaml-dev libyaml-cpp-dev libluajit-5.1-dev libcurl4 gawk
# For DNSSEC ed25519 (algorithm 15) support with --with-libsodium
apt install libsodium-dev
# If using the gmysql (Generic MySQL) backend
apt install default-libmysqlclient-dev
# If using the gpgsql (Generic PostgreSQL) backend
apt install postgresql-server-dev-10
# If using --enable-systemd (will create the service scripts so it can be managed with systemctl/service)
apt install libsystemd0 libsystemd-dev
# If using the geoip backend
apt install libmaxminddb-dev libmaxminddb0 libgeoip1 libgeoip-dev

Then generate the configure file:

autoreconf -vi

To compile a very clean version, use:

./configure --with-modules="" --without-lua --disable-lua-records
# make install

This generates a PowerDNS Authoritative Server binary with no modules built in.

See for a list of available modules.

When `./configure` is run without `--with-modules`, the bind and gmysql module are
built-in by default and the pipe-backend is compiled for runtime loading.

To add multiple modules, try:

./configure --with-modules="bind gmysql gpgsql"

Note that you will need the development headers for PostgreSQL as well in this case.

See for more details.

If you run into C++11-related symbol trouble, please try passing `CPPFLAGS=-D_GLIBCXX_USE_CXX11_ABI=0` (or 1) to `./configure` to make sure you are compatible with the installed dependencies.

Compiling the Recursor
See [](pdns/recursordist/ in `pdns/recursordist/`.

Compiling dnsdist
See [](pdns/ in `pdns/`.

Building the HTML documentation

The HTML documentation (as seen [on the PowerDNS docs site]( is built from ReStructured Text (rst) files located in `docs`. They are compiled into HTML files using [Sphinx](, a documentation generator tool which is built in Python.

**Using a normal Python installation**

For those simply contributing to the documentation, this avoids needing to install the various build
tools and other dependencies.

Install Python 2.7 or Python 3 (preferable) if you don't yet have it installed. On some operating
systems you may also have to install `python3-pip` or similarly named.

Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04

apt update
apt install python3 python3-pip python3-venv

macOS (using homebrew)

brew install python3

Update your `pip` and install/update `virtualenv` to avoid problems:

# for python2, use "pip" instead of "pip3"
pip3 install -U pip
pip3 install -U virtualenv

Enter the repository's `docs` folder, set up the virtualenv, and install the requirements

cd docs
# for python2, use "virtualenv .venv" instead
python3 -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
# The virtualenv may use an older pip, so upgrade it again
pip3 install -U pip setuptools setuptools-git
# Now you can install the requirements
pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Finally, you can build the documentation:

sphinx-build . html-docs

Note: If your shell has problems finding sphinx-build, try using `.venv/bin/sphinx-build` instead.

The HTML documentation is now available in `html-docs`.

**Using the build tools**

This method is preferable for those who already have a working build environment for PowerDNS.

Install the dependencies under "COMPILING", and run autoreconf if you haven't already:

autoreconf -vi

Enter the `docs` folder, and use make to build the HTML docs.

cd docs
make html-docs

The HTML documentation will now be available in `html-docs`.

Solaris Notes
Use a recent gcc. OpenCSW is a good source, as is Solaris 11 IPS.

If you encounter problems with the Solaris make, gmake is advised.

FreeBSD Notes
You need to compile using gmake - regular make only appears to work, but doesn't in fact. Use gmake, not make.

The clang compiler installed through FreeBSD's package manager does not expose all of the C++11 features needed under `std=gnuc++11`. Force the compiler to use `std=c++11` mode instead.

export CXXFLAGS=-std=c++11

macOS Notes
PowerDNS Authoritative Server is available through Homebrew:

brew install pdns

If you want to compile yourself, the dependencies can be installed using
Homebrew. You need to tell configure where to find OpenSSL, too.

brew install boost lua pkg-config ragel openssl
./configure --with-modules="" --with-lua PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib/pkgconfig
make -j4

Additionally, for PostgreSQL support, run `brew install postgresql` and add `--with-modules="gpgsql"` to `./configure`.
For MySQL support, run `brew install mariadb` and add `--with-modules="gmysql"` to `./configure`.

Linux notes
None really.