Fri 29 Sep 2017  

getdns-1.2.0 release


Dear all,

We have a new feature release version 1.2.0 of getdns.

This release contains two new features:

  • Built-in DNSSEC trust-anchor management:
    Zero configuration DNSSEC
  • Better TLS upstream failure management, more resilient to transient connectivity loss and laptop "sleeps" etc.


  • An updated version of Stubby (0.1.3) with YAML configuration files.

Zero configuration DNSSEC

Until now, we've assumed an external system component (like unbound-anchor) to do the trust-anchor management for getdns, but this is not optimal. Ideally applications that want to use DNSSEC validation, for example to perform DANE, would want to be able to rely on an application library to deliver DNSSEC, without requiring additional system configuration. This release includes a form of built-in trust-anchor management modelled on RFC7958, that is suitable for a resolver library which can not assume reliable up-time and which we have named: Zero configuration DNSSEC.

With Zero configuration DNSSEC, the "root-anchors.xml" file (from will be verified by validating the S/MIME signatures (stored separately in "root-anchors.p7s") with the ICANN Root Certificate Authority.

Trust anchors from "root-anchors.xml" will be used only when the accompanying "root-anchors.p7s" matches and validates and when either:

  • There were no other trust anchors provided, either by the default trust anchor file (likely either /etc/unbound/getdns-root.key or /usr/local/etc/unbound/getdns-root.key), or set explicitly by the application with the getdns_context_set_dnssec_trust_anchors() function, or
  • The available trust anchors (from the default location or set explicitly by the application) caused the root DNSKEY RRset to fail validation.

The "root-anchors.xml" and "root-anchors.p7s" files will be tried to read from a location for storing library specific data: ${HOME}/.getdns/ on Unix like systems (Linux, BSD's, MacOS) and %AppData%\getdns on Windows.

When trust anchors from "root-anchors.xml" are used, the root DNSKEY is also tracked (for changes) and a copy of it is stored in a "root.key" file in the library specific data directory.

A (new) version of "root-anchors.xml" and "root-anchors.p7s" will be retrieved from, when either:

  • The library specific data directory is (creatable and) writeable by the current user, but the "root-anchors.xml" or "root-anchors.p7s" files were absent, or
  • There is a new root DNSKEY RRset (or signature) and it contains keys with ID's which were not in "root-anchors.xml".

Zero configuration DNSSEC assumes DNSSEC with the ICANN root trust-anchors and is configured to use the ICANN defaults defined in RFC7958, but all default parameters can be adapted to fit alternate DNS(SEC) roots, with:

Better TLS upstream failure management

RFC7858 suggested a back-off period of one hour on failing TLS upstreams. However this is not a resilient and practical demeanor in practice when short-term network outages or connection loss caused, for example, by laptops going to sleep.

This release introduces a new TLS upstream failure management scheme in which the back-off time is incremented gradually from 1 second up, and doubled each retry with a maximum set by the getdns_context_set_tls_backoff_time() function. Also, back-off time is ignored when there are no more responding TLS upstreams and the upstream with the least amount of retries will be used for retrying first.

Stubby will be much more resilient against short term outages and connection losses with this scheme.

YAML configuration files for Stubby

This release comes with an updated version of Stubby (version 0.1.3) with the new improvement to read configuration files in YAML format.

Previously Stubby would read configuration files in the JSON like format that is understood by getdns. However, the necessity to deal with opening and closing brackets and the lack of comments make it unsuitable for human consumption. YAML is much better readable and most importantly: can be annotated with comments and is as such a good fit for configuration files.

Stubby configuration files are now specified in YAML format by default. JSON format can still be used if it is given on the command line with the -C flag.

Don't forget that the --with-stubby option needs to be used with configure when you want to build Stubby alongside the library. When build with Stubby, there is an additional dependency on libyaml for the stubby binary only.

Also note that the primary location for Stubby has moved to the website.

* 2017-09-29: Version 1.2.0
  * Bugfix of rc1: authentication of first query with TLS
    Thanks Travis Burtrum
  * A function to set the location for library specific data,
    like trust-anchors: getdns_context_set_appdata().
  * Zero configuration DNSSEC - build upon the scheme
    described in RFC7958.  The URL from which to fetch
    the trust anchor, the verification CA and email
    can be set with the new getdns_context_set_trust_anchor_url(),
    getdns_context_set_trust_anchor_verify_CA() and
    getdns_context_set_trust_anchor_verify_email() functions.
    The default values are to fetch from IANA and to validate
    with the ICANN CA.
  * Update of Stubby with yaml configuration file and
    logging from a certain severity support.
  * Fix tpkg exit status on test failure. Thanks Jim Hague.
  * Refined logging levels for upstream statistics
  * Reuse (best behaving) backed-off TLS upstreams when non are usable.
  * Let TLS upstreams back-off a incremental amount of time.
    Back-off time starts with 1 second and is doubled each failure, but
    will not exceed the time given by getdns_context_set_tls_backoff_time()
  * Make TLS upstream management more resilient to temporary outages
    (like laptop sleeps)


  First release candidate for getdns-1.2.2
  Thu 14 Dec 2017
  Stubby   Zero config DNSSEC
Bug-, robustness- and stability-fixes that came out of Stubby usage
  getdns-1.2.1 release
  Sat 11 Nov 2017
Just bug-, robustness- and stability-fixes
  First release candidate for getdns-1.2.1
  Fri 03 Nov 2017
Just bug-, robustness- and stability-fixes
  First release candidate for getdns-1.2.0
  Fri 22 Sep 2017
  Stubby   Zero config DNSSEC
Zero configuration DNSSEC, YAML config files and resilient TLS upstream management
  KSK rollover impact on getdns
  Tue 12 Sep 2017
  Willem Toorop   Announcement   Zero config DNSSEC
How does the upcoming root KSK impact getdns
  DNS over TLS: experience from the Go6lab
  Tue 05 Sep 2017
  Media   DNS Privacy   Stubby
Jan Žorž giving Stubby a spin in this excellent article on ISOC's Deploy360 blog
  getdns-1.1.3 release
  Mon 04 Sep 2017
Bugfixes and Stubby in its own repository
  First release candidate for getdns-1.1.3
  Fri 25 Aug 2017
Bugfixes and Stubby in its own repository
  DNS Privacy daemon - Stubby
  Wed 23 Aug 2017
  Sara Dickinson   Stubby   DNS Privacy
A reference page on how to get up and running with Stubby!
  Der coole Stubby
  Fri 18 Aug 2017
  Media   DNS Privacy   Stubby
Stubby mentioned in article about progress in DNS privacy in c't magazine
  getdns-1.1.2 release
  Mon 03 Jul 2017
At runtime upstream statistics logging
  First release candidate for getdns-1.1.2
  Wed 28 Jun 2017
At runtime upstream statistics logging
  getdns-1.1.1 release
  Thu 15 Jun 2017
stubby.conf and DNS setup script + guidance
  First release candidate for getdns-1.1.1
  Thu 08 Jun 2017
stubby.conf and DNS setup script + guidance
  getdns-1.1.0 release
  Thu 13 Apr 2017
  1.1.0 release   Stubby
New features release. Functions for serving DNS. Stubby on board!
  Second release candidate for getdns-1.1.0
  Thu 06 Apr 2017
  1.1.0 release   Stubby
Fixes for things uncovered during IETF98 Hackathon.
  First release candidate for getdns-1.1.0
  Thu 23 Mar 2017
  1.1.0 release   Stubby
New features release. Functions for serving DNS. Stubby on board!
  Another mention of Stubby in the register
  Tue 06 Dec 2016
  Media   Stubby   DNS Privacy
Stubby in The Register again in an article about IETF pervasive monitoring work
  The Register article about Stubby
  Tue 22 Nov 2016
  Media   Stubby   DNS Privacy
The popular UK online computer magazine published an article about Stubby article about Stubby
  Thu 17 Nov 2016
  Media   Stubby   DNS Privacy
The popular German online computer magazine published an article about Stubby
  DNS Privacy
  Sun 13 Nov 2016
  Tutorial @ IETF97
  Sara Dickinson   Stubby   DNS Privacy
DNS Privacy tutorial mentioning stubby at the IETF97 in Seoul
  Wed 19 Oct 2016
  Willem Toorop   Stubby
Introducting Stubby at the NANOG68 in Dallas