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Ansible role bind

Build Status

An Ansible role for setting up BIND ISC as an authoritative-only DNS server for multiple domains on EL7 or Ubuntu Server. Specifically, the responsibilities of this role are to:

  • install BIND
  • set up the main configuration file
    • master server
    • slave server
  • set up forward and reverse lookup zone files

This role supports multiple forward and reverse zones, including for IPv6. Although enabling recursion is supported (albeit strongly discouraged), consider using another role if you want to set up a caching or forwarding name server.

Configuring the firewall is not a concern of this role, so you should do this using another role (e.g. bertvv.rh-base).

If you like/use this role, please consider giving it a star. Thanks!

See the change log for notable changes between versions.


  • The package python-ipaddr should be installed on the management node (since v3.7.0)

Role Variables

Variables are not required, unless specified.

Variable Default Comments (type)
bind_acls [] A list of ACL definitions, which are dicts with fields name and match_list. See below for an example.
bind_allow_query ['localhost'] A list of hosts that are allowed to query this DNS server. Set to ['any'] to allow all hosts
bind_allow_recursion ['any'] Similar to bind_allow_query, this option applies to recursive queries.
bind_check_names [] Check host names for compliance with RFC 952 and RFC 1123 and take the defined actioni (e.g. warn, ignore, fail).
bind_dnssec_enable true Is DNSSEC enabled
bind_dnssec_validation true Is DNSSEC validation enabled
bind_extra_include_files []
bind_forward_only false If true, BIND is set up as a caching name server
bind_forwarders [] A list of name servers to forward DNS requests to.
bind_listen_ipv4 [''] A list of the IPv4 address of the network interface(s) to listen on. Set to ['any'] to listen on all interfaces.
bind_listen_ipv6 ['::1'] A list of the IPv6 address of the network interface(s) to listen on
bind_log data/ Path to the log file
bind_query_log - When defined (e.g. data/query.log), this will turn on the query log
bind_recursion false Determines whether requests for which the DNS server is not authoritative should be forwarded†.
bind_rrset_order random Defines order for DNS round robin (either random or cyclic)
bind_zone_dir - When defined, sets a custom absolute path to the server directory (for zone files, etc.) instead of the default.
bind_zone_domains n/a A list of domains to configure, with a seperate dict for each domain, with relevant details
- allow_update ['none'] A list of hosts that are allowed to dynamically update this DNS zone.
- also_notify - A list of servers that will receive a notification when the master zone file is reloaded.
- delegate [] Zone delegation. See below this table for examples.
- hostmaster_email hostmaster The e-mail address of the system administrator for the zone
- hosts [] Host definitions. See below this table for examples.
- ipv6_networks [] A list of the IPv6 networks that are part of the domain, in CIDR notation (e.g. 2001:db8::/48)
- mail_servers [{name: mail, preference: 10}] A list of dicts (with fields name and preference) specifying the mail servers for this domain.
- name_servers [ansible_hostname] A list of the DNS servers for this domain.
- name The domain name
- networks ['10.0.2'] A list of the networks that are part of the domain
- other_name_servers [] A list of the DNS servers outside of this domain.
- services [] A list of services to be advertized by SRV records
- text [] A list of dicts with fields name and text, specifying TXT records. text can be a list or string.
bind_zone_file_mode 0640 The file permissions for the main config file (named.conf)
bind_zone_master_server_ip - (Required) The IP address of the master DNS server.
bind_zone_minimum_ttl 1D Minimum TTL field in the SOA record.
bind_zone_time_to_expire 1W Time to expire field in the SOA record.
bind_zone_time_to_refresh 1D Time to refresh field in the SOA record.
bind_zone_time_to_retry 1H Time to retry field in the SOA record.
bind_zone_ttl 1W Time to Live field in the SOA record.

† Best practice for an authoritative name server is to leave recursion turned off. However, for some cases it may be necessary to have recursion turned on.

Minimal variables for a working zone

Even though only variable bind_zone_master_server_ip is required for the role to run without errors, this is not sufficient to get a working zone. In order to set up an authoritative name server that is available to clients, you should also at least define the following variables:

Variable Master Slave
bind_zone_domains V V
- name V V
- networks V --
- name_servers V --
- hosts V --
bind_listen_ipv4 V V
bind_allow_query V V

Domain definitions

  - name:
      - name: pub01
        ipv6: 2001:db8::1
          - ns
      - name: '@'
          - 2001:db8::2
          - 2001:db8::3
          - www
      - name: priv01
      - '192.0.2'
      - '10'
      - '172.16'
      - zone: foo
      - name: _ldap._tcp
        weight: 100
        port: 88
        target: dc001

Minimal slave configuration

    bind_listen_ipv4: ['any']
    bind_allow_query: ['any']
      - name:


Host names that this DNS server should resolve can be specified in hosts as a list of dicts with fields name, ip and aliases

To allow to surf to, set the host name of your web server to '@' (must be quoted!). In BIND syntax, @ indicates the domain name itself.

If you want to specify multiple IP addresses for a host, add entries to bind_zone_hosts with the same name (e.g. priv01 in the code snippet). This results in multiple A/AAAA records for that host and allows DNS round robin, a simple load balancing technique. The order in which the IP addresses are returned can be configured with role variable bind_rrset_order.


As you can see, not all hosts are in the same network. This is perfectly acceptable, and supported by this role. All networks should be specified in networks (part of dict), though, or the host will not get a PTR record for reverse lookup:

Remark that only the network part should be specified here! When specifying a class B IP address (e.g. "172.16") in a variable file, it must be quoted. Otherwise, the Yaml parser will interpret it as a float.

Based on the idea and examples detailed at for the gdnsd package, the zonefiles are fully idempotent, and thus only get updated if "real" content changes.

Zone delgation

To delegate a zone to a DNS, it is enough to create a NS record (under delegate) which is the equivalent of:

foo IN NS

Service records

Service (SRV) records can be added with the services. Tis should be a list of dicts with mandatory fields name (service name), target (host providing the service), port (TCP/UDP port of the service) and optional fields priority (default = 0) and weight (default = 0).


ACLs can be defined like this:

  - name: acl1

The names of the ACLs will be added to the allow-transfer clause in global options.


No dependencies. If you want to configure the firewall, do this through another role (e.g. bertvv.rh-base).

Example Playbook

See the test playbook test.yml for an elaborate example that showcases most features.


There are two test environments for this role, one based on Vagrant, the other on Docker. The latter powers the Travis-CI tests. The tests are kept in a separate (orphan) branch so as not to clutter the actual code of the role. git-worktree(1) is used to include the test code into the working directory. Remark that this requires at least Git v2.5.0.

Running Docker tests

  1. Fetch the test branch: git fetch origin docker-tests
  2. Create a Git worktree for the test code: git worktree add docker-tests docker-tests. This will create a directory docker-tests/

The script will create a Docker container, and apply this role from a playbook test.yml. The Docker images are configured for testing Ansible roles and are published at There are images available for several distributions and versions. The distribution and version should be specified outside the script using environment variables:

DISTRIBUTION=centos VERSION=7 ./docker-tests/

The specific combinations of distributions and versions that are supported by this role are specified in .travis.yml.

The first time the test script is run, a container will be created that is assigned the IP address This will be the master DNS-server. The server is still running after the script finishes and can be queried from the command line, e.g.:

$ dig @ +short

If you run the script again, a new container is launched with IP address that will be set up as a slave DNS-server. After a few seconds, it will have received updates from the master server and can be queried as well.

$ dig @ +short

The script docker-tests/ will run a BATS test suite, dns.bats that performs a number of different queries. Specify the server IP address as the environment variable ${SUT_IP} (short for System Under Test).

$ SUT_IP= ./docker-tests/
### Using BATS executable at: /usr/local/bin/bats
### Running test /home/bert/CfgMgmt/roles/bind/tests/dns.bats
 ✓ Forward lookups public servers
 ✓ Reverse lookups
 ✓ Alias lookups public servers
 ✓ IPv6 forward lookups
 ✓ NS record lookup
 ✓ Mail server lookup
 ✓ Service record lookup
 ✓ TXT record lookup

8 tests, 0 failures
$ SUT_IP= ./docker-tests/

Running Vagrant tests

  1. Fetch the tests branch: git fetch origin vagrant-tests
  2. Create a Git worktree for the test code: git worktree add vagrant-tests vagrant-tests. This will create a directory vagrant-tests/.
  3. cd vagrant-tests/
  4. vagrant up will then create two VMs and apply a test playbook (test.yml).

The command vagrant up results in a setup with two DNS servers, a master and a slave, set up according to playbook test.yml.

Hostname ip

IP addresses are in the subnet of the default VirtualBox Host Only network interface ( You should be able to query the servers from your host system. For example, to verify if the slave is updated correctly, you can do the following:

$ dig @ +short
$ dig @ +short
$ dig @ MX +short

An automated acceptance test written in BATS is provided that checks most settings specified in vagrant-tests/test.yml. You can run it by executing the shell script vagrant-tests/ The script can be run on either your host system (assuming you have a Bash shell), or one of the VMs. The script will download BATS if needed and run the test script vagrant-tests/dns.bats on both the master and the slave DNS server.

$ cd vagrant-tests
$ vagrant up
$ ./
✓ The `dig` command should be installed
✓ It should return the NS record(s)
✓ It should be able to resolve host names
✓ It should be able to resolve IPv6 addresses
✓ It should be able to do reverse lookups
✓ It should be able to resolve aliases
✓ It should return the MX record(s)

6 tests, 0 failures
✓ The `dig` command should be installed
✓ It should return the NS record(s)
✓ It should be able to resolve host names
✓ It should be able to resolve IPv6 addresses
✓ It should be able to do reverse lookups
✓ It should be able to resolve aliases
✓ It should return the MX record(s)

6 tests, 0 failures

Running from the VM:

$ vagrant ssh testbindmaster
Last login: Sun Jun 14 18:52:35 2015 from
Welcome to your Packer-built virtual machine.
[vagrant@testbindmaster ~]$ /vagrant/
 ✓ The `dig` command should be installed




This role could only have been realized thanks to the contributions of many. If you have an idea to improve it even further, don't hesitate to pitch in!

Issues, feature requests, ideas, suggestions, etc. can be posted in the Issues section.

Pull requests are also very welcome. Please create a topic branch for your proposed changes. If you don't, this will create conflicts in your fork after the merge. Don't hesitate to add yourself to the contributor list below in your PR!