Installing PowerDNS (With MySQL Backend) on Debian

By | September 9, 2017

PowerDNS is a DNS server, written in C++ and licensed under the GPL. It runs on most Unix derivatives. PowerDNS features a large number of different backends ranging from simple BIND style zonefiles to relational databases and load balancing/failover algorithms. A DNS recursor is provided as a separate program.

Installation of the PowerDNS Authoritative server on UNIX systems can be done in several ways:

Install updates:

# apt-get install --fix-broken && apt-get update -y && sudo apt-get upgrade -y && apt-get dist-upgrade -y && apt-get autoremove -y 

Installing MySQL

In order to install MySQL, we run

# apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client 

We want MySQL to listen on all interfaces (this is important for MySQL database replication!), not just localhost, therefore we edit /etc/mysql/my.cnf and comment out the line bind-address =
vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Then we restart MySQL:

# service mysql restart 

Now check that networking is enabled. Run

# netstat -tap | grep mysql 

The output should look like this:

root@NS01~# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 localhost:mysql         *:*                     LISTEN      952/mysqld 

Installing PowerDNS

To install PowerDNS, we run

# apt-get install -y pdns-server pdns-backend-mysql 

You will be prompted to configure the MySQL backend. We will perform this process manually in a moment, so use the arrow keys to select , and press ENTER to finish the installation.

Now we connect to MySQL:

# mysql -u root -p 

Type in your MySQL root password, and you should be on the MySQL shell. On the MySQL shell, we create a database for PowerDNS:


 grant all privileges on powerdns.* to power_user@localhost identified by 'TypeYourPasswordHere';


Now we create the tables needed by PowerDNS...

use powerdns;

CREATE TABLE domains (
  id                    INT AUTO_INCREMENT,
  name                  VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,
  master                VARCHAR(128) DEFAULT NULL,
  last_check            INT DEFAULT NULL,
  type                  VARCHAR(6) NOT NULL,
  notified_serial       INT DEFAULT NULL,
  account               VARCHAR(40) DEFAULT NULL,
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE UNIQUE INDEX name_index ON domains(name);

CREATE TABLE records (
  id                    INT AUTO_INCREMENT,
  domain_id             INT DEFAULT NULL,
  name                  VARCHAR(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  type                  VARCHAR(10) DEFAULT NULL,
  content               VARCHAR(64000) DEFAULT NULL,
  ttl                   INT DEFAULT NULL,
  prio                  INT DEFAULT NULL,
  change_date           INT DEFAULT NULL,
  disabled              TINYINT(1) DEFAULT 0,
  ordername             VARCHAR(255) BINARY DEFAULT NULL,
  auth                  TINYINT(1) DEFAULT 1,
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE INDEX nametype_index ON records(name,type);
CREATE INDEX domain_id ON records(domain_id);
CREATE INDEX recordorder ON records (domain_id, ordername);

CREATE TABLE supermasters (
  ip                    VARCHAR(64) NOT NULL,
  nameserver            VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,
  account               VARCHAR(40) NOT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (ip, nameserver)
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE TABLE comments (
  id                    INT AUTO_INCREMENT,
  domain_id             INT NOT NULL,
  name                  VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,
  type                  VARCHAR(10) NOT NULL,
  modified_at           INT NOT NULL,
  account               VARCHAR(40) NOT NULL,
  comment               VARCHAR(64000) NOT NULL,
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE INDEX comments_domain_id_idx ON comments (domain_id);
CREATE INDEX comments_name_type_idx ON comments (name, type);
CREATE INDEX comments_order_idx ON comments (domain_id, modified_at);

CREATE TABLE domainmetadata (
  id                    INT AUTO_INCREMENT,
  domain_id             INT NOT NULL,
  kind                  VARCHAR(32),
  content               TEXT,
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE INDEX domainmetadata_idx ON domainmetadata (domain_id, kind);

CREATE TABLE cryptokeys (
  id                    INT AUTO_INCREMENT,
  domain_id             INT NOT NULL,
  flags                 INT NOT NULL,
  active                BOOL,
  content               TEXT,
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE INDEX domainidindex ON cryptokeys(domain_id);

CREATE TABLE tsigkeys (
  id                    INT AUTO_INCREMENT,
  name                  VARCHAR(255),
  algorithm             VARCHAR(50),
  secret                VARCHAR(255),
) Engine=InnoDB;

CREATE UNIQUE INDEX namealgoindex ON tsigkeys(name, algorithm);

When using the InnoDB storage engine, we suggest adding the following lines to the 'create table records' command above:

CONSTRAINT `records_ibfk_1` FOREIGN KEY (`domain_id`) REFERENCES `domains`

Or, if you have already created the tables, execute:

ALTER TABLE `records` ADD CONSTRAINT `records_ibfk_1` FOREIGN KEY (`domain_id`)

Configure PowerDNS

We have to configure PowerDNS to use our new database.

First, remove the existing configuration files:

# rm /etc/powerdns/pdns.d/*

Now we can create the MYSQL configuration file:

# vi /etc/powerdns/pdns.d/pdns.local.gmysql.conf 

Enter the following data into the file. Remember to add your own database settings for gmysql-dbname, gmysql-user, and especially gmysql-password.

# MySQL Configuration file



Restart PowerDNS to apply changes:

# service pdns restart 

Check if PowerDNS is listening:

#netstat -tap | grep pdns

Check if PowerDNS responds correctly:

#dig @

You should see an output similar to:

root@NS01:~# dig @

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-9+deb8u13-Debian <<>> @
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 18854
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1680
;.                              IN      NS

;; Query time: 1 msec
;; WHEN: Wed Sat 09 09:10:04 SAST 2017
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 28

NB: You won't encounter the following error if you follow this guide:

pdns[23281]: Backend reported permanent error which prevented lookup (GSQLBa.

The installation is not finished...I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you! but worked for me.

comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law. This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute.