This provider uses the native DNS protocols. It uses the AXFR (RFC5936, Zone Transfer Protocol) to retrieve the existing records and DDNS (RFC2136, Dynamic Update) to make corrections. It can use TSIG (RFC2845) or IP-based authentication (ACLs).
It is able to work with any standards-compliant authoritative DNS server. It has been tested with BIND, Knot, and Yadifa.


To use this provider, add an entry to creds.json with TYPE set to AXFRDDNS.

Connection modes

Zone transfers default to TCP, DDNS updates default to UDP when using this provider.
The following two parameters in creds.json allow switching to TCP or TCP over TLS.
  • update-mode: May contain udp (the default), tcp, or tcp-tls.
  • transfer-mode: May contain tcp (the default), or tcp-tls.


Authentication information is included in the creds.json entry for the provider:
  • transfer-key: If this exists, the value is used to authenticate AXFR transfers.
  • update-key: If this exists, the value is used to authenticate DDNS updates.
For instance, your creds.json might looks like:
"axfrddns": {
"transfer-key": "hmac-sha256:transfer-key-id:Base64EncodedSecret=",
"update-key": "hmac-sha256:update-key-id:AnotherSecret="
If either key is missing, DNSControl defaults to IP-based ACL authentication for that function. Including both keys is the most secure option. Omitting both keys defaults to IP-based ACLs for all operations, which is the least secure option.
If distinct zones require distinct keys, you will need to instantiate the provider once for each key:
var DSP_AXFRDDNS_A = NewDnsProvider("axfrddns-a");
var DSP_AXFRDDNS_B = NewDnsProvider("axfrddns-b");
And update creds.json accordingly:
"axfrddns-a": {
"transfer-key": "hmac-sha256:transfer-key-id:Base64EncodedSecret=",
"update-key": "hmac-sha256:update-key-id:AnotherSecret="
"axfrddns-b": {
"transfer-key": "hmac-sha512:transfer-key-id-B:SmallSecret=",
"update-key": "hmac-sha512:update-key-id-B:YetAnotherSecret="

Default nameservers

The AXFR+DDNS provider can be configured with a list of default nameservers. They will be added to all the zones handled by the provider.
This list can be provided either as metadata or in creds.json. Only the later allows get-zones to work properly.
var DSP_AXFRDDNS = NewDnsProvider("axfrddns", {
"default_ns": [
nameservers = "ns1.example.tld,ns2.example.tld,ns3.example.tld,ns4.example.tld"

Primary master

By default, the AXFR+DDNS provider will send the AXFR requests and the DDNS updates to the first nameserver of the zone, usually known as the "primary master". Typically, this is the first of the default nameservers. Though, on some networks, the primary master is a private node, hidden behind slaves, and it does not appear in the NS records of the zone. In that case, the IP or the name of the primary server must be provided in creds.json. With this option, a non-standard port might be used.
master = ""
When no nameserver appears in the zone, and no default nameservers nor custom master are configured, the AXFR+DDNS provider will fail with the following error message:
[Error] AXFRDDNS: the nameservers list cannot be empty.
Please consider adding default `nameservers` or an explicit `master` in `creds.json`.

Server configuration examples


Here is a sample named.conf example for an authauritative server on zone example.tld. It uses a simple IP-based ACL for the AXFR transfer and a conjunction of TSIG and IP-based ACL for the updates.
options {
listen-on { any; };
listen-on-v6 { any; };
allow-query { any; };
allow-notify { none; };
allow-recursion { none; };
allow-transfer { none; };
allow-update { none; };
allow-query-cache { none; };
zone "example.tld" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.example.tld";
allow-transfer { example-transfer; };
allow-update { example-update; };
## Allow transfer to anyone on our private network
acl example-transfer {;
## Allow update only from authenticated client on our private network
acl example-update {
! {
key update-key-id;
key update-key-id {
algorithm HMAC-SHA256;
secret "AnotherSecret=";

FYI: get-zones

When using get-zones, a custom master or a list of default nameservers should be configured in creds.json.
THe AXFR+DDNS provider does not display DNSSec records. But, if any DNSSec records is found in the zone, it will replace all of them with a single placeholder record:
__dnssec IN TXT "Domain has DNSSec records, not displayed here."

FYI: create-domain

The AXFR+DDNS provider is not able to create domain.


The AXFR+DDNS provider is not able to ask the DNS server to sign the zone. But, it is able to check whether the server seems to do so or not.
When AutoDNSSEC is enabled, the AXFR+DDNS provider will emit a warning when no RRSIG, DNSKEY or NSEC records are found in the zone.
When AutoDNSSEC is disabled, the AXFR+DDNS provider will emit a warning when RRSIG, DNSKEY or NSEC records are found in the zone.
When AutoDNSSEC is not enabled or disabled, no checking is done.

FYI: MD5 Support

By default the used DNS Go package by miekg has deprecated supporting the (insecure) MD5 algorithm Some providers like the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) located in Munich still use this algorithm to authenticate internal dynamic DNS updates. To compensate the lack of MD5 a custom MD5 TSIG Provider was added into DNSControl.
Last modified 19d ago