IPv6 rDNS stub-zone on unbound

We have stub-zones configured on our gateway for reverse IPv6. Our ISP doesn’t delegate rDNS but we still want to lookup addresses (at least on the local side). To do so I configured a stub-zone from unbound, our local caching DNS, to our own rDNS authoritative server. Apparently unbound wants an IPv6 for its IPv6 rDNS queries to the stub-zone. Since IPv6 is not always working I solved that using the local interface. That is, the rDNS authoritative listen on localhost:5353 and unbound uses this as its stub-zone addresses.

On the authoritative (here NSD):

 ip-address: ::1@5353
 do-ip6: yes

On unbound, note that we need do-not-query-localhost: no to allow queries on localhost:

 do-not-query-localhost: no

 stub-addr: ::1@5353

IPv6 representation in NSD

I use NSD as my authoritative DNS. Today I made a mistake while entering new AAAA records. Actually it was a bug in one of the scripts we use to manage our zones. Take the following representation, 2001:aaaa:bbbb:cccc::1111:2222:3333:4444, it is not a valid representation for an IPv6 address. According to the RFC4291, the double-colon symbol (::) indicates one or more groups of 16 bits of zeros. Since 8 groups of 16 bits are explicitly written in the preceding representation, the 128 bits of the IPv6 address are already detailed so there can be no extra group of zeros. The reason I made this mistake is that if you often work with /48 prefixes and you don’t care about your 65k subnets, all your IPv6 addresses will have zeros between the prefix and the interface ID.

Most programs will detect this as invalid, probably because they use inet_pton() to translate the address into its binary representation. Some others, such as ipv6calc parse the address manually and do not consider this as a buggy representation. In the latter case, the group is considered empty, and the double-colon implicitly translated to a single colon.

If you use this kind of invalid representation in a AAAA record, NSD will not reload your zone correctly, but on the other hand, neither will it complain and the queries will be made on a database that still contains your old zone. Of course this would not happen if you used nsd-checkzone to check your zone before reloading it.

ISP y u no DNSSEC?

Unbound is a secure, lightweight and high performance validating, recursive, and caching DNS resolver. It performs DNSSEC validation and it is also really easy to configure. Although it cannot act as a full fledged authoritative server, you may take a look at NSD, which is, on the contrary, authoritative only. For a nice tutorial about unbound configuration, see this post.

Today I discovered local_unbound on FreeBSD. This script generates a configuration suitable for running unbound as a forwarding resolver. It also uses resolveconf to update the list of forwarders. This means that it is automatically configured with the name servers provided by the DHCP offer.

By default, unbound is configured to withheld the reply from the client when the validation fails. Unfortunately most of the name servers provided by home routers and ISPs do not support DNSSEC. Even worse, some ISPs redirect all queries to their own name servers which of course do not support DNSSEC either. You can check if it is the case with this command:

dig @ +short test.dnssec-or-not.net TXT

As Google public DNS support DNSSEC. If it does not show you anything, it is OK. If instead it says something like: “Nope!  DO bit not set in your query” then your query has been forwarded to a server which is not DNSSEC capable.

Because of this, you often end up with a nice caching forwarding resolver which does not seem to resolve anything (at least on the client side) because of bogus validations.

You have two solutions to overcome this. First you can force your forwarders to DNSSEC capable servers such as Google public DNS ( / However, as mentioned above this does not work when your ISP redirect all queries to its own server. The second solution is to configure unbound into permissive mode (/etc/unbound/unbound.conf):

    val-permissive-mode: yes

In that case, replies to queries that did not pass validation are not longer withheld from the client but the Authenticated Data bit is not set in the reply.