Discover Top 5 Open Source DNS Servers For Linux and Windows

This tutorial intends to discuss on Top 5 Open Source DNS Servers For Linux and Windows. Because of the Open Source software, they are easy to customize and configure. Now stay with us for the rest of the article to get more information about DNS servers and what are the best open-source DNS server software.

What is a DNS Server Used For?

For a simple explanation, we can say that a DNS server looks like a phonebook on the internet. When you browse the web and search for a website for example, a DNS server’s job is to search and find the correct IP address for the website. With this option, you can access the website and use the information.

So DNS servers are responsible for answering the DNS (Domain Name System) queries.

Top 5 Open Source DNS Servers For Linux and Windows

As you can see DNS servers are so important and useful for us. Now you can proceed to the following steps and get familiar with the Top 5 Open Source DNS Servers For Linux and Windows.

Number 1 – PowerDNS – Open Source DNS Servers

PowerDNS is one of the Top 5 Open Source DNS Servers For Linux and Windows that provides excellent performance and features for managing the DNS servers. The current releases of PowerDNS include:

  • PowerDNS Authoritative Server: Users can easily manage their DNS Zones and Records with the authoritative server. It works with many different scripts like Java, Python, etc.
  • PowerDNS Recursor: It is a component of PowerDNS that gets the necessary DNS information by querying Authoritative servers, and then returns the results to the client. 
  • DNSdist: It is a load balancer that can be used to distribute incoming DNS queries across multiple Authoritative servers or DNS resolvers. Also, it has amazing filtering and policy rules which are very useful to monitor the health and efficiency of their DNS infrastructure.

At this point, we provide a list that defines the key features of PowerDNS and makes it one of the most powerful DNS servers for Linux and Windows users.

Benefits of PowerDNS
High Performance and Scalability
Flexible Backends
DNSSEC Support
Dynamic Updates
API Integration
Various Use Cases

Also, PowerDNS is a great alternative tool to BIND. It is a full-featured software that has high performance and security.

PowerDNS DNS server for Linux and Windows

Tips: You can find PowerDNS installation and configuration guides on the Orcacore website. Here you can see some of the PowerDNS guides:

PowerDNS in Virtualizor

Set up PowerDNS on Ubuntu 22.04

Install PowerDNS on AlmaLinux 9

Number 2 – Knot DNS Server

As described on the Official site, Knot DNS is one of the top 5 Open Source high-performance authoritative-only DNS Servers that supports all key features of the modern domain name system. It can serve TLS domains too. Knot DNS has amazing features, module extensions, and supported networking features.

Knot DNS Server

At this point, you can see the following list that includes some of the amazing Knot DNS server key features.

Knot DNS Server – Key Features
Primary and secondary server operation
DNS extension (EDNS0, EDE, EXPIRE)
UDP, TCP, and QUIC protocols
Zone catalog generation and interpretation
Name server identification using NSID or Chaos TXT records
YAML-based or database-based configuration
Response rate limiting
Forward and reverse records synthesis

Number 3 – dnsmasq DNS DHCP servers

dnsmasq is a simple tool that is used to configure DNS and DHCP for small businesses and networks. It can serve domain names that are only locally applicable and will not appear in DNS servers around the world. The DHCP server is combined with the DNS server and allows DHCP-assigned addresses to be properly resolved in the DNS.

Also, the main use of dnsmasq is for NAT in home networks.

DNS and DHCP - dnsmasq

Here is an example of dnsmasq installation and configuration on a Linux distro:

Install and Configure Dnsmasq on Ubuntu 22.04

Number 4 – MaraDNS Small Open Source DNS Server For Linux and Windows

MaraDNs is one of the Top 5 software that is Open Source and used for building DNS servers for your internet services. It is a simple and secure DNS server and has a good performance. MaraDNS includes two releases which are:

  • maradns: It is s authoritative-only nameserver.
  • Deadwood: It is a recursive name server.

Also, MaraDNS makes DNSSEC simple, offers you a long list of plug-ins, and has every tool to improve the DNS server, and import data. You can run MaraDNS on both Windows and Linux operating systems.

MaraDNS small Open Source DNS Server

Number 5 – NSD – Name Server Daemon

NSD (Name Server Daemon) by NLnet Labs is one of the best authoritative DNS name servers for Linux and Windows. It is available for most operating systems and is popular for its security, speed, reliability, stability, and high performance.

Because of its high performance and speed, it is the best solution for DNS servers.

Also, it is available for free and open-source under a BSD license.

Name Server Daemon NSD - open source DNS servers


As you know, there are more DNS server software that you can use for managing DNS. Here we try to discuss on Top 5 Open Source DNS Servers For Linux and Windows operating systems. We try to provide more guides on DNS servers and their configuration on different platforms.

Hope you enjoy it. So What do you think about DNS servers? Which one you will use?

Do you have an idea or suggestion? Please comment for us and share your ideas.

Also, you may be interested in these articles:

Best Linux System Monitoring GUI Tools

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