How Do I Setup a DNS Server in Python?


Angela Bailey

Setting up a DNS server in Python is a task that requires careful planning and execution. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of creating your own DNS server using the power of Python.

What is DNS?

DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is a critical component of the internet infrastructure. It acts as a translator, converting human-readable domain names (e.g., into IP addresses (e., that computers can understand.

Without DNS, we would have to remember and type in long sequences of numbers to access websites instead of using simple and memorable domain names.

Why Create Your Own DNS Server?

While there are many reliable and well-established DNS servers available, creating your own DNS server can provide several benefits:

  • Faster Response Times: By hosting your own DNS server locally or on a cloud provider near your users, you can reduce the latency caused by querying remote servers.
  • Better Security: Running your own DNS server allows you to have more control over security measures such as filtering out malicious or unwanted requests.
  • Custom Configuration: With your own DNS server, you have the flexibility to configure it according to your specific needs, including customizing caching settings and handling specific domain resolutions.

Getting Started

To create a DNS server in Python, we’ll be using the dnspython library. This powerful library provides a simple and intuitive interface for interacting with the DNS protocol in Python.

To install dnspython, open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command:

pip install dnspython

Once you have dnspython installed, you’re ready to start building your DNS server.

Creating the DNS Server

First, let’s import the necessary modules and create a basic skeleton for our DNS server:

import dns.message
import dns.query
import dns.resolver
from dnslib import *
from socketserver import UDPServer, BaseRequestHandler

class DNSHandler(BaseRequestHandler):
    def handle(self):
        # Handle DNS requests here

if __name__ == '__main__':
    server = UDPServer(('0.0', 53), DNSHandler)

The code above imports the required modules and sets up a basic UDP server that listens on port 53, which is the default port for DNS communication.

Handling DNS Requests

Now that we have our server set up, let’s implement the logic to handle incoming DNS requests:

def handle(self):
    data, socket = self.request
    request = DNSRecord.parse(data)

    # Extract relevant information from the request
    qname = str(request.q.qname)
    qtype = QTYPE[request.qtype]

    # Process the request and generate a response
    response = self.process_request(qname, qtype)

    # Send the response back to the client
    socket.sendto(response.pack(), self.client_address)

The code above receives an incoming DNS request, parses it using dnspython’s `DNSRecord`, extracts relevant information such as the queried domain name (`qname`) and record type (`qtype`), processes the request, generates a response, and sends it back to the client.

Processing DNS Requests

Now let’s implement the `process_request` function to handle different types of DNS requests:

def process_request(self, qname, qtype):
    if qtype == 'A':
        # Handle A record requests
        return self.process_A_record(qname)
    elif qtype == 'AAAA':
        # Handle AAAA record requests
        return self.process_AAAA_record(qname)
    elif qtype == 'CNAME':
        # Handle CNAME record requests
        return self.process_CNAME_record(qname)
        # Handle unsupported record types
        return self.process_unsupported_record(qname, qtype)

The code above checks the type of DNS request (A, AAAA, CNAME) and dispatches it to the corresponding processing function. You can implement these functions according to your specific needs and domain configurations.

Testing Your DNS Server

Now that you have implemented the basic functionality of your DNS server, it’s time to test it. To test your server locally, you can configure your computer or network settings to use your local DNS server as the primary resolver.

You can also use tools like `dig` or `nslookup` from a terminal or command prompt to query your DNS server directly:

dig @localhost

If everything is working correctly, you should receive a response containing the requested records.


Congratulations! You have successfully set up a basic DNS server in Python using dnspython.

Remember that this is just a starting point, and you can customize and expand your server’s functionality based on your specific requirements. DNS servers play a vital role in the internet infrastructure, and creating your own server gives you more control and flexibility.

Happy coding!

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