PowerDNS end of year post: Thank you!

Dec 29, 2017


2017 has been a great year for PowerDNS and Open-Xchange. In this post, we want to thank everyone that contributed, and highlight some specific things we are happy about.

HackerOne bug bounty program

After some initial problems with over-reporting of non-issues, our experience with HackerOne is awesome right now. We are very happy we have a clean process for receiving and rewarding security bugs. Various PowerDNS security releases this year have originated as HackerOne reports.

Our community

PowerDNS continues to be a vibrant community. Our IRC channel has around 240 members, our mailing lists have 1225 subscribers. Even though we are now tougher in enforcing our ‘support, out in the open‘ policies, we continue to see many user queries being resolved every day, often leading to improvements in PowerDNS.

As in earlier years, 2017 has seen huge contributions from the community, not only in terms of small patches or constructive bug reports, but also in the revamping of whole subsystems. Specifically Kees Monshouwer was so important for Authoritative Server 4.1 that we would not have been able to do it without him. We hope to continue as a healthy community in 2018!

Facebook bug bounty program

PowerDNS is an active participant in keeping the internet secure. As part of our work we found a potential security problem in an important Facebook product which we reported to the their bug bounty program.  The bug was fixed quickly, and led to an award of $1500, with the option to turn that into a $3000 charitable donation. We have done so and supported Doctors without Borders in their work.

Our Open Source DNS friends

The DNS community is tight, and it has to be: all our software has to interoperate. New standards are developed cooperatively and problems are discussed together. We love the friendly competition that we have with our friends of CZNIC (Knot, Knot Resolver), ISC (BIND), NLNetLabs (NSD, Unbound, libraries) and others.

To a huge extent, DNS is exclusively Open Source software, sometimes repackaged and rebadged by commercial companies that close down that Open Source software again.

PowerDNS is proud to be part of the open DNS community, and we are grateful for the smooth & fun cooperation we experienced in 2017!


Since 2015, PowerDNS has been part of Open-Xchange, previously mostly known for the OX AppSuite email platform. The famous Dovecot IMAP project also joined Open-Xchange in 2015. The goal of these mergers was to allow us to focus on technology, while getting the legal, sales and marketing support to get our software out there.

In 2017 we have truly started to harvest the fruits of the merger, by simultaneously delivering important software releases as well as satisfying the needs of some very large new deployments.

We are very happy that PowerDNS not only survived the merger, but is now an important part of Open-Xchange, where we contribute to the mission of keeping the internet open.

Our users

Even without or before contributing code, operators can improve PowerDNS through great bug reports. We specifically want to thank Quad9 (a collaboration of Packet Clearing House, IBM and the Global Cyber Alliance) for taking a year long journey with us with dnsdist and Recursor “straight from GitHub”. Deployments sharing their experiences and problems with the PowerDNS community are vital to creating quality reliable software. Thanks!

Mattermost, the Open Source private Slack Alternative

As PowerDNS grows, we could no longer rely solely on IRC as our communication channel with developers, users and customers. Instead of moving to a third party cloud service that admits to datamining communications, we are very happy to host our own Mattermost instance. And because of PowerDNS user & contributor @42Wim, we can continue our IRC habit with matterircd.

4.1 evolution, dnsdist

In 2016 we released the 4.0 versions of the PowerDNS Authoritative Server and Recursor. As you may recall, the 4.0 releases represented a giant cleanup from the decade old frameworks found in 3.x. The 4.0 versions were a step ahead in functionality and sometimes performance, but the true gains of the new fresher codebase have now been realized in the 4.1 releases.

4.1 represents a big overhaul in caching (both Recursor and Authoritative) and DNSSEC processing (mostly Recursor). Both of these overhauls have been tested over the year by large PowerDNS deployments, and the huge amount of feedback has delivered a near flawless “battle tested” 4.1 release.

Specifically xs4all and two huge European incumbent operators have been instrumental in maturing dnsdist and our 4.1-era DNSSEC and EDNS Client Subnet implementations.

On to 2018!

In 2018 we hope to continue to improve our software and the state of the internet. See you there!


About the author

Bert Hubert

Bert Hubert

Principal, PowerDNS


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