Alpha release of MiniDNS DNSSEC

Posted on April 22, 2016
Tags: dns, xmpp


Rene just tagged MiniDNS 0.2.0-alpha3 and pushed it to Maven Central. This release includes experimental support for DNSSEC.

About MiniDNS

MiniDNS is an open-source and highly portable DNS resolver written in Java for Android and Java SE runtimes. MiniDNS aims to be lightweight and modular, which makes it different from similar projects like dnsjava.

It is triple licensed. Users can choose the license terms they like from: Apache License 2.0, LGPL 2.1 and WTFPL.

The fastest way to get familiar with MiniDNS is by playing around with its built-in Read-Evaluate-Print-Loop (REPL). Pleaes note that proper support for CNAME / DNAME is not yet implemented.


The new DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions) support was added through a Google Summer of Code (GSOC) project in 2015 under the umbrella of the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF). We would like to thank our skilled student Marvin and Google for making this possible.

DNSSEC has multiple benefits, it not only allows the verification of DNS responses (data origin authentication), but also helps making protocols like HTTP, SMTP, IMAP and XMPP more secure by using DANE.

Multiple open source projects already expressed interested in MiniDNS’s DNSSEC feature: Also Smack, the XMPP client library for Android and Java SE I maintain, will provide experimental support for DANE using MiniDNS soon. Daniel, the author of the popular Android XMPP client Conversations, already a MiniDNS user, also expressed interest in adding support for DANE. And last but not least, Vincent and Dominik of OpenKeychain fame are looking forward to adding support for the OPENPGPKEY record as defined in draft-ietf-dane-openpgpkey.

Other projects are of course welcome as well. But please contact me before using the DNSSEC features of MiniDNS: Again, this is highly experimental code. I will keep you updated about the current state of MiniDNS in this very blog.

Help Wanted

The MiniDNS code has not yet received an extensive security review. As an understaffed open source project without any funding, we don’t have the necessary resources to pay for such a review.

But even if we had the funds, we first need to find someone capable of actually performing such a review. Maybe you know someone or how to help?

Feel free to contact me if you want to help.

Future Release Highlight: Support for the Kitchen Sink RR

With DNSSEC support in the ‘master’ branch, the only killer feature missing is support for the Kitchen Sink Resource Record (KS RR). The KS RR allows “to put complex, bulky, and/or obscurely structured data into the Domain Name System (DNS)”. Combined with DNSSEC this allows signing arbitrary data of any size, allowing for a broad range of possible use cases. Unlike most other pending features in open source projects, we are able to give an exact date when this feature will arrive: 2017-04-01. Stay tuned.