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RNDC.CONF(5)									     RNDC.CONF(5)

       rndc.conf - rndc configuration file


       rndc.conf is the configuration file for rndc, the BIND 9 name server control utility. This
       file has a similar structure and syntax to named.conf. Statements are enclosed  in  braces
       and  terminated	with  a  semi-colon. Clauses in the statements are also semi-colon termi-
       nated. The usual comment styles are supported:

       C style: /* */

       C++ style: // to end of line

       Unix style: # to end of line

       rndc.conf is much simpler than named.conf. The file  uses  three  statements:  an  options
       statement, a server statement and a key statement.

       The  options  statement	contains three clauses.  The default-server clause is followed by
       the name or address of a name server. This host will be used when no name server is  given
       as  an  argument to rndc. The default-key clause is followed by the name of a key which is
       identified by a key statement. If no keyid is provided on the rndc command  line,  and  no
       key  clause  is	found  in  a  matching server statement, this default key will be used to
       authenticate the server's commands and responses. The default-port clause is  followed  by
       the  port  to  connect  to on the remote name server. If no port option is provided on the
       rndc command line, and no port clause is  found	in  a  matching  server  statement,  this
       default port will be used to connect.

       After  the server keyword, the server statement includes a string which is the hostname or
       address for a name server. The statement has two possible clauses: key and port.  The  key
       name  must  match  the  name of a key statement in the file. The port number specifies the
       port to connect to.

       The key statement begins with an identifying string, the name of the  key.  The	statement
       has two clauses.  algorithm identifies the encryption algorithm for rndc to use; currently
       only HMAC-MD5 is supported. This is followed by a secret clause which contains the base-64
       encoding  of  the  algorithm's  encryption  key.  The base-64 string is enclosed in double

       There are two common ways to generate the base-64 string for the secret. The BIND  9  pro-
       gram  rndc-confgen  can	be  used  to generate a random key, or the mmencode program, also
       known as mimencode, can be used to generate a base-64 string from  known  input.  mmencode
       does  not  ship	with BIND 9 but is available on many systems. See the EXAMPLE section for
       sample command lines for each.

	   options {
	       default-server  localhost;
	       default-key     samplekey;

	     server localhost {
	       key	       samplekey;

	     key samplekey {
	       algorithm       hmac-md5;
	       secret	       "c3Ryb25nIGVub3VnaCBmb3IgYSBtYW4gYnV0IG1hZGUgZm9yIGEgd29tYW4K";

       In the above example, rndc will by default use the server at localhost ( and the
       key  called samplekey.  Commands to the localhost server will use the samplekey key, which
       must also be defined in the server's configuration file with the same name and secret. The
       key  statement  indicates that samplekey uses the HMAC-MD5 algorithm and its secret clause
       contains the base-64 encoding of the HMAC-MD5 secret enclosed in double quotes.

       To generate a random secret with rndc-confgen:


       A complete rndc.conf file, including the randomly generated key, will be  written  to  the
       standard  output.  Commented  out  key  and  controls  statements  for named.conf are also

       To generate a base-64 secret with mmencode:

       echo "known plaintext for a secret" | mmencode

       The name server must be configured to accept rndc connections and  to  recognize  the  key
       specified in the rndc.conf file, using the controls statement in named.conf.  See the sec-
       tions on the controls statement in the BIND 9 Administrator Reference Manual for details.

       rndc(8), rndc-confgen(8), mmencode(1), BIND 9 Administrator Reference Manual.

       Internet Software Consortium

BIND9					  June 30, 2000 			     RNDC.CONF(5)
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