Coredns: Enable dnssec

I recently got around to finally enable dnssec on the fly signing in my CoreDNS setup.

Since the process to set this up isn’t very good documented I thought I’d write a short blog post about it.


0. Only for docker

Make sure you have a directory for the dnssec keys mounted in your container.

1. Generate the dnssec key

To generate the dnssec key you need to have bind9utils installed.

Use following command to generate a new key:

dnssec-keygen -a ECDSAP256SHA256

2. Distribute the key to all coredns instances

This took me a while to figure out since it doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere. If you run a multi instance CoreDNS setup (e.g. master-slave) the key needs to be distributed to all instances.

Zone transfer doesn’t handle this for you.

3. Configure CoreDNS

Add a dnssec config option to the chosen zone configuration. The key file option specifies the path where the key lies. You don’t need to specify the file extension for the key.

Example: {
    dnssec {
        key file /var/coredns/dnssec/

This needs to be done on all your CoreDNS instances. Then restart CoreDNS and make sure there are no errors in the logs.

4. Registrar setup

The next step is to create a DS record at your domain registrar.

To get the DS record you need to set use dnssec-dsfromkey.



The response should look somewhat like this:

# format: 
# <domain> IN DS <tag> <algorithm> <digest type> <digest> IN DS 60323 13 1 3F4DE2555510AAFDD03E14F0F3C49F6DFB599844 IN DS 60323 13 2 CB4D7ED047B5875D87EEA31C823129DB68F628F4D2E0A784BC5FCFE1FCF4E266

Choose the second record with the longer digest (SHA256). The other one uses SHA1 which is no longer deemed secure.

After setting the record it can take up to 1-2 days for it to appear in the DNS. However usually it doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes.

5. Check if everything works

To check if everything is set up correctly you can use an online dnssec check tool like the one from Verisign

If all checks are successful: Congratulations! Your domain now supports dnssec.