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Langue: en

Version: December 4, 2007 (fedora - 04/07/09)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


dnsperf - test the performance of a DNS server


dnsperf [ -1 ] [ -A ] [ -b bufsize ] [ -c ] [ -d datafile ] [ -D ] [ -e ] [ -f family ] [ -h ] [ -H histogram_buckets ] [ -l limit ] [ -p port ] [ -q num_queries ] [ -Q max_qps ] [ -s server_addr ] [ -t timeout ] [ -T histogram_seconds ] [ -u ] [ -v ] [ -y name:secret ]


dnsperf is a DNS server performance testing tool. It is primarily intended for measuring the performance of authoritative DNS servers, but it can also be used for measuring caching server performance in a closed laboratory environment. For testing caching servers resolving against the live Internet, the resperf program is preferred.

It is recommended that dnsperf and the name server under test be run on separate machines, so that the CPU usage of dnsperf itself does not slow down the name server. The two machines should be connected with a fast network, preferably a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet segment. Testing through a router or firewall is not advisable.


If using dnsperf to test an authoritative server, the name server under test should be set up to serve one or more zones similar in size and number to what the server is expected to serve in production.

Also, be sure to turn off recursion in the server's configuration (in BIND 8/9, specify "recursion no;" in the options block). In BIND 8, you should also specify "fetch-glue no;"; otherwise the server may attempt to retrieve glue information from the Internet during the test, slowing it down by an unpredictable factor.


A dnsperf input file should contain a large and realistic set of queries, on the order of ten thousand to a million. The input file contains one line per query, consisting of a domain name and an RR type name separated by a space. The class of the query is implicitly IN.

When measuring the performance serving non-terminal zones such as the root zone or TLDs, note that such servers spend most of their time providing referral responses, not authoritative answers. Therefore, a realistic input file might consist mostly of queries for type A for names *below*, not at, the delegations present in the zone. For example, when testing the performance of a server configured to be authoritative for the top-level domain "fi.", which contains delegations for domains like "" and "", the input file could contain lines like

where the "www" prefix ensures that the server will respond with a referral. Ideally, a realistic proportion of queries for nonexistent domains should be mixed in with those for existing ones, and the lines of the input file should be in a random order.


To test dynamic update performance, dnsperf is run with the -u option, and the input file is constructed of blocks of lines describing dynamic update messages. The first line in a block contains the zone name:

Subsequent lines contain prerequisites, if there are any. Prerequisites can specify that a name may or may not exist, an rrset may or may not exist, or an rrset exists and its rdata matches all specified rdata for that name and type. The keywords "require" and "prohibit" are followed by the appropriate information. All relative names are considered to be relative to the zone name. The following lines show the 5 types of prerequisites.
                 require a
                 require a A
                 require a A
                 prohibit x
                 prohibit x A
Subsequent lines contain records to be added, records to be deleted, rrsets to be deleted, or names to be deleted. The keywords "add" or "delete" are followed by the appropriate information. All relative names are considered to be relative to the zone name. The following lines show the 4 types of updates.
                 add x 3600 A
                 delete y A
                 delete z A
                 delete w
Each update message is terminated by a line containing the command:


When running dnsperf, a data file (the -d option) and server (the -s option) will normally be specified. The output of dnsperf is mostly self-explanatory. Pay attention to the number of dropped packets reported - when running the test over a local Ethernet connection, it should be zero. If one or more packets has been dropped, there may be a problem with the network connection. In that case, the results should be considered suspect and the test repeated.


When the -H option is specified, the statistics output will include a histogram (a.k.a. bar chart) showing the distribution of response latencies. This is intended mainly for testing caching servers, as the latencies of authoritative servers typically are negligible compared to network and queueing delays.

A typical histogram might contain 50 buckets representing latencies from 0 to 1 second in 20 millisecond increments. To print such a histogram, pass dnsperf the options

                 -H 50 -T 1
If you are interested in responses that arrive several seconds late, you can get a 10-second histogram using
                 -H 50 -T 10
The lengths of the bars in the bar chart are normalized such that the widest bar is 60 characters wide, to allow the chart to be displayed in an 80-column window or printed on an 80-column printer. Responses are classified into successes and failures; successes are represented by "#" characters and failures by "-" in the bars. The number of success/failure responses is also printed next to each bar.

The average latency is also printed; it takes into account both successes and failures. Note that requests that got no response at all will not be included in the latency graph; this may unfairly skew the average latency in favor of servers that drop requests (or respond with an error later than the dnsperf timeout) over those from which an error response is received.


Run through the input file exactly once. This is the default if no time limit is set.
Reports the command line arguments passed to dnsperf to standard output as part of the final statistics.
-b bufsize
Sets the size of the socket's send and receive buffers, in kilobytes. If not specified, the default value is 32k.
Prints a count of the number of responses with each DNS RCODE as part of the final statistics.
-d datafile
Specifies the input data file. If not specified, dnsperf will read from standard input.
Sets the DO (DNSSEC OK) bit [RFC3225] in all packets sent. This also enables EDNS0, which is required for DNSSEC.
Enables EDNS0 [RFC2671], by adding an OPT record to all packets sent.
-f family
Specifies the address family used for sending DNS packets. The possible values are "inet", "inet6", or "any". If "any" (the default value) is specified, dnsperf will use whichever address family is appropriate for the server it is sending packets to.
Print a usage statement and exit.
-H histogram_buckets
When specified, dnsperf will print a histogram showing response latency after completing the run; the histogram will contain this many buckets.
-l limit
Specifies a time limit for the run, in seconds. This may cause the input to be read multiple times, or only some of the input to be read. The default behavior is to read the input once, and have no specific time limit.
-p port
Sets the port on which the DNS packets are sent. If not specified, the standard DNS port (53) is used.
-q num_queries
Sets the maximum number of outstanding requests. When this value is reached, dnsperf will not send any more requests until either responses are received or requests time out. The default value is 20.
-Q max_qps
Limits the number of requests per second. There is no default limit.
-s server_addr
Specifies the name or address of the server to which requests will be sent. The default is the loopback address,
-t timeout
Specifies the request timeout value, in seconds. dnsperf will no longer wait for a response to a particular request after this many seconds have elapsed.
-T histogram_seconds
When specified, dnsperf will print a histogram showing response latency after completing the run; the histogram will include latencies up to this number of seconds. This should be used with the -H option.
Instructs dnsperf to send DNS dynamic update messages, rather than queries. The format of the input file is different in this case; see the "Constructing a dynamic update input file" section for more details.
Enables verbose mode. The DNS RCODE of each response will be reported to standard output when the response is received. If a query times out, it will be reported with the special string "T" instead of a normal DNS RCODE.
-y name:secret
Add a TSIG record [RFC2845] to all packets sent, using the specified TSIG key name and secret, where the secret is expressed as a base-64 encoded string.


Nominum, Inc.



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