Compiling PowerDNS

PowerDNS can be compiled with modules built in, or with modules designed to be loaded at runtime. All that is configured before compiling using the well known autoconf/automake system:

tar xf pdns-VERSION.tar.bz2
cd pdns-VERSION
./configure --with-modules=$MODULES --with-dynmodules=$DYNMODULES
make install

To compile in modules, specify them as --with-modules='mod1 mod2 mod3', substituting the desired module names. See each backend specific documentation for the module names. Each backend has a module name that you look up in this table.

To compile a module for inclusion at runtime, which is great if you are a unix vendor, use --with-dynmodules='mod1 mod2 mod3'. These modules then end up as .so files in the compiled libdir.

By default, the bind, mysql and random are compiled into the binary. The pipe is, by default, compiled as a runtime loadable module.

Getting the sources

There are 3 ways of getting the source.

If you want the bleeding edge, you can clone the repository at GitHub and run ./bootstrap in the clone.

You can also download snapshot tarballs here.

You can also download releases on the website. These releases are PGP-signed with one of these key-ids:

There is a PGP keyblock with these keys available on


To build the PowerDNS Authoritative Server, a C++ compiler with support for C++ 2011 is required. This means gcc 4.9 and newer and clang 3.5 and newer. Furthermore, the Makefiles require GNU make, not BSD make.

By default, the PowerDNS Authoritative Server requires the following libraries and headers:

To build from git, the following dependencies are also required:

Optional dependencies

Several options that can be passed to ./configure can enable and disable different features. These will require additional dependencies

ed25519 support with libsodium

The PowerDNS Authoritative Server can link with libsodium to support ed25519 (DNSSEC algorithm 15). To detect libsodium, use the --enable-libsodium configure option.

ed25519 and ed448 support with libdecaf

libdecaf is a library that allows the PowerDNS Authoritative Server to support ed25519 and Ed448 (DNSSEC algorithms 15 and 16). To detect libdecaf, use the --enable-libdecaf configure option.

systemd notify support

During configure, configure will attempt to detect the availability of systemd or systemd-daemon headers. To force the use of systemd (and failing configure if the headers do not exist), use --enable-systemd. To set the directory where the unit files should be installed, use --with-systemd=/path/to/unit/dir.