DNS Server? Appliance?

altano

Active Member
Sep 3, 2011
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Cambridge, MA
I want to supplement my UniFi Dream Machine Pro's extremely limited DNS functionality by getting a DNS server. I'm thinking of running it as an appliance and avoiding the container/vm route. I'm slightly familiar with Unbound through the pfSense GUI. I have simple needs:
  • Automatic DNS entries based on hostnames (which I don't think will be possible if I leave DHCP with the UDM Pro, right? dnsmasq needs to be the DHCP server to do this?)
  • Manual DNS entries for fixed IP addresses
  • The ability to run split-horizon DNS and point my actual TLD at an internal IP in my homelab
  • Bonus points for having a dynamic DNS client
  • I don't want ad-blocking
  • I don't require a GUI but I also don't mind good ones
Yes, even that little can't be done on a UniFi Dream Machine Pro, sadly.

Recommendations? Should I grab a Raspberry Pi like device, maybe one with POE, and slap dnsmasq or unbound on it?
 
Jan 10, 2019
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blog.azureinfra.com
perhaps you can grab an old Juniper SRX - for example SRX 210.. that has built-in dns proxy services, allowing for split DNS, conditional forwarding, static entries, dynamic-dns and much more.. and an SRX210 is like $20 today..

but you can probably also get an EdgeRouter (run it off POE+) and do the same thing at like $35 for a new device
 

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
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I haven't touched it in like 5 years, but back then my old company purchased Infoblox hardware appliances which do all you ask (split-horizon dns often called DNS Views) and much more. Some older models could be found very cheap on the fleabay. I may still somewhere training pdfs for it
 

nerdalertdk

Fleet Admiral
Mar 9, 2017
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::1
You could get an edgerouter, they have most features you could think of

my fav is dnsmasq with the DHCP server
 

StevenDTX

Active Member
Aug 17, 2016
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This thread made me look at InfoBlox appliances on ebay. There are lots of EOL stuff for less than $100.
 

altano

Active Member
Sep 3, 2011
177
52
28
Cambridge, MA
A lot of these devices are more than just a DNS server. I'm not really sure I want to move more than DNS off the UDM Pro because I'm not even entirely clear what functionality in the UniFi controller relies on it being its own DHCP server.
 

Marsh

Moderator
May 12, 2013
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I imagine most folks here has some old consumer home router.
Check if the old home router run ddwrt or openwrt.
Install ddwrt or openwrt , turn off wifi , configure dnsmasq either using command line or GUI
 
Jan 10, 2019
99
18
8
blog.azureinfra.com
A lot of these devices are more than just a DNS server. I'm not really sure I want to move more than DNS off the UDM Pro because I'm not even entirely clear what functionality in the UniFi controller relies on it being its own DHCP server.
Yeah.. but you can disable all of the other stuff you don't want / need.. you just plug it into your network with the LAN port, configure what you want (DNS) and point Unifi to use that as your DNS server... done
 

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
465
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A lot of these devices are more than just a DNS server. I'm not really sure I want to move more than DNS off the UDM Pro because I'm not even entirely clear what functionality in the UniFi controller relies on it being its own DHCP server.
I am running DHCP of Asus router with DD-WRT. Originally also used DNSMasq for recursive and authoritative DNS, but found it too troublesome (or I didn't configure it right).
a) My Unifi controller (on ubuntu VM) works perfectly fine without running its own DHCP.
b) I think you can't have auto-update DNS entries from the DHCP server unless they are tightly integrated.
 

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
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DNS is such a lightweight service. You don’t need much to manage it. Just an Rpi does it really well for most small home networks. I don’t know the UDM, but with pfSense you can tell DHCP where the DNS server is to register host names. Or if you can’t do that just disable DHCP on the UDM and run that on the Rpi too.
 

RTM

Active Member
Jan 26, 2014
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If you already have experience with pfsense, I suspect you could use that (in a separate box of course), not sure about all the requirements though....
 

coxhaus

New Member
Jul 7, 2020
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If you are running Windows then Active directory, DNS, DHCP work well on the Microsoft server platform. You can find 1 of the small PCs to run like an appliance.