Bind 9.9 – Binary DNS Slave file format

With BIND 9.9.x, the slave zone files are now saved in a default raw binary format.  This was done to improve performance, but at the sacrifice of being able to easily view the contents of the files.

With the combination of caching software solutions (sssd, nscd, cached zone files, ttl’s, etc), it can make debugging more difficult.  In order to view the raw binary content, it must be converted to text first:

named-compilezone -f raw -F text -o

It’s an added layer of complexity, but if you need the microscopic performance boost, that’s the way to go. For those of us that don’t see any issues with the text file format, simply update the named.conf files for your slave zones to include the line:

masterfile-format text;

For example:

        zone "" in {
                type slave;
                notify no;
                file "data/";
                masterfile-format text;
                masters {; };

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