October 21, 2011

503 words 3 mins read

(Re-)Introducing PDNSOps

By Dsv (Own work) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
For the last few years, my DNS server of choice (when I run my own) is

PowerDNS. It is very simple to use, and the ability to run multiple “backends” makes it wonderfully configurable. My choice setup is PowerDNS running the MySQL backend. Of course the question is “How do I manage the MySQL backend?” and that is where PDNSOps comes in.

If you are database savvy, like myself, you don’t need a dedicated tool to manage PowerDNS/MySQL. You can simply command line SQL or using PHPMyAdmin (my fav!). Of course, those tools don’t know anything about DNS, so

you need to know everything about DNS instead. That is a pain; there are no sanity checks, and you definitely don’t want to give access to someone who isn’t database savvy.

By Malene Thyssen - CC-BY-SA-2.5
That’s where the dedicated management tools come in. I looked high and low for a good tool. I didn’t have high requirements, it just needed to be clean and easy to use. I found that in a project called PDNSAdministrator which was effectively abandoned. The code ran just fine at the time, but I found myself wondering how long would it last without supervision. So I offered to take the project over.

That transition happened yesterday. I took the time to rename the project (because PDNSAdmin is a different project and PDNSAdministrator is too long for me to type) to PDNSOps. Also, because it seems like the thing to do these days, I migrated the code base from SVN to Git. I’ll admit, I know jack squat about Git, but immersion will teach me.

By How can I recycle this (http://www.recyclethis.co.uk) (phone_book) CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), via Wikimedia Commons
In addition to the new

Google Code project. I’ve setup a homepage (which doesn’t look like much) and a discussion group on Google Groups. I collected the old bugs and added a dozen new features that I’d like to see. Some of those items on the wishlist include LDAP support, a mobile website, domain templates, logging/charts and deep i18n support. Of course, anyone is welcome to contribute new feature suggestions.

PDNSAdministrator had a lot of potential and I’d like to take that even farther with the newly refurbished PDNSOps project. New features make the application more useful and more useful means a larger user base. I can’t do it alone though. I’ve already pulled in a few of my friends to help out around the project, but I’d love to draw in a few more helpful hands. If you’re a coder (green or experienced), I’d love to hear from you. If you’re not a coder? I’d love to hear from you to. A good project needs documentation, QA/testers, graphic artists (PDNSOps doesn’t even have a logo!) and page designers — just to name a few jobs. If you want to help, there is somewhere you can be put to work.


PS. If you’re curious about the name. It is PDNSOps as in “PowerDNS Operations”.