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DNSimple's CoreDNS Plugin

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In June 2023, we introduced our first Integrated Provider, AWS Route 53. Integrated Providers is not just about syncing and deploying DNS records — it gives you full control over your DNS infrastructure, simplifying deployment and management of DNS zones across different networks.

We mentioned we'd be releasing more providers in the near future, and today we're excited to announce our next Integrated Provider — CoreDNS. We knew we wanted to tackle support for an on-premise authoritative DNS server, and we chose CoreDNS because it's open source, highly extensible, modern, and widely used.

With the DNSimple CoreDNS integration, system and network administrators who deploy CoreDNS on their networks gain visibility and control of their DNS zones, all from within DNSimple. The DNSimple CoreDNS integration is designed to bridge the gap between cloud-hosted and on-premise authoritative DNS services.

Let's go over how to get set up and so you can use our Integrated Providers to streamline your DNS management across providers. Ready to get started right now? Choose your plan and give us a try free for 30 days.

Why CoreDNS?

CoreDNS is an open source DNS server, part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and developed in Go. Its flexibility and dynamic platform for creating custom plugins — components used to add functionality to the CoreDNS kernel — makes it a popular choice for organizations for their private, internal DNS infrastructure. We already have a Go API client, so the integration was straightforward, allowing us to implement the DNSimple CoreDNS plugin and the DNSimple connection interface in parallel. The engineering team was even able to use the existing Integrated DNS Provider interface elements to speed up the implementation process.

Configuring CoreDNS is easy, but managing more than one or two zones quickly becomes cumbersome, since CoreDNS zones are managed with text files. The complexity and variability of its plugins can also create challenges for configuration. Our CoreDNS integration makes managing zones easy by synchronizing zones in DNSimple directly to connected CoreDNS servers, while not exposing the servers to the public Internet.

Once the CoreDNS plugin is installed and connected to DNSimple, zone managers can use the DNSimple UI or API to add, edit, and remove DNS records, including custom DNS records and functionalities, like regional, ALIAS, POOL, and URL records, from their CoreDNS zones. Changes to zones in DNSimple will automatically synchronize to all linked CoreDNS instances.

Getting set up

It's easy to get started with DNSimple's CoreDNS integration. A prebuilt CoreDNS with our plugin is available as a Docker image or a static binary.

For more advanced users who want to integrate the plugin with their existing CoreDNS setup, we've released the code as an open source project and provided instructions to build the plugin and add it to your stack.

The CoreDNS plugin requires an access token to communicate with the DNSimple API, and should be provided via the DNSIMPLE_TOKEN environment variable (we recommend not hard coding this in your configuration file for security reasons). Once you're ready, add the DNSimple plugin block to your CoreDNS Corefile server block:

dnsimple {
  account_id 1234

And you're good to go.

Take a look at our support article and video tutorial for more information on configuring the CoreDNS integration at DNSimple.

For more advanced users, there are many more configuration options available, and a helpful guide can be found on our project's README.

Automate your DNS management

DNSimple's primary goal is making your DNS management as flexible and user-friendly as possible. This CoreDNS integration is one more step towards letting you manage your domains on a unified interface — no matter where they are. For more on our Integrated Providers, take a look at our support articles on managing your integrated zones and the deployment editor. We'll be releasing additional integrations throughout the year, so keep a look out for future updates. If there's one you want us to add that we don't already support, let us know.

Our team is continually innovating to offer new solutions to your evolving needs, whether it's that new side project you've been working on or managing hundreds of domains at once. If you have any questions or want to talk more about your DNS management needs, get in touch — we'd love to hear from you.

Not using DNSimple yet? Give us a try free for 30 days, and experience how simple and streamlined your domain management can be.

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Wilson Lin

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