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Deprecating Alternate TXT Records for ALIAS

Simone Carletti's profile picture Simone Carletti on

The DNSimple team is constantly working to ensure we're bringing you the latest, most streamlined DNS and domain management available. Sometimes that's new features or additions, and occasionally it means we need to deprecate certain behaviors in our system. Today, we're announcing a change that will impact future ALIAS records created or modified in DNSimple.

When an ALIAS record is created or modified in DNSimple, either via the API or the UI record editor, our system automatically creates an additional TXT record with the same name, content, and TTL. We call it the alternate TXT record for the ALIAS record, and this mirrors the ALIAS record. If the ALIAS record is updated, we update the TXT with the new values, overriding any modification in the TXT record.

After carefully reviewing the usage of the alternate TXT record, we decided to deprecate this behavior. The alternate TXT record will continue to be created and updated for the next 60 days. After that, we'll gradually discontinue its usage.

In this post, we're outlining the timeline along with why we've made this decision.

Why we're making this change

We introduced alternate TXT records for ALIAS records over a decade ago when we introduced the ALIAS record. We wanted to provide a mechanism to debug and inspect ALIAS records, so we came up with the idea of exposing the ALIAS data via a TXT record.

However, the last ten years have brought significant advancements — both within DNSimple and across the broader DNS ecosystem. For example, we didn't have a comprehensive DNS API that would let you easily query and inspect DNS records in your zones at DNSimple a decade ago.

We've seen incredible growth in automation around infrastructure provisioning as well. Tools like Terraform, Chef, and DNSControl have emerged, and these tools prefer predictable plans. We noticed the alternate TXT record is often considered an unwanted side effect instead of a useful aid.

For these reasons, we're discontinuing the alternate TXT record for ALIAS. Our system will no longer produce or update the additional record. But if you find it useful, you can continue publishing alternate TXT records using our API or UI.


We'll implement these changes in three phases:

  • Phase 1 (deprecation announcement): This starts May 3rd, 2024 with this announcement. For the next 60 days, the alternate TXT record for ALIAS will continue behaving in the exact same way. However, editing either the TXT record or an ALIAS record will display a deprecation warning.

  • Phase 2 (stop creation): Starting from July 2nd, 2024, the creation of an ALIAS record will no longer produce an alternate TXT record. Existing records will not be affected and will continue to be updated. If you want to retain the use of the alternate TXT record after this phase, we strongly recommend you disconnect the TXT record from the ALIAS by deleting and recreating it.

  • Phase 3 (stop updates): Starting from August 1st, 2024, any action on the ALIAS record will no longer be reflected on any alternate TXT record. You will only be able to delete TXT records. You will not be able to edit existing TXT records.

We don't plan to delete existing alternate TXT records at this time. However, this may change in the future. If you want to continue exposing the data of the ALIAS record via TXT, we recommend using either the API or a provisioning tool to declare the creation of both records explicitly and programmatically.

How does this affect me?

Most of our customers likely don't realize the additional TXT record is in there. API customers using Terraform, DNSControl, or other automation will have a more streamlined experience than they do today, but they may have created workarounds for this additional TXT record that's managed alongside the ALIAS.

If you use our API via custom code, we recommend taking the time to audit your custom code around ALIAS record creation, update, and deletion for any cases that may be handling the alternate TXT record.


We want to give a huge thanks to all our clients, especially the developers, operators, and API consumers who have provided feedback over the years regarding the alternate TXT record. We look forward to continuing to support you with a more predictable and flexible system. If there's ever anything you want to see us add, or suggestions for improvements, let us know. We always love hearing from you.

If you have more questions, just contact our support team – we'll be happy to help.

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Simone Carletti's profile picture

Simone Carletti

Italian software developer, a PADI scuba instructor and a former professional sommelier. I make awesome code and troll Anthony for fun and profit.

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