Dnsmasq is a lightweight, easy to configure DNS forwarder and DHCP
server. It is designed to provide DNS and, optionally, DHCP, to a
small network. It can serve the names of local machines which are
not in the global DNS. The DHCP server integrates with the DNS
server and allows machines with DHCP-allocated addresses
to appear in the DNS with names configured either in each host or
in a central configuration file. Dnsmasq supports static and dynamic
DHCP leases and BOOTP/TFTP/PXE for network booting of diskless machines.
Dnsmasq is targeted at home networks using NAT and
connected to the internet via a modem, cable-modem or ADSL
connection but would be a good choice for any smallish network (up to
1000 clients is known to work) where low
resource use and ease of configuration are important.
Supported platforms include Linux (with glibc and uclibc), Android, *BSD,
Solaris and Mac OS X.
Dnsmasq is included in at least the following Linux distributions:
Gentoo, Debian, Slackware, Suse, Fedora,
Smoothwall, IP-Cop, floppyfw, Firebox, LEAF, Freesco, fli4l,
CoyoteLinux, Endian Firewall and
Clarkconnect. It is also available as FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD ports and is used in
Linksys wireless routers (dd-wrt, openwrt and the stock firmware) and the m0n0wall project.
Dnsmasq provides the following features:
The DNS configuration of machines behind the firewall is simple and
doesn't depend on the details of the ISP's dns servers
Clients which try to do DNS lookups while a modem link to the
internet is down will time out immediately.
Dnsmasq will serve names from the /etc/hosts file on the firewall
machine: If the names of local machines are there, then they can all
be addressed without having to maintain /etc/hosts on each machine.
The integrated DHCP server supports static and dynamic DHCP leases and
multiple networks and IP ranges. It works across BOOTP relays and
supports DHCP options including RFC3397 DNS search lists.
Machines which are configured by DHCP have their names automatically
included in the DNS and the names can specified by each machine or
centrally by associating a name with a MAC address in the dnsmasq
Dnsmasq caches internet addresses (A records and AAAA records) and address-to-name
mappings (PTR records), reducing the load on upstream servers and
improving performance (especially on modem connections).
Dnsmasq can be configured to automatically pick up the addresses of
its upstream nameservers from ppp or dhcp configuration. It will
automatically reload this information if it changes. This facility
will be of particular interest to maintainers of Linux firewall
distributions since it allows dns configuration to be made automatic.
On IPv6-enabled boxes, dnsmasq can both talk to upstream servers via IPv6
and offer DNS service via IPv6. On dual-stack (IPv4 and IPv6) boxes it talks
both protocols and can even act as IPv6-to-IPv4 or IPv4-to-IPv6 forwarder.
Dnsmasq can be configured to send queries for certain domains to
upstream servers handling only those domains. This makes integration
with private DNS systems easy.
Dnsmasq supports MX and SRV records and can be configured to return MX records
for any or all local machines.
Download dnsmasq here.
The tarball includes this documentation, source, and manpage.
There is also a CHANGELOG and a FAQ.
Dnsmasq has a git repository which contains the complete release
history of version 2 and development history from 2.60. You can
the repo, or get a copy using git protocol with the command
git clone git://thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq.git
Dnsmasq is distributed under the GPL. See the file COPYING in the distribution
There is a dnsmasq mailing list at
http://lists.thekelleys.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/dnsmasq-discuss which should be the
first location for queries, bugreports, suggestions etc.
Dnsmasq was mainly written and is maintained by Simon Kelley. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For most of its life, dnsmasq has been a spare-time project. These days I'm working on it as my main activity.
I don't have an employer or anyone who pays me regularly to work on dnsmasq. If you'd like to make
a contribution towards my expenses, please use the donation button below.