getdns is a modern asynchronous DNS API. It implements DNS entry points from a design developed and vetted by application developers, in an API specification. The open source C implementation of getdns is developed and maintained in collaboration by NLnet Labs, Sinodun and No Mountain Software. This implementation is licensed under the New BSD License.

Why you might want getdns

Traditional access to DNS data from applications has several limitations:

  • APIs require applications to have considerable sophistication about DNS data and data types
  • Some kinds of data about the response (notably, the resource record set time to live) is not exposed via any API, so applications need to process raw protocol responses to get such data
  • APIs are often blocking, meaning asynchronous access is not possible without some work
  • Sophisticated uses of the DNS (things like IDNA and DNSSEC validation) require considerable application work, possibly by application developers with little experience with the vagaries of DNS.

getdns also provides an experimental DNS Privacy enabled client called 'stubby'.

Motivation for providing the API

The developers are of the opinion that DNSSEC offers a unique global infrastructure for establishing and enhancing cryptographic trust relations. With the development of this API we intend to offer application developers a modern and flexible interface that enables end-to-end trust in the DNS architecture, and which will inspire application developers to implement innovative security solutions in their applications.

getdns has a dedicated website at