How to use a TLS proxy with a DNS nameserver

It is of course possible to configure a TLS proxy in front of a DNS nameserver to provide DNS-over-TLS. Example configurations for nginx and haproxy are given here.

A more comprehensive setup guide using Docker has been provided by Warren Kumari: dprive-nginx-bind (Thanks Warren!)

Nameserver config

To use the following with BIND to offer a TLS service, configure BIND based on the following named.conf snippet

  • This assumes BIND 9.12 which supports response padding (comment that line out if you are using an earlier version)
  • The rncd and logging config is used to capture traffic volume stats - statistics can be dumped periodically with the 'rndc stats' command

options {
	directory "/home/sinodun";
	listen-on port 9999 {; };
	allow-query {; };
	tcp-clients 4000;
    statistics-file "/tmp/bind-stats";
	dnssec-enable yes;
	dnssec-validation auto;
	response-padding { any; } block-size 468;

# Use with the following in named.conf, adjusting the allow list as needed:
key "rndc-key" {
 	algorithm hmac-md5;
 	secret "BIGSECRET";
controls {
 	inet port 9953
 		allow {; } keys { "rndc-key"; };

logging {
	category default { null; };
	category unmatched { null; };


user www-data;
worker_processes auto;
pid /run/;

events {
worker_connections 1024;
# multi_accept on;

stream {
upstream dns_tcp_servers {


server {
listen 853 ssl;
proxy_pass dns_tcp_servers;

   ssl_certificate       /etc/nginx/lego/certificates/<cert>.crt;
   ssl_certificate_key   /etc/nginx/lego/certificates/<cert>.key;
   ssl_protocols         TLSv1.2;
   ssl_ciphers           ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384;
   ssl_session_tickets on;
   ssl_session_timeout   4h;
   ssl_handshake_timeout 30s;


log /dev/log local0
chroot /var/lib/haproxy
user haproxy
group haproxy
maxconn 1024
pidfile /var/run/
tune.ssl.default-dh-param 2048
ssl-default-bind-ciphers ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384
ssl-default-bind-options force-tlsv12

   # Default SSL material locations
   ca-base /etc/ssl/certs
   crt-base /etc/ssl/private
balance roundrobin
timeout http-request 10s
timeout queue 1m
timeout connect 10s
timeout client 1m
timeout server 1m
timeout check 10s

listen dns
bind ssl crt /etc/haproxy/lego/certificates/<cert>.pem
mode tcp
server server1

If you use HA proxy and have generated your certificates from Let's encrypt then you need to combing the certificate chain and key into one file using a command similar to:

cat  /etc/letsencrypt/certs/000<N>_chain.pem /etc/letsencrypt/keys/<my_key>.key > /etc/letsencrypt/certs/<cert>.pem
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