En:PowerDNS with Poweradmin Interface

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PowerDNS is a DNS server, written in C++ and licensed under the GPL. The current version in entropy is 3.1. It's a product of the Dutch company PowerDNS.COM BV, with numerous contributions from the Open Source community. There are many independent projects to create management interfaces for PowerDNS, including PowerAdmin, PDNSOps, PowerDNS on rails and JPower Admin and even a drupal module called PowerAdmin. The following instructing describes, how you can install the PowerDNS nameserver with MySQL backend and the Poweradmin control panel for PowerDNS.


The following instruction is a modifying of this example for CentOS.

Preliminary Note

In this example, the hostname is server1.example.com and the IP address is Just one PowerDNS server (a master) will be set up. PowerDNS slave(s) can easily be achieved by using MySQL database replication from the master to the slave(s), therefore no zone transfers are needed. MySQL database replication can be set up according to this tutorial: How To Set Up Database Replication In MySQL (PowerDNS also supports native zone transfers (for scenarios where you cannot use MySQL replication) - see http://downloads.powerdns.com/documentation/html/replication.html).

Installing MySQL

To install MySQL v5, do the following as root:

equo install dev-db/mysql

Then we create the system startup links for MySQL (so that MySQL starts automatically whenever the system boots) (this is a FIXME) and start the MySQL server:

chkconfig --levels 235 mysql on # couldn't find the pendant on Sabayon
/etc/init.d/mysql start

Now check that networking is enabled. Run

netstat -tap | grep mysql

It should show something like this (*:mysql means that MySQL is listening on all interfaces which is important for MySQL replication!):

[[email protected] ~]# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 *:mysql                     *:*                         LISTEN      2439/mysql
[[email protected] ~]#

If it does not, edit /etc/mysql/my.cnf and comment out the option skip-networking:

nano -w /etc/mysql/my.cnf

and restart your MySQL server:

/etc/init.d/mysql restart


mysqladmin -u root --password yourrootsqlpassword
mysqladmin -h server1.example.com -u root --password yourrootsqlpassword

to set a password for the user root (otherwise anybody can access your MySQL database!).

Installing PowerDNS

To install PowerDNS, run as root:

equo install net-dns/pdns # FIXME: Check for a pendant to pdns-backend-mysql

The PowerDNS configuration is located in the /etc/pdns directory - I'll come to that in a moment.

Now we connect to MySQL:

mysql -u root -p

Type in your MySQL root password, and you should be on the MySQL shell. On the MySQL shell, we create a database for PowerDNS:


Next we create a database user (powerdns) for PowerDNS:

GRANT ALL ON powerdns.* TO 'power_admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'power_admin_password';
GRANT ALL ON powerdns.* TO 'power_admin'@'localhost.localdomain' IDENTIFIED BY 'power_admin_password';

(Replace power_admin_password with a password of your choice.)

Now we create the tables needed by PowerDNS...

USE powerdns;
CREATE TABLE domains (
id INT auto_increment,
last_check INT DEFAULT NULL,
notified_serial INT DEFAULT NULL,
primary key (id)
CREATE UNIQUE INDEX name_index ON domains(name);
CREATE TABLE records (
id INT auto_increment,
change_date INT DEFAULT NULL,
primary key(id)
CREATE INDEX rec_name_index ON records(name);
CREATE INDEX nametype_index ON records(name,type);
CREATE INDEX domain_id ON records(domain_id);
CREATE TABLE supermasters (
nameserver VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL,

... and finally leave the MySQL shell:


Now we must configure PowerDNS so that it uses the MySQL backend:

nano -w /etc/pdns/pdns.conf # FIXME: Check the correct location. I have no pdns installed.

Add the following lines to pdns.conf:

# launch        Which backends to launch and order to query them in
# launch=

Then create the system startup links for PowerDNS and start it:

chkconfig --levels 235 pdns on # FIXME: Check for Sabayon's pendant to chkconfig
/etc/init.d/pdns start

That's it, PowerDNS is now ready to be used. To learn more about it, please refer to its documentation: http://downloads.powerdns.com/documentation/html/index.html

Installing Poweradmin

Now let's install Poweradmin, a web-based control panel for PowerDNS. Poweradmin is written in PHP, so we must install a web server (I'm using Apache2 in this example) and PHP:

equo install httpd php pear gettext # FIXME: Search for pendants of php-devel php-gd php-imap php-ldap php-mysql php-odbc php-xml php-xmlrpc php-mbstring php-mcrypt php-mhash
echo "php-ldap is Sabayon's net-nds/phpldapadmin?"

Create the system startup links for Apache2 and start it:

chkconfig --levels 235 httpd on # FIXME: Look for the pendant of chkconfig
/etc/init.d/httpd start

Poweradmin also requires the following two PEAR packages:

equo install php-pear-DB php-pear-MDB2-Driver-mysql # FIXME: Find the correct packages

Now all prerequisites for Poweradmin are installed, and we can begin with the Poweradmin installation (I will install it in a subdirectory of /var/www/html - /var/www/html is the document root of Apache's default web site on Sabayon; if you've created a vhost with a different document root, please adjust the paths).

Go to https://www.poweradmin.org/trac/wiki/GettingPoweradmin and download the latest Poweradmin package, e.g. as follows:

cd /tmp
wget https://www.poweradmin.org/download/poweradmin-2.1.2.tgz

Then install it to the /var/www/html/poweradmin directory as follows:

tar xvfz poweradmin-2.1.2.tgz
mv poweradmin-2.1.2 /var/www/html/poweradmin
touch /var/www/html/poweradmin/inc/config.inc.php
chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html/poweradmin/

Now open a browser and launch the web-based Poweradmin installer (http://server1.example.com/poweradmin/install or

Pdns pic1.png

Select your language (English or Dutch):

Pdns pic2.png

Click on the Go to step 3 button to proceed:

Pdns pic3.png

Now fill in your database details. It is important that you fill in the details for the MySQL root user, not the powerdns MySQL user we created earlier! Also provide a password for the admin user for the Poweradmin web interface (that's the password that the user admin will use to log in to Poweradmin later on):

Pdns pic4.png

On the next page, fill in the details for the power_admin MySQL user that we created in chapter 3. Also fill in the two default nameservers that will be used in your zones unless you provide different nameservers when you create a zone (typically these are the names of the current system and of the slave server (for which you can set up MySQL replication, see my preliminary notes in chapter 1)):

Pdns pic5.png

On the next screen the installer asks you to execute a MySQL query. We don't have to do that because we've done something similar in chapter 3 already (the two GRANT statements) so we are set. Click on Go to step 6:

Pdns pic6.png

Click on Go to step 7:

Pdns pic7.png

The installation is now finished...

Pdns pic8.png

... but for security reasons we must delete the install directory:

rm -fr /var/www/html/poweradmin/install/

Now you can go to http://server1.example.com/poweradmin or and log in with the username admin and the password you created during the installation:

Pdns pic9.png

This is how the Poweradmin web interface looks:

Pdns pic10.png

To create a zone, go to Add master zone and fill in the domain name (e.g. example.com). You can already fill in the IP addresses for the www A record ("webserver") and the MX record ("mailserver") for that zone. If you leave the Create zone without applying records-template checkbox unchecked, Poweradmin will automatically create some NS, A (e.g. www) and MX records for that zone:

Pdns pic11.png

Go to List zones afterwards. You should now see the new zone there, and it already has eight records. Click on the edit icon to see these eight records:

Pdns pic12.png

These are the records that are created automatically unless you check the Create zone without applying records-template checkbox when you create a zone. You can now edit them or add and delete records:

Pdns pic13.png

Of course, you can as well create all records one-by-one manually - just leave the IP address fields empty and check the Create zone without applying records-template checkbox on the Add master zone page:

Pdns pic14.png

On the List zones page you will see that the new zone has just one record (the SOA record). Click on the edit icon...

Pdns pic15.png

... and then on Add record to add further records, ...

Pdns pic16.png

..., e.g. NS records...

Pdns pic17.png

... and A records (e.g. for mydomain.com (leave the Name field empty!) and www.mydomain.com)...

Pdns pic18.png

Pdns pic19.png

... and MX records:

Pdns pic20.png

To create PTR records, go to the Add master zone page and create a zone called in-addr.arpa (leave the IP address fields empty and check the Create zone without applying records-template checkbox):

Pdns pic21.png

To create a PTR record that points from the IP to server1.example.com, create a record under List zones and fill in in the Name field (that's the IP in reverse order) and server1.example.com in the Content field:

After you've created your records, you can check them with the dig command (see

man dig

for more details), e.g. as follows:

dig @localhost mx example.com
[[email protected] ~]# dig @localhost mx example.com

; <<>> DiG 9.3.4-P1 <<>> @localhost mx example.com
; (1 server found)
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 46586
;; flags: qr aa rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;example.com.                   IN      MX

example.com.            86400   IN      MX      10 mail.example.com.

mail.example.com.       86400   IN      A

;; Query time: 44 msec
;; WHEN: Thu Jan 15 18:54:35 2009
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 66

[[email protected] ~]#

Responsible person

If you're interested, please ask BlackNoxis on the forums. He wants to engage Gentoo/Sabayon users in this project. At the moment he plans on supporting this project on RogentOS, a Sabayon fork. You can get the latest poweradmin version there, too. See Link section below for further details.

Further reading