While setting up GeoDNS for parts of the debian.org zone, we set up a new subzone security.geo.debian.org. This was mainly due to the fact we didn't want to mess up the existing zone while experimenting with GeoDNS.

Now that our GeoDNS setup has been working for more than half a year without any problems, we will drop this zone.

We will do that in two phases.

Phase 1

Beginning on July 1st, we will redirect all requests to security.geo.debian.org to a static webpage indicating that this subzone is deprecated and should not be used any more. If you still have security.geo.debian.org in your apt sources.list, updates will fail.

Phase 2

On August 1st, we will stop serving the subzone security.geo.debian.org from our DNS servers.


In case you use a security.geo.debian.org entry in your /etc/apt/sources.list, now is the best time to change that entry to security.debian.org. Both zones currently serve the same content.

Posted 2010-05-24
Peter Palfrader Securing the Debian zones

We are in the process of deploying DNSSEC, the DNS Security Extensions, on the Debian zones. This means properly configured resolvers will be able to verify the authenticity of information they receive from the domain name system.

The plan is to introduce DNSSEC in several steps so that we can react to issues that arise without breaking everything at once.

We will start with serving signed debian.net and debian.com zones. Assuming nobody complains loudly enough the various reverse zones and finally the debian.org zone will follow. Once all our zones are signed we will publish our trust anchors in ISC's DLV Registry, again in stages.

The various child zones that are handled differently from our normal DNS infrastructure (mirror.debian.net, alioth, bugs, ftp, packages, security, volatile, www) will follow at a later date.

We are using bind 9.6 for NSEC3 support and our fork of RIPE's DNSSEC Key Management Tools for managing our keys because we believe that it integrates nicely with our existing DNS helper scripts, at least until something better becomes available.

We will use NSEC3RSASHA1 with key sizes of 1536 bits for the KSK and 1152 bits for the ZSK. Signature validity period will most likely be four weeks, with a one week signature publication period (cf. RFC4641: DNSSEC Operational Practices).

Zone keys rollovers will happen regularly and will not be announced in any specific way. Key signing key rollovers will probably be announced on the debian-infrastructure-announce list until such time that our zones are reachable from a signed root. KSK rollovers for our own child zones (www.d.o et al.), once signed, will not be announced because we can just put proper DS records in the respective parent zone.

Until we announce the first set of trust anchors on the mailinglist the keysets present in DNS should be considered experimental. They can be changed at any time, without observing standard rollover practices.

Please direct questions or comments to either the debian-admin or, if you want a more public forum, the debian-project list at lists.debian.org.

See also:

-- Peter Palfrader

Posted 2010-02-14

The Debian Project currently runs about 100 machines all over the world with different services. Those are mainly managed by the Debian System Administration team. For central configuration management we use Puppet. The Puppet config we use is publicly available here.

Our next goal is to have a more or less central configuration of our iptables rules on all those machines. Some of the machines have home-brewed firewall scripts, some use ferm.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to provide us with a new dsa-puppet git branch with a module "ferm" that we can roll out to all our hosts.

It might want to use information from the other puppet modules like "apache2_security_mirror" or "buildd" to decide which incoming traffic should be allowed.

DSA will of course provide you with all necessary further information.

Posted 2010-01-14

We are re-purposing raff.debian.org as a new security mirror to be shipped to South America. The raff.debian.org most of you have used as buildd.debian.org in the past will cease to exist in the near future.

raff.debian.org will cease acting as a dns server for the debian.org zone in a few days, therfore we will add two new hosts, senfl.d.o and ravel.d.o.

All other services formerly hosted on raff.d.o should have been already moved by now, we just want to encourage those of you who had a login on raff, to backup your home directory if you care of the data stored there, as we will not move that.

Current plan is to shut down current raff by end of the year (so in about 7 days).

Posted 2009-12-24

I recently blogged about the GeoDNS setup we plan for security.debian.org. Even though all DSA team members agree that the GeoDNS setup for security.debian.org should come alive as soon as possible, we still fear to break an important service like security.d.o.

Yesterday I decided without further ado to float a trial balloon and converted DNS entries for the Debian Project homepage to our GeoDNS setup. While doing so, we found out that some part of our automatic deployment scripts still need to be adjusted to serve more than one subdomain of the project.

That setup is live for about eighteen hours now, and the project homepage now resolves it IPs via GeoDNS. For now, we are using senfl.d.o for Northern America, www.de.debian.org and www.debian.at for Europe and klecker.d.o for the rest of the world. From what I can see from GeoDNS logs, it seems to work fine, and the load stays reasonably low, so after a short test period we might add additional services like security.debian.org to GeoDNS.

Posted 2009-07-02

DSA is currently playing around with a patched version of bind9 (based on a patch we received from kernel.org people) to implement GeoDNS for security.debian.org. You might have noticed that we currently have a round robin list of up to seven hosts in the security.debian.org rotation. Depending on time and luck your apt currently might pick a host which is located half around the globe for you, resulting in sometimes really slow download rates.


The current idea is to only present a list of security mirrors to you which are located on the continent you live on. We are aware that this won't work for all continents at the moment. For this reason we are also currently moving machines around the globe.

How to test

The easiest way for you to test is using bind9's dig command.

When trying from Germany one should get:

zobel@lunar:~% dig -ttxt +short security.geo.debian.org
"Europe view"

When trying from US one should get:

zobel@gluck:~% dig -ttxt +short security.geo.debian.org
"North America view"


The patch we used for bind9 uses libgeoip and MaxMind's GeoLite Country database. This patch was necessary to get bind to play nicely.

As we don't want to break security.debian.org at this stage of our testing, we decided to add a new subdomain security.geo.debian.org with which we are currently playing.

Having an ACL for EU defining all the countries belonging to the European Subcontinent, a config sniplet for security.debian.org's zone looks like this:

// Europe
acl EU {
view "EU" {
        match-clients {
        zone "security.geo.debian.org" {
                type master;
                file "/etc/bind/zones/security.debian.org.EU.zone";
                notify no;

To be sure we don't miss any contries, we added an additional view default, to catch what we didn't catch with the country codes:

view "other" {
        match-clients { any; };
        zone "security.geo.debian.org" {
                type master;
                file "/etc/bind/db.security.debian.org";
                notify no;

Posted 2009-06-21