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How Does BIND Perform on PPC? 12

wmulvihillDxR asks: "I'm getting ready to replace our DNS box which serves about 15 zones but will soon grow to more. The current DNS box (a x86 box) gets hit pretty heavy sometimes. I'd like to know if any /.ers have had any success running BIND on any of the PPC Linux distros. We have a multitude of Mac boxen sitting around doing nothing (Yes, I work in a Mac shop, but use Linux on x86 for our servers). I'd prefer to put it on a x86 box but we don't have many of those handy. Are there any reports on using PPC machines for DNS? Any recommended PPC Linux distros?"
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How Does BIND Perform on PPC?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wouldnt ram be a bigger concern than CPU? I realize that CPU is important but BIND is going to hog the memory.
  • I run a public Linux/Open Source mirror server. It hosted at a university with lot's of I1 and I2 bandwidth and the mirror is quite large and soon to be larger. It gets the crap pounded out of it and runs flawlessly. It's an old 7500/100 with a G3 card in it. That card is a 300 overclocked to 380Mhz. That card costs next to nothing now. The machine very reliable. I build all my servers on PPC Linux boxes. If it's a first generation PowerPC (61xx, 71xx, or 81xx), which means it has a Nubus slot instead of PCI, it has to run MkLinux []. Mk has been turned over to the public to maintain. David Gatewood is one of those maintainers (last I checked) as does a helluva good job. It will be a little unfamilar to you because of it micro kernel layout but it still works well. You would be best off picking up a PCI based machine. You probably already have one, but you could always nab one from eBay. Look for a 75xx, 76xx, 82xx, 73xx, 85xx, 95xx, 86xx, or 96xx in that order. Get yourself a copy of Guru [] from Newer Technologies (yes they are out of business but this tool is the best in the world for this and is still available). That will help you find which is best for you. Just like with any Linux, secure the hell out of it. I highly recommend LinuxPPC [] but I'm a bit biased. Yellowdog Linux [] should also be good. I would not use Debian PPC, Suse, or NetBSD unless you really really really want to. My opinion again. That machine won't really need to be fast, but I recommend sticking a G3 card in it up front. I also highly recommend using the XLR8 MachCarrier ZIF card. It puts a ZIF socket on a daughter card (what all those PCI Macs stick their processors on is a daughter card) so you can upgrade it easily and with what is available on the market in mass. Buy from OWC too. Here's a specials page []. Well, that's a lot of info and ideas for you. I do this every day so if you would like more insight or tips, fix my email address and drop me a line. Good luck!


  • The slowest dns server that I run does about 60 zones and I have never seen bind even show up as active on top. Some domains web sites get about 100,000 hits a month (on the same box). This is on an 11 year old sparc 1 with 24mb of ram.

    If bind does run out of real memory it dies.
  • At work [] we run our tertiary DNS on an old Mac.( Our secondary and primary are hosted on some old MIPS boxen running OpenBSD. We used to have it on a 6100/66 with MkLinux, but since that distribution seemed to be going nowhere we moves up to a machine with a 120 MHz 604 in it. Performance is satisfactory, but then again that particular machine doesn't get hit particularly hard. For a Linux distro, I like Yellow Dog [] as it's designed ot be a server variant, not workstation. My suggestion would be to try it and see how it performs. Do a basic install of the OS and see how it performs for you, then clean it up if and/or when you decide it's good enough.
  • I have to second the choice of djbdns. It's extremely portable software. Download, untar, make setup check, tinydns-conf, start svscan and you're up and running.
  • On the other hand, [] is two Compaq AlphaServers, each with four 500mhz processors and 8gb RAM.


  • If all you have available are Macs, use 'em. Put 'em to good use. And rescue them from MacOS :)

    As to the best distribution for PPC Macs... it depends on the Mac ie a NuBus Mac is gonna run a different distro from a PCI Mac. And even on PCI Macs, your success rate will depend greatly on how old of a PCI Mac it is.

    You would do good to ask around, or even take some time and play with what's available before you commit to a particular distribution.
  • not really, even a huge BIND name server would rarely fully use 64MB of RAM.. Paul Vixie did for many years and may still run on a 486 with 64MB
  • There's a long article on K5 about DNS Cache [], and as that says anything I could better I'll leave it at that.

    OR WILL I?

    DNS Cache is much cleaner than BIND and it's easier to get good results. Although a well-tuned BIND is still faster.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @05:13PM (#494619) Journal
    Maybe you don't need BIND.
  • by bconway ( 63464 ) on Friday January 19, 2001 @03:46PM (#494620) Homepage
    CPU and network speed. The architecture of the machine involved really isn't going to decide anything, especially if the CPU speed difference between the two machines is large. Stick with what you're comfortable running Linux on, and just find a decent-mhz machine.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer