An Overview of BIND 9 Documentation
  • 04 May 2022
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An Overview of BIND 9 Documentation

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  • PDF

For the benefit of our users, ISC maintains several documentation resources for BIND 9 and updates them as appropriate for each new release.

The BIND 9 Administrator Reference Manual

For documentation covering configuration syntax, detailed feature descriptions, command usage, and basic troubleshooting and security considerations, the best place to start is the BIND 9 Administrator Reference Manual, also known as "the ARM."  Every source archive of BIND 9 distributed by ISC contains copies of the Administrator Reference Manual in HTML and PDF formats. They can be obtained by downloading the source, or they can be read with a browser directly from the ISC downloads server.

Recent versions of BIND also have online documentation at

Be sure to choose a version that applies to your major branch of BIND, as feature sets, command syntax, and default options for settings can sometimes differ between major branches (e.g. 9.10-ESV, 9.11, and 9.12.)

These links provide access to the most recent stable release version of each major public branch of BIND currently undergoing development.

To find a copy of the ARM for an older version of BIND, visit the source archives, under the "doc/arm" subdirectory of each specific version.

For convenience, links to the ARM for each major recent release of BIND 9 are available in the list to the left.

BIND 9 Release Notes

In addition to the comprehensive documentation in the BIND Administrator Reference Manual, ISC also publishes release notes for each official release of BIND 9. These notes highlight security fixes, bug fixes, new features, and feature changes and are intended to highlight the differences between each release version of BIND 9 and the version that preceded it.

Release notes can be found with the BIND 9 source distributions on the ISC downloads server.


Source distributions of BIND also include a "CHANGES" file and a "HISTORY" file.

CHANGES is a record of source code changes included in that specific version. Unlike the Release Notes, which cover only the changes since the last stable release version, the change list in CHANGES goes back to the base version from which a specific BIND version was forked.

HISTORY contains a text overview describing the major feature differences between different major branches of the BIND 9 source.

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