Hickory DNS

Prossimo Initiative
Hickory DNS logo

The Story

DNS is as critical as Internet infrastructure gets. DNS translates domain names into IP addresses, so just about every client and server depends on making frequent DNS lookups. DNS implementations need to be secure.

While there are many DNS implementations out there, including some memory safe ones, there are no open source, high performance, memory safe, fully recursive DNS resolvers. Until that exists, many DNS operators will continue to deploy DNS software written in languages that are not memory safe, putting critical Internet infrastructure at risk.

ISRG's Let's Encrypt certificate authority would be amongst the first to deploy it. Making many recursive requests per second, Let’s Encrypt can help prove Hickory’s performance at scale. Meanwhile, Hickory will harden a critical part of the Let’s Encrypt infrastructure stack thanks to its use of a memory safe language.

What's Next

Hickory is one of the most promising memory safe DNS resolvers out there. It’s an open-source project started in 2015 by Benjamin Fry as an exploration of a memory safe DNS implementation in the Rust programming language. Hickory is now ready for use in production, though we will be making additional investments in features, security, and performance. Our goal is for Hickory to be one of the most attractive resolvers for many use cases.


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