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Re: BIND 9.X package status

On Sat, Jan 06, 2001 at 10:48:47AM +1100, Brian May wrote:
> I have to wonder if it is really worth having a different name for the
> newer package version. Are the versions really that different?
> Personally, I would prefer to have apt-get automatically upgrade the
> package, and that will be disabled once you include the version number
> in the package number.

Knowing that Bdale's a busy guy, I thought I might summarize some of the
information out there at ISC and via my own experiences with BIND
recently for those who don't want to keep up with the bind-isc mailing
list (you think debian-devel or debian-user are bad?  read 40-100 "Why
doesn't my domain name work?" generic messages a day!  ;)

At this point in their development cycles I wouldn't call BIND 9 an
upgrade for BIND 8.  In fact if you read the history file at isc.org,
BIND 9 is a complete re-write.  Hardly an 8 to 9 upgrade.

I think Bdale's plan is a good one, but there may be some breakage if
ISC doesn't release a BIND 9 that fully supports the BIND 8 style zone
files.  Up until the latest Beta release of BIND 9, it didn't even
understand $GENERATE statements!

Those who can live without the features they left behind in BIND 8
and didn't implement, and especially those who want the new features
in BIND 9 are encouraged to switch.

BIND 8 and BIND 9 are still not quite the same nameserver yet, however.

BIND 9.1.0 fixes the most grevious problem with migration for many
people which was that BIND 9.0.1 did not understand $GENERATE
statements in zone files at all.

In BIND 9.1.0's doc/misc/migration file:

"BIND 9 is designed to be mostly upwards compatible with BIND 8, but
there is still a number of caveats you should be aware of when
upgrading an existing BIND 8 installation to use BIND 9."

You can see the docs in the source for the specifics, but it's not ready
to use as a drop-in replacement yet.  It does have a huge number of NEW
features, but some old features are lagging behind. 

Plopping BIND 9 binaries in over BIND 8 zone files was almost guaranteed
to break something in all but the most "plain vanilla" configurations
until the (still Beta) release of BIND 9.1.0.

Currently there are four major BIND's in the wild that folks might be
using if they're keeping up-to-date:

BIND 8.2.2-P7 (what's in Debian) -- OFFICIAL RELEASE ON BIND 8 PLATFORM

BIND 8.2.3-T9B - has a few new features on old codebase and mostly NT
build bugfixes, but some general bugfixes too.


BIND 9.1.0b2 - second Beta of BIND 9 platform (first to have $GENERATE)

There are a LOT of changes, and I'm still playing around with BIND 9 on
a non-production server to see what all is different, but it's
definitely not going to be a smooth upgrade path right now unless 
BIND 9.2 finishes up most/all of the leftover stuff that's not

ISC has not been very public about their plans for full backward
compatibility (although they appear to be striving towards it)
nor have I seen a release plan for when they will have that done -- and
stop support for BIND 8.  But right now they're running both versions
(and releases) in parallel.

I should clarify that by "public" I mean their web pages.  There have
been some comments made by developers in the bind-isc mailing list, but
their web pages are falling behind again.  (They don't have history
notes past BIND 8.2.2-P5 in the "Highlights of BIND 8.x" section yet.

In addition many commercial products and other free software (some
packaged for Debian, some not yet) expect all the BIND 8 zone file
features to be working.  Especially software that generates zone files
automatically from databases.  (Many of which actually leverage the
special statements available from the BIND 8 zone parsing engine and
cheat heavily.)

Anyone who's playing with BIND 9 and wants to trade notes as you go
along, I'll be happy to share anything I find useful/annoying/crazy/fun,
just e-mail me privately off-list.

Nate Duehr <nate@natetech.com>

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