Installation from a package

Knot DNS may already be included in your operating system distribution and therefore can be installed from packages (Linux), ports (BSD), or via Homebrew (macOS). This is always preferred unless you want to test the latest features, contribute to Knot development, or you know what you are doing.

See the project download page for the latest information.

Installation from source code

Required build environment

The build process relies on these standard tools:

  • make

  • libtool

  • pkg-config

  • autoconf >= 2.65

  • python-sphinx (optional, for documentation building)

GCC >= 4.1 is mandatory for atomic built-ins, but the latest available version is recommended. Another requirement is _GNU_SOURCE and C99 support, otherwise it adapts to the available compiler features. LLVM clang compiler since version 2.9 can be used as well.

Getting the source code

You can find the source code for the latest release on Alternatively, you can fetch the whole project from the git repository

After obtaining the source code, compilation and installation is quite a straightforward process using autotools.

Configuring and generating Makefiles

If compiling from git source, you need to bootstrap the ./configure file first:

$ autoreconf -i -f

In most cases, you can just run configure without any options:

$ ./configure

For all available configure options run:

$ ./configure --help


After running ./configure you can compile Knot DNS by running make command, which will produce binaries and other related files:

$ make


The compilation with enabled optimizations may take a long time. In such a case the --disable-fastparser configure option can help.


When you have finished building Knot DNS, it’s time to install the binaries and configuration files into the operation system hierarchy. You can do so by executing:

$ make install

When installing as a non-root user, you might have to gain elevated privileges by switching to root user, e.g. sudo make install or su -c 'make install'.