First of all, check the logs. Enabling at least the warning message severity may help you to identify some problems. See the log section for details.

Reporting bugs

If you are unable to solve the problem by yourself, you can submit a bugreport to the Knot DNS developers. For security or sensitive issues contact the developers directly on All other bugs and questions may be directed to the public Knot DNS users mailing list ( or may be entered into the issue tracking system.

Before anything else, please try to answer the following questions:

  • Has it been working?

  • What has changed? System configuration, software updates, network configuration, firewall rules modification, hardware replacement, etc.

The bugreport should contain the answers for the previous questions and in addition at least the following information:

  • Knot DNS version and type of installation (distribution package, from source, etc.)

  • Operating system, platform, kernel version

  • Relevant basic hardware information (processor, amount of memory, available network devices, etc.)

  • Description of the bug

  • Log output with the highest verbosity (category any, severity debug)

  • Steps to reproduce the bug (if known)

  • Backtrace (if the bug caused a crash or a hang; see the next section)

If possible, please provide a minimal configuration file and zone files which can be used to reproduce the bug.

Generating backtrace

Backtrace carries basic information about the state of the program and how the program got where it is. It helps determining the location of the bug in the source code.

If you run Knot DNS from distribution packages, make sure the debugging symbols for the package are installed. The symbols are usually distributed in a separate package.

There are several ways to get the backtrace. One possible way is to extract the backtrace from a core dump file. Core dump is a memory snapshot generated by the operating system when a process crashes. The generating of core dumps must be usually enabled:

$ ulimit -c unlimited                  # Enable unlimited core dump size
$ knotd ...                            # Reproduce the crash
$ gdb knotd <core-dump-file>           # Start gdb on the core dump
(gdb) info threads                     # Get a summary of all threads
(gdb) thread apply all bt full         # Extract backtrace from all threads
(gdb) quit

To save the backtrace into a file, the following GDB commands can be used:

(gdb) set pagination off
(gdb) set logging file backtrace.txt
(gdb) set logging on
(gdb) info threads
(gdb) thread apply all bt full
(gdb) set logging off

To generate a core dump of a running process, the gcore utility can be used:

$ gcore -o <output-file> $(pidof knotd)

Please note that core dumps can be intercepted by an error-collecting system service (systemd-coredump, ABRT, Apport, etc.). If you are using such a service, consult its documentation about core dump retrieval.

If the error is reproducible, it is also possible to start and inspect the server directly in the debugger:

$ gdb --args knotd -c /etc/knot.conf
(gdb) run

Alternatively, the debugger can be attached to a running server process. This is generally useful when troubleshooting a stuck process:

$ knotd ...
$ gdb --pid $(pidof knotd)
(gdb) continue

If you fail to get a backtrace of a running process using the previous method, you may try the single-purpose pstack utility:

$ pstack $(pidof knotd) > backtrace.txt

Crash caused by a Bus error

Zone files and a configuration file are usually accessed as mmaped files. If such files are changed or truncated at the same time when those files are being loaded/reloaded by the program, it may result in Bus error (SIGBUS) and a program crash. If you encounter a Bus error, first check that there isn't a concurrent write access from an external program to the respective files.