[dns-operations] Do Unix stubs round robin nameserver addresses?

David Dowdle ddowdle at leopard.net
Sat Apr 18 01:41:45 UTC 2015

It depends,

Last time I checked (~3y ago) Redhat starts at the top of resolv.conf 
each query, Debian round-robins.

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I have always believed (based on both the man pages, and what I've seen 

in the field) that Unix stub resolvers follow the behavior described in 

the man page. That is, they try the first 'nameserver' address listed, 

and if it doesn't get a response before the timeout value expires it 

then moves on to the next one in line.

I was having a discussion with someone about that issue today who 

insists that they have empirical evidence that this is not the case, 

that they have seen stubs that round robin the addresses. So, I'm 

wondering if y'all have seen the same thing?




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