[dns-operations] a note on fetching the root zone using "dig"

Ray Bellis ray at isc.org
Thu Nov 1 11:20:37 UTC 2018

On 31/10/2018 22:38, Paul Vixie wrote:
> today i started getting this:
>> [yeti-dns.tisf:amd64] dig @f.root-servers.net . axfr > ~/foo
>> dig: Cannot represent 'ns1.xn--cg4bki.centralnic-dns.com.' in the
>> current locale (string encoding error), use +noidnout or a different
>> locale
> so i had to change the script to do this:
>> [yeti-dns.tisf:amd64] dig @f.root-servers.net +noidnout . axfr > ~/foo
>> [yeti-dns.tisf:amd64]
> just words to the wise.

What specific value does $LANG have on your system?

With LANG=en_GB.UTF-8 in a macOS terminal I get full Unicode IDN output.

If instead I set LANG=C I get the error you reported above.

That said, if you have built a recent version "dig" with libidn2 support
and you want to feed the resulting output back into a DNS server as a
master zone file, you will indeed need the "+noidnout" option so that
you get xn-- prefixed Punycode labels instead.

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