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What is the recommended alternative to dnsmasq? I am looking at overriding/configuring the TTL.

(Probably the only thing I miss from Windows is the fact that it was more aggressive in caching DNS responses than Linux)

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There is no "recommended alternative" to dnsmasq that I'm aware of. Dnsmasq works perfectly fine for it's purpose. You can set the TTL of local responses from a dnsmasq server with the local-ttl option.

I don't know of any technical basis for the claim that "Windows is [...] more aggressive in caching DNS responses than Linux" -- as far as I know, both operating systems respect the TTL provided to them. Any attempt to do otherwise is severely broken. The only possibility I can think of is that you are attempting to state that most Linux distributions don't pre-install a caching DNS resolver -- which is true, but ultimately irrelevant. If you do not have a suitable caching resolver on your local network, you can install one of your choosing. I use dnscache, from djbdns, which works wonderfully.

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