I see no option to export a backup of the settings for a domain.

Maybe I should save the results of public DNS with dig but I would question whether a friend knows a better way.

7 Answers 7


Yes, it can be more friendly way. I suggest using cli53 tool, https://github.com/barnybug/cli53

After you setup it, just try

cli53 export --full sciworth.com

And you get the export zone in bind format.


No need of additional software installations. You need only awscli.

Here is what I just wrote. It is simple and works like charm.

#!/bin/bash -e
#  Author: Peycho Dimitrov
#  Create full backup of all hosted Route53 zones / domains in your account.
#  Available s3 bucket (where your json files will be saved)
#  awscli (with cofigured credentials or IAM role)
#  gzip
#  awk


region="us-east-1" # Your aws region
b_route53_tmp="/tmp/r53_backup" # Your temp directory
b_route53_bucket="s3://my-backups/route53" # Your backup folder in s3.


# Do not edit here if you don't know what your're doing! #

mkdir -p $b_route53_tmp
echo "$(date) Backup all Route53 zones and resource records."
p_aws="$(which aws) --region $region"
r53_zones=$($p_aws route53 list-hosted-zones --query '[HostedZones[*].[Id, Name]]' --output text | awk -F'/' '{print $3}')
if [ ! -z "$r53_zones" ]; then
        while read route; do
                zone=$(echo "$route" | awk '{print $1}')
                domain=$(echo "$route" | awk '{print $2}')
                echo "Processing $zone / $domain"
                $p_aws route53 list-resource-record-sets --hosted-zone-id "$zone" --output json > "$b_route53_tmp"/$(date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S)-"$zone"-"$domain"backup.json
        done <<<"$r53_zones"

        echo "Archive json files."
        gzip "$b_route53_tmp"/*backup.json
        echo "Backup $zone / $domain data to $b_route53_bucket/$(date +%Y)/$(date +%m)/$(date +%d)/"
        $p_aws s3 cp "$b_route53_tmp"/ $b_route53_bucket/$(date +%Y)/$(date +%m)/$(date +%d)/ --exclude "*" --include "*.gz" --recursive

echo "$(date) Done!"

If you want to export to bind format, you can use this script:


hostedzoneid=$(aws route53 list-hosted-zones | jq -r ".HostedZones[] | select(.Name == \"$zonename.\") | .Id" | cut -d'/' -f3)
aws route53 list-resource-record-sets --hosted-zone-id $hostedzoneid --output json | jq -jr '.ResourceRecordSets[] | "\(.Name) \t\(.TTL) \t\(.Type) \t\(.ResourceRecords[].Value)\n"'
  • I get: jq: Unknown option -jr Oct 6, 2020 at 20:23

To export a hosted zone in AWS Route 53, follow these steps (let say you are using example.com hosted zone):

Step 1: Installation – pip install route53-transfer

Step 2: Backup the zone to a CSV file:

route53-transfer dump example.com backup.csv

Use STDOUT instead of a file

route53-transfer dump example.com –

Step 3: Restore a zone:

route53-transfer load example.com backup.csv

Use - to load from STDIN instead

Migrate between accounts:

Use command line switches for overriding the access and secret keys:

route53-transfer --access-key-id=ACCOUNT1 --secret-key=SECRET dump example.com
route53-transfer --access-key-id=ACCOUNT2 --secret-key=SECRET load example.com

If you are working with private zones, use –private to distinguish private domains:

route53-transfer --private dump example.com example-private.csv
route53-transfer dump example.com example-public.csv

I wrote quick simple backup script

#!/usr/bin/env bash

#set your vars
date=$(date +%j%m%Y)
backup_command="cli53 export"

#check if cli53 exist
if ! [ -f $backup_command_path ]; then
    echo -e " file do not exist\n please install it from https://github.com/barnybug/cli53/releases/latest"
    exit 1

#get list of domains to backup
domains=$(cli53 l | awk '{print $2}'| sed 's/.$//' | sed 's/Nam//')

cd $backup_to

for i in ${domains[@]}; do
    cli53 export $i > $i

#list backup directory
echo -e " the following zones where backup:\n"
ls -l

Based on @sztibu's answer above, except it shows usage and supports zone_id or zone_name. This is my fave because it's standard old school bind format, so other tools can do stuff with it.

# r53_export

usage() {
  local cmd=$(basename "$0")
  echo -e >&2 "\nUsage: $cmd {--id ZONE_ID|--domain ZONE_NAME}\n"
  exit 1

while [[ $1 ]]; do
  if   [[ $1 == --id ]];     then shift; zone_id="$1"
  elif [[ $1 == --domain ]]; then shift; zone_name="$1"
  else usage

if [[ $zone_name ]]; then
    aws route53 list-hosted-zones --output json \
      | jq -r ".HostedZones[] | select(.Name == \"$zone_name.\") | .Id" \
      | head -n1 \
      | cut -d/ -f3
  echo >&2 "+ Found zone id: '$zone_id'"
[[ $zone_id ]] || usage

aws route53 list-resource-record-sets --hosted-zone-id $zone_id --output json \
  | jq -jr '.ResourceRecordSets[] | "\(.Name) \t\(.TTL) \t\(.Type) \t\(.ResourceRecords[]?.Value)\n"'

You can sign up for Cloudflare.com and add a free website.

Cloudflare will scan your DNS as part of its onboarding.

After import (or maybe during), in "Advanced" below the DNS records, there is an Export DNS file button.

  • True, it will scan, but it just makes guesses about what you might have, and it uses IPs instead of most CNAMES. Oct 6, 2020 at 20:19

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