BIND is a free, open source software implementation of the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols. The name BIND stands for "Berkeley Internet Name Domain", because the software originated in the early 1980s at the University of California at Berkeley. BIND is currently maintained and developed by the Internet Systems Consortium, a non-profit public benefit corporation with a mission to support a free and open internet.
The DNS protocols are part of the core Internet standards. They specify the process by which one computer can find another computer on the basis of its name. What it means to say "BIND is an implementation of the DNS protocols" is that the BIND software distribution contains all of the software needed both to ask name service questions and to answer such questions.
The BIND software distribution contains several parts:
- A Domain Name System server. This is a program called "named", which is pronounced "name-dee" and stands for "name daemon". It answers questions that are sent to it, following the rules specified in the DNS protocol standards. You can provide DNS service on the internet by installing this software on a server computer and giving it correct information about your domain names.
- Utility programs used in the management of a nameserver, including programs to control operation of the server, to cryptographically sign domain resource records for use with DNSSEC, assist in key management and rollover, and perform other functions.
- A Domain Name System "resolver library". A "resolver" is a program that resolves questions about names by sending those questions to appropriate servers and responding appropriately to the servers' replies. A "resolver library" is a collection of software components that a programmer can add to software being developed, which will give that software the ability to resolve names. For example, a programmer who was programming a new web browser does not need to create the part of it that looks up names in DNS; he or she can plug in the resolver library and then send questions to the library software components. This saves time (the programmer does not need to re-invent that particular wheel) and helps ensure that the new browser correctly follows the DNS standards.
- Software tools for testing servers. These are the tools that we use for testing, and we include them in the distribution in case you would like to do your own testing, perhaps to make sure your server configuration is working properly.