Maintained by: NLnet Labs

Query forwarding

Havard Eidnes
Mon Jan 18 12:28:47 CET 2016


I'm trying to figure out how unbound can be configured to behave
with respect to query forwarding.  In unbound.conf(5) I find this
particular gem:

    forward-first: <yes or no>
           If enabled, a query is attempted without the forward clause if
           it fails.  The data could not be retrieved and would have caused
           SERVFAIL because the servers are unreachable, instead it is
           tried without this clause.  The default is no.

I don't mean to be too harsh, but ... can someone please
disambiguate this for me?  In the first sentence it's far from clear
what "if it fails" means (unbound fails to find a cached answer?),
and also slightly unclear what "the forward clause" means.  In the
second it's unclear what "the servers" means (forwarding servers or
delegated-to name servers).  Thirdly, it strikes me that the sense
of the first sentence is probably the opposite of what's intended,
at least from an intuitive interpretation of the option name --
"forward first = yes" indicates "use the configured forwarding
server(s) first before trying to do own recursion"(?).

Once I understand what this does, I can hopefully come up with a
suggestion for replacement text which isn't so rife with traps for


- Håvard