Alternative DNS root

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Dominion Lede

I maintain a private TLD domain system based on open source software that is freely available and which establishes an alternate domain name space. A "dominion" is really Just this plus all the software running under this ordinary Bind 9 namespace although there is quite a bit of it. In my system, each operating entity gets a complete name space into which the public internet maps as usual. The five ICANN domains constituting my dominion are unified in the dominion wik-cso.dom which is just the top level name I have reserved for myself in interfacing with the autonomous routing systems of others with whom I establish peer networking. The dominion system assumes a number of elements generally optional until now are uniformly enabled. In particular IPV6, Mutlicasting, and the maintenance of ones own TLD are assumed and each domain is assumed to be an agency for a set of identified persons. It is this latter TLD collaboration which constitutes the dominion system.

Peers in the dominion agree on what portions, if any, of the system, they will route and can also use this filter the public internet.

I assume that those using my software and peering with my DNS servers will delegate the TLD ".dom" to my servers and provide a similar TLD of their choosing or use their exiting ICANN domains routed by me to thru their dominions.

English Lede

Go There

The general public internat uses a DNS to associate the names of computers with their numeric addresses. Names are resolved in a recursive process from the front of a name like to the last or top-level domain name (TLDs, in the example ".org"). These TLDs are controlled by so-called 'root servers' authorized in various regions of the earth by different organizations and in the United States by the ICANN. As an alternative to this global system of inter-operating sanctioned authorities various organizations operate alternative DNS roots (often referred to as alt roots) and administer their own specific name spaces including the TLDs.

The IAB has spoken out strongly against alternate roots in RFC 2826, "IAB Technical Comment on the Unique DNS Root".


The 'DNS root zone', generally, consists of pointers to authoritative DNS servers for Generic Top Level Domain (like .com and .net) and Country Code Top Level Domain zones (like .us, .uk, and .tv).

A collection of "traditional" root servers independently operated by many organizations around the internet use a specific list of these domains which is managed by ICANN.

Alternative roots typically include pointers to all of the TLD servers delegated by ICANN, as well as TLD servers for other top-level domains (like .new, .nic, and .web) which are not delegated by ICANN, but run by other independent organizations. Some, but not all, alt-roots are operated by the organizations which in turn manage these alternative TLDs.

Alternative DNS roots can in general be divided into three groups: those run for idealistic or ideological reasons, those run as profit-making enterprises, and those run internally by an organization for its own use.

Whilst technically trivial to set up, actually running a reliable root server network in the long run is a serious undertaking, requiring multiple servers to be kept running 24/7 in geographically diverse locations. During the dot-com boom, some alt-root providers believed that there were substantial profits to be made from providing alternative top-level domains.

Only a small proportion of ISPs actually use any of the zones served by alt-root operators, generally sticking to the ICANN-specified root servers. This in turn led to the commercial failure of several alternative DNS root providers.

A .biz TLD created by Pacific Root was in operation before ICANN approved a .biz run by Neulevel, and for some time after the creation of the ICANN-sanctioned .biz several alt roots continued to resolve .biz to Pacific Root's rather than Neulevel's. There were therefore .biz domain names that existed in different roots and pointed to different IP addresses. The possibility of such conflicts, and their potential for destabilizing the Internet, is the main source of controversy surrounding alt roots. Many of the alternate roots try to coordinate with each other, but many do not - and they have no conflict resolution procedure between them.

List of alternative roots and the non-ICANN zones they include

This section lists the known alternate DNS roots, and for each root, lists the non-ICANN GTLDs which that root carries in addition to the ICANN-sanctioned GTLDs and ccTLDs.

Active public root zones


  • Public website: [2]
  • Public-Root resolves all 5 kinds of TLDs globally. It is created to offer an alternative, open DNS infrastructure with its own 13 root servers around the world.


Public Access Website: [3]

  • .bbs — aimed toward ( Telnet style ) Bulletin Board System servers, and affiliated/related/owned websites.
  • .dyn — Approved by the OpenNIC Community, and will be introduced in mid-2008. Used to resolve Dynamic DNS.
  • .free — non-commercial use of the internet
  • .furFurry and Furry Fandom related sites
  • .geek — anything geeky
  • .glue — Sites related to infrastructure
  • .indy — Independent News and Media
  • .ing — fun TLD. Further details to be confirmed
  • .null — miscellaneous non-commercial individual sites
  • .oss — Open Source Software
  • .parody — Parodies
  • .eco — Intended for the use in socially responsible investing (SRI) and ecological cooperatives, wholly owned subsidiaries, and other organisations that exist to promote or support the said co-operative.

See OpenNIC Wikipedia entry for further detail and historical information.

Open Root Server Network (ORSN)

(Shutdown 31.12.2008 00:00 UTC) Website: [4]


Website: [5]

  • .agent
  • .arts
  • .auction
  • .chat
  • .shop
  • .free
  • .golf
  • .llc
  • .llp
  • .love
  • .ltd
  • .school
  • .scifi
  • .soc
  • .video
  • .travel — conflicts with ICANN-sanctioned TLD
  • .tech
  • .kids
  • .church
  • .game
  • .mp3
  • .med
  • .mail -
  • .xxx
  • .club
  • .inc
  • .law
  • .family
  • .sport



  • UnifiedRoot enables viewing of all existing TLDs and allows new TLDs to be registered at a cost of €50,000 each (plus annual maintenance fees of €12,500).

On the user side, it works by modifying the user's DNS settings to point at UnifiedRoot's servers; it also offers a downloadable tool to do this on Windows. UnifiedRoot have also made agreements with ISPs and telcos to enable access to the provided TLDs.Template:Failed verification Unified root supports International Domain Names (IDN) for top level domains (TLDs).


Website: [6]

  • Resolves too many zones to be listed here.


Website: [7]

  • MobileTLD claims to resolve domains for mobile devices.

Open RSC

One of the notable challengers to ICANN's control of the DNS namespace was Open RSC, a group which grew out of private discussions and morphed into a public mailing list which grew large enough the group decided to submit an application to the US government to run the DNS.[2]

Bylaws and articles of incorporation were posted oulining ORSC's position following extensive public discussion regarding the manner in which DNS was being run.[3][4]

ICANN chairwoman Esther Dyson acknowledged adopting features such as membership from ORSC in her response to the US department of Commerce.[5]

ORSC publishes a root zone containing additional top level domains not found in the US government-controlled legacy root zone.

Website: [8]

  • .per — personal pages
  • .etc — anything
  • .web — for the web
  • .shop — online shops
  • .pickle — just a general funny name
  • .sco — for Scottish culture
  • .mail - a tld for email - to reduce spam and clearly identify email servers.

Inactive public root zones

AlterNIC (stopped in 1997)

  • .exp
  • .llc
  • .lnx
  • .ltd
  • .med
  • .nic
  • .noc
  • .porn
  • .xxx

eDNS (stopped in 1998)

  • .biz — General business use
  • .corp — For use by corporations
  • .fam — For and about Family
  • .k12 — For and about Kids
  • .npo — Non-profit organizations
  • .per — Personal Domain Name services
  • .web — Web-based sites (ie: web pages)

Iperdome (stopped in 1999)

  • .per — Personal Domain Name services
  • see the announcement
  • later the TLDs changed to:
    • .biz — General business use
    • .corp — For use by corporations
    • .gay — For and about the Gay Community
    • .k12 — For and about Kids
    • .npo — Non-profit organizations
    • .pol — Related to Poland and Polish organizations
    • .web — Web-based sites (ie: web pages)

Active private root zones

A number of organizations have alternative top-level domains configured on their internal DNS infrastructures, accessible only from within the enterprise. For instance, the National Security Agency operates the .nsa TLD; many NSA internal email addresses are of the form username@r21.r.nsa, mirroring the NSA organizational group structure. Template:Fact



See also

External links