A Brief History of the DNS and BIND

Although the “official” beginning of the Domain Name System occurred in 1984 with the publication of RFC 920, the core of the new system was described in 1983 in RFC 882 and RFC 883. From 1984 to 1987, the ARPAnet (the precursor to today’s Internet) became a testbed of experimentation for developing the new naming/addressing scheme in a rapidly expanding, operational network environment. New RFCs were written and published in 1987 that modified the original documents to incorporate improvements based on the working model. RFC 1034, “Domain Names-Concepts and Facilities”, and RFC 1035, “Domain Names-Implementation and Specification” were published and became the standards upon which all DNS implementations are built.

The first working domain name server, called “Jeeves”, was written in 1983-84 by Paul Mockapetris for operation on DEC Tops-20 machines located at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI) and SRI International’s Network Information Center (SRI-NIC). A DNS server for Unix machines, the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) package, was written soon after by a group of graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley under a grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA).

Versions of BIND through 4.8.3 were maintained by the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at UC Berkeley. Douglas Terry, Mark Painter, David Riggle and Songnian Zhou made up the initial BIND project team. After that, additional work on the software package was done by Ralph Campbell. Kevin Dunlap, a Digital Equipment Corporation employee on loan to the CSRG, worked on BIND for 2 years, from 1985 to 1987. Many other people also contributed to BIND development during that time: Doug Kingston, Craig Partridge, Smoot Carl-Mitchell, Mike Muuss, Jim Bloom and Mike Schwartz. BIND maintenance was subsequently handled by Mike Karels and Øivind Kure.

BIND versions 4.9 and 4.9.1 were released by Digital Equipment Corporation (now Compaq Computer Corporation). Paul Vixie, then a DEC employee, became BIND’s primary caretaker. He was assisted by Phil Almquist, Robert Elz, Alan Barrett, Paul Albitz, Bryan Beecher, Andrew Partan, Andy Cherenson, Tom Limoncelli, Berthold Paffrath, Fuat Baran, Anant Kumar, Art Harkin, Win Treese, Don Lewis, Christophe Wolfhugel, and others.

In 1994, BIND version 4.9.2 was sponsored by Vixie Enterprises. Paul Vixie became BIND’s principal architect/programmer.

BIND versions from 4.9.3 onward have been developed and maintained by the Internet Systems Consortium and its predecessor, the Internet Software Consortium, with support being provided by ISC’s sponsors.

As co-architects/programmers, Bob Halley and Paul Vixie released the first production-ready version of BIND version 8 in May 1997.

BIND version 9 was released in September 2000 and is a major rewrite of nearly all aspects of the underlying BIND architecture.

BIND versions 4 and 8 are officially deprecated. No additional development is done on BIND version 4 or BIND version 8.

BIND development work is made possible today by the sponsorship of several corporations, and by the tireless work efforts of numerous individuals.