Calculating DS record from DNSKEY with Python 3

While working on DNSSEC for PCextreme’s Aurora DNS I had to convert a DNSKEY to a DS-record which could be set in the parent zone for proper delegation.

The foundation for Aurora DNS is PowerDNS together with Python 3.

The API for Aurora DNS has to return the DS-records so that a end-user can use these in the parent zone. I had the DNSKEY, but I didn’t have the DS-record so I had to calculate it using Python 3.

I eventually ended up with this Python code which you can find on my Github Gists page.

Generate a DNSSEC DS record based on the incoming DNSKEY record

The DNSKEY can be found using for example 'dig':

$ dig DNSKEY

The output can then be parsed with the following code to generate a DS record
for in the parent DNS zone

Author: Wido den Hollander 

Many thanks to this blogpost:

import struct
import base64
import hashlib

DNSKEY = '257 3 8 AwEAAckZ+lfb0j6aHBW5AanV5A0V0IfF99vAKFZd6+fJfEChpZtjnItWDnJLPa3/LAFec/tUhLZ4jgmzaoEuX3EQQgI1V4kp9SYf8HMlFPP014eO+AnjkYFGLE2uqHPx/Tu7/pO3EyKwTXi5fMadROKuo/mfat5AEIhGjteGGO93DhnOa6kcqj5RHYJBh5OZ/GoZfbeYHK6Muur1T16hHiI12rYGoqJ6ZW5+njYprG6qwp6TZXxJyE7wF1JdD+Zhbjhf0Md4zMEysP22wBLghBaX6eDIBh/7jU7dw1Ob+I42YWk+X4NSiU3sRYPaq1R13JEK4zVqQtL++UVtgRPEbfj5RQ8='

def _calc_keyid(flags, protocol, algorithm, dnskey):
    st = struct.pack('!HBB', int(flags), int(protocol), int(algorithm))
    st += base64.b64decode(dnskey)

    cnt = 0
    for idx in range(len(st)):
        s = struct.unpack('B', st[idx:idx+1])[0]
        if (idx % 2) == 0:
            cnt += s << 8
            cnt += s

    return ((cnt & 0xFFFF) + (cnt >> 16)) & 0xFFFF

def _calc_ds(domain, flags, protocol, algorithm, dnskey):
    if domain.endswith('.') is False:
        domain += '.'

    signature = bytes()
    for i in domain.split('.'):
        signature += struct.pack('B', len(i)) + i.encode()

    signature += struct.pack('!HBB', int(flags), int(protocol), int(algorithm))
    signature += base64.b64decode(dnskey)

    return {
        'sha1':    hashlib.sha1(signature).hexdigest().upper(),
        'sha256':  hashlib.sha256(signature).hexdigest().upper(),

def dnskey_to_ds(domain, dnskey):
    dnskeylist = dnskey.split(' ', 3)

    flags = dnskeylist[0]
    protocol = dnskeylist[1]
    algorithm = dnskeylist[2]
    key = dnskeylist[3].replace(' ', '')

    keyid = _calc_keyid(flags, protocol, algorithm, key)
    ds = _calc_ds(domain, flags, protocol, algorithm, key)

    ret = list()
    ret.append(str(keyid) + ' ' + str(algorithm) + ' ' + str(1) + ' '
               + ds['sha1'].lower())
    ret.append(str(keyid) + ' ' + str(algorithm) + ' ' + str(2) + ' '
               + ds['sha256'].lower())
    return ret

print(dnskey_to_ds(DOMAIN, DNSKEY))

Hitch TLS Proxy performance with 15k certificates

While testing with the Hitch TLS proxy in front of Varnish I stumbled upon a slow startup with a large amount of certificates.

In this case we (at PCextreme) want to run Hitch with around 50.000 certificates configured.

The webpage of Hitch says:

Safe for large installations: performant up to 15 000 listening sockets and 500 000 certificates.

10 minutes

I started testing on my local desktop with 15.000 certificates. My desktop is a Intel NUC with Ubuntu 14.04.

wido@wido-desktop:~/repos/hitch/src$ time sudo ./hitch -n 4 -u nobody -g nogroup --config=/opt/hitch/hitch.conf

real    9m40.088s
user    9m38.482s
sys 0m0.829s

A 10 minute startup time for Hitch is rather long. We started searching for the root-cause.


After some searching we discovered the OpenSSL version in Ubuntu 14.04 was the problem. Testing with Ubuntu 15.10 showed us different results.

root@VM-9d8e8cfd-e30f-4c40-8c4e-2e098b0f11a5:~# time hitch --daemon --pidfile=/run/ --user hitch --group hitch --config=/etc/hitch/hitch.conf

real    0m18.673s
user    0m6.780s
sys    0m2.000s

18 seconds is a lot better than 10 minutes!

Ubuntu 14.04 comes with OpenSSL 1.0.1f and Ubuntu 15.10 with 1.0.2d and that is where the difference seems to be.

100.000 certificates

After this we started testing with 100k certificates. It took 48 seconds to start with that amount of certificates configured.

For production we will use Ubuntu 16.04 which has similar results as Ubuntu 15.10.

So if you find Hitch slow when starting, check your OpenSSL version.

IPv6 Router Advertisements under FreeBSD with rtadvd

Aurora Compute

At PCextreme B.V. we started using FreeBSD machines as routers for our Aurora Compute cloud platform.

Using the Intel Xeon E5-v3 processor and the SR-IOV technique of Intel’s 10Gbit Network Cards we can achieve high throughput and low latency through these routers. They actually perform better than most other routers!

By deploying multiple, smaller routers we create smaller failure domains in our network.

IPv6 Router Advertisements

On our Aurora Compute platform we support IPv6 and do this using SLAAC.

This is done by Routers sending out Router Advertisements (RAs) which is done by a daemon running on the router. Under Linux this is done by radvd and under FreeBSD by rtadvd.


The configuration syntax of rtadvd is odd in my opinion. I thought it was worth it to write a small blogpost and share the configuration we are using on of the routers.

The configuration below sends out RAs on multiple VLAN interfaces and also sends out the DNS servers in these advertisements. The templates we use on Aurora Compute pick up these nameservers from the RAs and add them to /etc/resolv.conf.





You also have to enable rtadvd in your /etc/rc.conf:


rtadvd_interfaces="vlan704 vlan705 vlan706"

The Ceph Trafficlight

At PCextreme we have a 700TB Ceph cluster which is used behind our public cloud Aurora Compute which runs Apache CloudStack.

Ceph health

One of the things we monitor of the Ceph cluster is it’s health. This can be OK, WARN or ERR. It speaks for itself that you always want to see OK, but things do go wrong. Disks fail, machines die, kernel panics happen. Stuff goes wrong.

I thought it was a cool idea to buy a used real traffic light which I could install at the office. OK would be green, WARN would be orange/amber and ERR would be red.

2nd hand Trafficlight

Some searching on the internet brought me to They sell used (Dutch) traffic lights. I bought a Vialis 2230 (The largest on the picture below).

Vialis trafficlight overview

For EUR 75,00 I got my hands on a original trafficlight!

Controlling the lights

When I got the trafficlight it was already equipped with LED lights which work on 230V. A 30cm cable (cut off) was sticking out with 4 wires in it:

  • Blue: Neutral
  • Green: Phase/Positive for Green
  • Yellow: Phase/Positive for Orange/Amber
  • Red: Phase/Positive for Red

It was easy. All I had to do was buy a add-on board for a Raspberry Pi so I could control the lights.

Solid State Relay

My search for a add-on board brought me to, they make all kinds of add-on boards for the Raspberry Pi.

One of them is a SSR (Solid State Relay) board which has 4 outputs. Their wiki explained that it was very simple to control the Relays using Python.

Solid State Relay board

A quick test at my desk at home brought be to a working setup.

Addition components

After writing the code which controls the light it was time to buy some housing where I could install it in.

At Conrad I found the things I needed. A housing, some connectors and some cabling. A overview of my order:

Conrad order

This was needed since I would install it at the office and it needed to be safe. You don’t want somebody to get shocked by 230V. That’s kind of dangerous.

Bringing it together

It was time to start drilling and soldering! In my shed it looked like this:

My shed

And a few more pictures of building it. Took me about 3 hours to complete.







At the office

The next day it was time to install it at the office! Some drilling and the result:

Health OK: Green


Health WARN: Amber/Orange


Health ERR: Red

No picture! We can trigger a WARN state in Ceph without service interruptions, but not a ERR state.

The code

The Python code I wrote is all on Github. It’s just some Python code which polls our Ceph dashboard every second. If the status changes it also changes the traffic light.