Setup client to remote control another Unbound server

W.C.A. Wijngaards wouter at
Mon May 23 07:11:13 UTC 2016

Hi Fongaboo,

On 21/05/16 00:30, Fongaboo via Unbound-users wrote:
> I have (the stock*) Unbound running on FreeBSD 10. I have
> unbound-control setup on the Unbound server itself and am successfully
> controlling via localhost.
> But I have another machine connected to the server via a backend
> connection on the 10.x.x.x private network. I want to run
> unbound-control on that machine and control the remote (albeit one
> backend hop away) server.
> I've been looking at docs and tutorials, and it's not clear what has to
> be configured where for this scenario.
> I've run unbound-control on the remote client and it complains that I
> have no unbound.conf file. But is that file ONLY for the configuration
> of a server? Would I need to have an unbound.conf file on the client
> machine?
> A couple things are not clear to me... Do I run unbound-control-setup on
> the client machine? I assume I'd have to copy keys to the server? But if
> so, how do I store them and refer to them without breaking my localhost
> control for unbound-control on the server itself?
> I tried adding 'control-interface: <server backend IP>' to the
> remote-control section of unbound.conf on the server. I interpreted this
> to be that it should listen for control connections on that interface.
> But I got:
> [1463783089] unbound-control[83533:0] error: connect: Connection refused
> for <server IP>
> I suppose I might have some firewall concerns. But before I go off on
> that tangent, I'd just like to get straight:
> 1) Do I run unbound-control on the client machine?

Yes with -c some_other_config_file that has the appropriate settings.

> 2) What should I have in unbound.conf on the client machine (if at all)?

That some_other_config_file has a remote-control section.  The
control-interface there specifies the ip-address of the server machine
that it controls.  Then you need the cert and pem files, (but not the
private server key file).  Copy those files from the server machine to
some location on the client.  Set the pathnames correct for those 3
files (server cert, client pem, client cert).

> 3) What should I have in unbound.conf on the server?
> 4) What key exchanging and referencing (in config files) do I need to
> keep control with unbound-control going on both the remote client and
> localhost?

If you copy the files you can have any number of controlling clients.

(It is possible to sign a separate certificate for every controlling
client, i.e. this is PKIX cert stuff; but you can also just copy the
client cert that the localhost on the server was using).  If you want to
create more client certs; move away the client certs and re-run
unbound-control-setup; that will preserve the server cert and
re-generate a new client cert for you; creating a new one.

Best regards, Wouter

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