Local Docker Development DNS

A systemd service that will monitor your Docker host and provide DNS names for the containers.

The service broadcasts the domain names using multicast DNS (a.k.a. mDNS, zeroconf, Bonjour, Avahi).

A limitation of this is that domains name can only be on the .local TLD and only have one level below the TLD. A benefit is that you don't have to change your DNS server or configure stuff in /etc/resolv or similar.

If the containers also have exposed ports (and the ports can be looked up in /etc/services) the service will also broadcast the service/domain for service discovery. I.e., _https._tcp. for https://my-example.local (a.k.a. DNS-SD). Only one domain name can be broadcast per service per container.

Per default domain names will be generated from the VIRTUAL_HOST environment variable is present (several hostnames can be separated by space or comma) and from the container name.

If the hostnames do not fulfill the rule of being on the .local TLD and have only one level below the service will rewrite it. I.e. my.example.com will be rewritten to my-example.local.


You can configure where the service should look for hostnames:

You configure it be setting the environment variable LDDDNS_HOSTNAME_LOOKUP in a systemd unit override file.

For example, you could create a file named /etc/systemd/system/ldddns.service.d/override.conf with the content:


This will create a hostname for all hostnames in the VIRTUAL_HOST environment variable, the org.example.my.hostname label, the OTHER_VAR environment variable, and the container name.

The first hostname found will be broadcast as a DNS-SD service.

Containers started with docker-compose run are ignored by default. You can included them by setting the environment variable LDDDNS_IGNORE_DOCKER_COMPOSE_ONEOFF to false.

The default configuration is the equivalent of setting:



For Pop!_OS, Ubuntu, Debian and the like, download the .deb package file from the latest release and open it or run:

sudo dpkg -i ldddns_1.0.230_linux_amd64.deb

Or just run the following command which will download and install the latest package for you:

curl -fsSL https://ldddns.arnested.dk/install.sh | bash

For other distributions download the binary from the latest release and create a systemd service unit file yourself based on ldddns.service.


When you install the package it will add an APT source list so, you will receive future updates to ldddns along with your other system updates.

Keeping an eye on things

You can get the status of the service by running:

sudo systemctl status ldddns.service
● ldddns.service - Local Docker Development DNS
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/ldddns.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Mon 2022-01-03 09:13:14 CET; 5 days ago
       Docs: https://ldddns.arnested.dk
   Main PID: 5414 (ldddns)
     Status: "v1.0.13; {"HostnameLookup":["env:VIRTUAL_HOST","containerName"],"IgnoreDockerComposeOneoff":true}"
      Tasks: 14 (limit: 47870)
     Memory: 13.7M
        CPU: 6.243s
     CGroup: /system.slice/ldddns.service
             └─5414 /usr/libexec/ldddns start

jan 07 12:46:11 pop-os systemd[1]: Starting Local Docker Development DNS...
jan 07 12:46:11 pop-os ldddns[5414]: Starting ldddns v1.0.13...
jan 07 12:46:11 pop-os systemd[1]: Started Local Docker Development DNS.
jan 07 12:46:11 pop-os ldddns[5414]: Rewrote hostname from "my.example.com" to "my-example.local"
jan 07 12:46:11 pop-os ldddns[5414]: added address for "my-example.local" pointing to ""
jan 07 12:46:11 pop-os ldddns[5414]: added service "_https._tcp" pointing to "my-example.local"

Or follow the log with:

sudo journalctl --follow --unit ldddns.service

Bugs, thoughts, and comments

Bugs, thoughts, and comments are welcome.

Feel free to get in touch at GitHub Issues and GitHub Discussions.

Copyright © 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 Arne JørgensenMIT LicenseGitHub