Setup local DNS resolver on macOS Sierra

Instructions on how to install PowerDNS Recursor on macOS 10.12 Sierra.

These commands need to be run from the Terminal.

  1. Installation
  2. Configuration
  3. — Reload config
  4. Clearing the cache
  5. Related stuff


Install Homebrew

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Install PowerDNS recursor

brew install pdnsrec

Download and install the boot script from this Gist

sudo wget -O /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.pdnsrec.plist ''

sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.pdnsrec.plist

sudo launchctl bootstrap system /Library/LaunchDaemons/homebrew.mxcl.pdnsrec.plist

sudo launchctl enable system/homebrew.mxcl.pdnsrec

sudo launchctl kickstart system/homebrew.mxcl.pdnsrec


Security setting to prevent access from outside and enable DNSSEC validation.

cd /usr/local/etc/powerdns

echo "allow-from=, ::1/128" | cat - recursor.conf-dist | tee > recursor.conf

echo "dnssec=validate" | cat - recursor.conf | tee > recursor.conf

Go to System Preferences > Network and select your interface. Then go to Advanced > DNS tab and click the + to add a DNS server. Enter

You can further customize the resolver by editing the config file at /usr/local/etc/powerdns/recursor.conf

— Reload config

When you’re done you need to restart the process like this:

sudo launchctl kickstart -k system/homebrew.mxcl.pdnsrec

Clearing the cache

To clear the local cache run:

sudo rec_control wipe-cache

or to clear only one domain zone:

sudo rec_control wipe-cache


2017-07-15 – Added DNSSEC validation, no more reboot required and replaced legacy launchctl commands.
Thanks to Babo D’s Corner for the commands.

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