Add the ORSN DNS servers


I would like to have the DNS servers of the ORSN added.


  • Using their nameservers helps them get support to keep the project going

  • No logging


Their public DNS servers can be added as custom DNS, as can any server.

Note that Pi-Hole uses public DNS servers and does not directly query nameservers.


Right. Let me rephrase that.

Add the ORSN DNS servers to the default DNS servers

@jfb Just saw. I thought that DNS servers and nameservers were the same. Are they not?


They are not.

A public DNS server (Google, for example), maintains a very large list of domains/IP’s in cache. When you ask for the IP of a domain, they likely have it ready and can provide it to you very quickly. If they do not have the IP in their cache, they have to go to the authoritative name servers (the master phone book of the internet). The process is well described in this guide (Google is a recursive DNS server):


That explains a lot, thanks.

What is the reason for pihole only using public DNS servers and not nameservers?


Pi-Hole is based on dnsmasq. From “man dnsmasq”:

"dnsmasq is a lightweight DNS, TFTP, PXE, router advertisement and DHCP server. It is intended to provide coupled DNS and DHCP service to a LAN.

Dnsmasq accepts DNS queries and either answers them from a small, local, cache or forwards them to a real, recursive, DNS server."


The DNS (Domain Name System) is a massive network of servers that comprises the largest digital database on the planet. This database is maintained, managed and regulated by several internet authorities, including the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

Contrary to a seemingly popular misconception, DNS does not stand for Domain Name Server or Domain Name Software. DNS is an abbreviation for the aforementioned system that catalogs every domain and IP address on the internet, including registration information, as well as their relation to other domains and web hosts. The DNS is the central database of the internet, and without it, the internet would cease to exist as we know it.

DNS software is a program that is installed on a (web) server and used to facilitate the transference of data related to the domain name system.

A name server is a web server that has DNS software installed on it, particularly a server that is managed by a web host that is specifically designated for managing the domain names that are associated with all of the hosting provider’s accounts.

Name servers are often called DSN servers as well, and this is likely the origin of all of the confusion associated with name servers and the DNS.

What do DNS requests to name servers look like?

But just how exactly did your computer know what webpage to display for you, and what server to pull it from?
Your web-browser knows you typed into the address bar.
Your computer then uses DNS to retrieve the current nameservers for

Our public nameservers; DINA.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM and GRAHAM.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM are retrieved.
Your computer asks our nameservers for the A (address) record for
Our public nameservers respond back with the IP address

Your computer sends a request to that IP address along with the page you’re requesting.
Our web server hosting then sends your web-browser the requested page.

Now if you wanted to, you could bookmark or copy down for anytime you’d like to come back to our website.

More than likely though, is going to be much easier for you to remember, and this is why nameservers exist on the Internet.


Okay, these two replys actually just raised more questions.
I don’t know if im missing something but i still don’t know why pihole dosen’t query nameservers.
Im guessing because it could save time. If the DNS server you are querying already knows the answer there is no need to ask the nameserver, right?

What does DNS then stand for if not Domain Name Server?


That’s not true and here’s why:

Your browser queries the DNS server, the DNS server returns the IP of the hosting company that is hosting that domain. Now the hosting company most certainly, uses the same IP for multiple domains hosted on the same server, under the same IP. Then the A record is queried.

The A record is the basic mapping of IP address to host name, the essential component for any domain name.

The name server (NS), contains the name server information for the zone. If you configure this, your server will let other DNS servers know that yours is the ultimate authority (SOA) for your domain when caching lookup information on your domain from other DNS servers around the world.

You are close. it stands for Domain Name System


Pi-Hole uses dnsmasq, and dnsmasq does not have this capability. The referenced guide for unbound will allow a user to install unbound as a local recursive caching resolver (think Google DNS on your Pi). But, it is separate software from dnsmasq and not all users want this capability, so it is not included in the default Pi-Hole setup.


That makes sense. Thank you.

Seems inefficent to always ask the nameserver and not cache any domains, but this explains it.

Is there any benefit if you make your pihole a recursive DNS server?


Yes. Especially if paired with Unbound, for several benefits like caching and added privacy (your request is sent to the root servers instead of going though a 3-rd party that you have no idea what tracks about you), to name a few.


Okay, thanks for all the answers.

Is there a chance that the ORSN servers get added to the default servers or can this topic be closed?


It can be left open so that the community can vote on this request :slight_smile:


The feature is open for vote, but I’m not sure this is the best inclusion for the global Pi-Hole community. The four public ORSN DNS servers are all located in a relatively small geographical area, while the current defaults are located worldwide.


Your DNS requests are cached at multiple stops along the way.

  1. Your client caches them.
  2. Pi-Hole caches them.
  3. The upstream DNS server caches them.


True, the servers are mostly eu based but i don’t think that’s much of a problem. Especially not for eu people.



All the public DNS servers are EU based:


I looked at this. Im not sure why there are a couple on the map which are not listed.


That map is where their root servers are located. These are not the public DNS servers.