🐑 Commons Host



Dohnut with systemd (Linux)

This guide uses some commands specific to Debian-based Linux distros. This should work with popular platforms like Raspbian and Ubuntu. To use Dohnut with systemd on other flavours of Linux will require minor changes to the installation procedure.

See the Raspbian guide to get started from scratch with Dohnut on a Raspberry Pi.

See the Pi-hole guide to combine Dohnut privacy and performance with Pi-hole DNS-based ad blocking and monitoring.

Table of Contents

Creating a Dohnut User

Services should run under their own restricted user account. This prevents them from affecting unrelated files and processes in the case of a bug or compromise.

$ sudo useradd --system --create-home --shell /bin/false dohnut

Installing Node.js

Dohnut requires a more recent version of Node.js than offered by the official Raspbian package repository. To avoid potential compatibility issues with other software, we can install the latest version of Node.js just for Dohnut. Using a version manager for Node.js, like n, offers easy installation and future upgrades.

Ensure these system dependencies are installed to allow building native NPM packages from source if necessary.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -y -qq install git curl libsystemd-dev build-essential libssl-dev net-tools

Install n and the latest version of Node.js.

$ curl -L https://git.io/n-install | sudo -u dohnut bash -s -- -y latest

Installing Dohnut

Download the latest version of Dohnut from NPM and install it inside the restricted dohnut user's home directory. Nothing else on the system is affected.

$ sudo -u dohnut -- env PATH="/home/dohnut/n/bin:$PATH" npm install --global dohnut@latest

Dohnut Configuration

Create options.json:

$ sudo mkdir -p /etc/dohnut
$ sudo chown -R dohnut:dohnut /etc/dohnut
$ sudo -u dohnut touch /etc/dohnut/options.json
$ sudo -u dohnut nano /etc/dohnut/options.json

Copy, paste, save, exit:

  "doh": ["commonshost"],
  "bootstrap": ["", "", ""],
  "countermeasures": ["spoof-queries", "spoof-useragent"],
  "datagram-protocol": "udp4"

Setting up systemd

The systemd service manager provides access to the privileged DNS port (53) while securely running Dohnut with restricted permissions.

Create dohnut.service:

$ sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/dohnut.service

Copy, paste, save, exit:

Description=Dohnut DNS over HTTPS proxy

ExecStart=/home/dohnut/n/bin/npx dohnut --config /etc/dohnut/options.json

Create dohnut.socket:

$ sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/dohnut.socket

Copy, paste, save, exit:



Enable Dohnut to start listening immediately and also on boot.

$ sudo systemctl --now enable dohnut.socket

Status Check

Check whether systemd is listening.

$ systemctl status dohnut.socket

Try a DNS lookup. This causes systemd to start Dohnut. It may take a few seconds for the first reply.

$ dig @ -p 53000 example.com

Verify that Dohnut is running.

$ systemctl status dohnut.service

Check the system logs if anything went wrong.

$ journalctl -xe

Follow the Dohnut logs to keep an eye on things.

$ journalctl -f -n 100 -u dohnut

But wait, there's more...


DNS queries can be handled over IPv6 by making small edits to the configuration above.

Change /etc/dohnut/options.json to:

"datagram-protocol": "udp6"

Change /etc/systemd/system/dohnut.socket to:


Then apply the configuration and test it using dig over IPv6:

$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload
$ sudo systemctl stop dohnut.service
$ sudo systemctl restart dohnut.socket
$ dig @::1 -p 53000 example.com


Regularly update Node.js and Dohnut to the latest version for better performance, features, and security.

$ sudo -u dohnut -- env N_PREFIX="/home/dohnut/n" /home/dohnut/n/bin/n latest
$ sudo -u dohnut -- env PATH="/home/dohnut/n/bin:$PATH" npm install --global dohnut@latest


Removing Dohnut is clean and easy.

$ sudo systemctl --now disable dohnut.socket
$ sudo systemctl stop dohnut
$ sudo rm -rf /etc/systemd/system/dohnut.* /etc/dohnut
$ sudo systemctl daemon-reload
$ sudo deluser --remove-home dohnut