How to use Stubby to get DNS lookups over HTTPS in NixOS

I thought getting DNS lookups to run over HTTPS would be difficult to setup with NixOS. I was wrong.

A quick Google-search for “nixos stubby” will take you straight to the Stubby derivation. Being new to nix (the language), nixpkgs (the package manager), and NixOS (the operating system), I still find these derivations a bit hard to read. It must be getting easier though because I was able to start using Stubby just by reading this derivation.

The first thing to notice in the derivation is this line:
enable = mkEnableOption "Stubby DNS resolver";

This tells me that I can enable Stubby by doing this in my configuration.nix file:
services.stubby.enable = true;

That’s in addition to adding stubby in your environment.systemPackages like this:
environment.systemPackages = with pkgs; [ stubby ]

If you add those two to your configuration.nix, you can do sudo nixos-rebuild switch to start using Stubby! All that’s left is to configure your network connection to use localhost as the DNS resolver. If you’re using KDE Plasma (as I currently am due to it being the default display manager in NixOS), you can set that up like this:

  1. Right click the wifi icon
  2. Configure network connections
  3. Select the wifi connection
  4. Select the “IPv4” tab
  5. Set “Method” to be “Automatic (Only adresses)”
  6. Set “DNS Servers” to “”
  7. Select the “IPv6” tab
  8. Set “Method” to be “Automatic (Only adresses)”
  9. Set “DNS Servers” to “::1”
  10. Disconnect and reconnect to the network
  11. Use to verify that your DNS provider has changed

This question on Stackoverflow helped me figure out how to set a different DNS resolver in Plasma.


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