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DNS cache

pihole-FTL offers an efficient DNS cache that helps speed up your Internet experience. This DNS cache is part of the embedded dnsmasq server. Setting the cache size to zero disables caching. The DNS TTL value is used for determining the caching period. pihole-FTL clears its cache on receiving SIGHUP.


There is no benefit in increasing this number unless the number of DNS cache evictions is greater than zero.

A larger cache will consume more memory on your node, leaving less memory available for other caches of your Pi-hole. If you push this number to the extremes, it may even be that your Pi-hole gets short on memory and does not operate as expected.

You can not reduce the cache size below 150 when DNSSEC is enabled because the DNSSEC validation process uses the cache.

Cache metrics

The Settings page (System panel, FTL table) gives live information about the cache usage. It obtains its information from http://pi.hole/admin/api.php?getCacheInfo.

DNS cache size

Size of the DNS domain cache, defaulting to 10,000 entries. It is the number of entries that can be actively cached at the same time. This information may also be queried using dig +short chaos txt cachesize.bind

The cache size is set in /etc/dnsmasq.d/01-pihole.conf. However, note that this setting does not survive Pi-hole updates. If you want to change the cache size permanently, add a setting


in /etc/pihole/setupVars.conf and run pihole -r (Repair) to get the cache size changed for you automatically.

DNS cache insertions

Number of total insertions into the cache. This number can be substantially larger than DNS cache size as expiring cache entries naturally make room for new insertions over time. Each lookup with a non-zero TTL will be cached.

This information may also be queried using dig +short chaos txt insertions.bind

DNS cache evictions

The number of cache entries that had to be removed although the corresponding entries were not expired. Old cache entries get removed if the cache is full to make space for more recent domains. The cache size should be increased when this number is larger than zero.

This information may also be queried using dig +short chaos txt evictions.bind

Last update: September 15, 2021
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