Techy: Automated Nominet Registration

February 25th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

[A strange Nominet logo]I’ve recently got my own Nominettag” so that I can register my very own .uk domain names with the registry body. Ok, my employer has their own Nominet tag as well – but since they are now a member of Nominet they can register domain names at a cost of around £5 instead of £80 I’ve got to fork out if I want to register one (yep, you get a £75 discount PER DOMAIN if you are a member of Nominet – tag holders get no discount).

Anyway, I’ve got to put in place a mechanism so that the registration of domain names via Nominet is quick, simple and automated. Sounds easy – after all, Nominet do have a nice Automaton that you can interface with via email. Ok – it’s not perfect (as it isvia email instead of one of the many many other protocols such as SOAP with XML that could be used for ‘instantaneous’ results) but at least it’s automated…

Alas – there’s a catch. To confirm the authenticity of each request, every email to the Nominet Automaton has to be PGP signed. And can I get a nice automated PGP signing system running? Nope. There’s nothing on the internet I can find to do the entire DNS management system for us (you’d think that of all the hundreds of companies that use Nominet at least one of them would have released some sort of code!) – nor can I get our servers to play nicely. I just want to use either Perl or PHP (I’m not fussy which!) to generate a nice templated email that has the appropriate PGP signature (either generated using Perl or PHP modules or even forking off and using GPG to sign it) and emailing it off to Nominet. Not too hard is it? Why am I having so much trouble though? PHP manages to save the pre-signed file to the temp storage area alright, but then GnuPG (GPG) refuses to either encrypt it or store the output – but it works all right from the command line. Perl – practically like wise. I’ve tried using Benjamin Trott’s OpenPGP module (yep, Ben Trott of MovableType fame) – it’s installed nicely on the server and I can run it as root. Go back to “standard user permissions” and Perl (and the Linux filing system) denies all knowledge that the module even exists!

Does ANY ONE have either a Nominet aware (or other registry – I can adapt it) domain name registration system that I/we can use that’s capable of sending the appropriate emails to Nominet? Or has someone got a bit more experience with using PGP/GPG (GPG being the Gnu PGP variant without certain patent-involving code) on a RedHat Linux (ideally in a “shared server” environment) system that can offer some advice?

I’m going to try and see if I can reverse-engineer Ben’s Stamp application at some point over the next few days to see if I can get any ideas – but third party contributions are more than welcome! I would have thought Nominet themselves would have at least provided a “basic toolkit” to their members – but alas, nope 🙁 And s–ds law dictates just as I finish writing a system from scratch, Nominet will implement the domain registration system using SSL HTTP SOAP…

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  1. Ciaran says:

    Beebs – if you’re okay with it, email me with the code you have. (You can blank out vital bits in the code before doing so if you want). I just want to see why it isn’t working from the webserver.

  2. Can the person who left a comment here just before my server went down please leave their details again? I’m very interested in your offer, but I can’t find any of your details at the moment 🙁 Sorry!

  3. Nemesis says:

    Hi, I had the exact same thing you had, so I develop a PHP script to do domain name registration / modification / query / list and transfer requests and it PGP signs to Nominet (UK)

    If you wish further information or wish to discuss this further please let me know as I’m in the process of ‘fine tuning’ the script before making it LIVE to download from my website.

    It’s so much easier than doing a template text file, filling in the info, then PGP signing it in Plain Text and then emailing it, when the script does all the back-end work


  4. Nemesis says:

    Hi there, just wondering if you got my info 🙂


  5. Rob says:

    Hi Nemesis,

    I’d be interested in that script of yours.

    Any chance of pointing me to the website or emailing me the script(s)?



  6. Max says:

    Hi Nemesis,

    I’m interested in your system as well. Do you have URL or email?


  7. Nemesis says:

    I have a php script which does it all web based, much easier, contact me in here if u still want it

  8. Rob says:

    Hi Nemesis,

    What are your contact details?

    Can you email us at please?



  9. Matt says:

    me too please.. would really appreciate this, as i was just about to write my own nominet series of scritps!

  10. Nemesis says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve just updated the pgp nominet script to include the new nominet sections for auto-bill.

    contact me in here for those who want it


  11. Nemesis says:

    Hi there,

    I’m in the process of finishing off my website for this, it will be live very shortly


  12. Nemesis says:

    Hi there,

    site is now live:

  13. Jon-man says:

    Hi Richy,

    I was wondering, did you find a solution to your problem. I am also looking for a PHP solution to the Nominet automaton.

    This is proving to be a tricky issue.


  14. Nemesis says:

    Hi Jon-man,

    Have you checked out my site which is a PHP solution:

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