happyDomain : our 2 innovations that simplify domain ownership

By Pierre-Olivier on Oct 20 2023

At happyDomain, our aim is to simplify the use of domain names. It’s a daunting task, some would say, and it’s true that the 12 RFCs establishing how the protocol works don’t really go in that direction, but the stakes for each and every one of us are high.

So here, in a nutshell, are the two innovations we’ve developed to make domain ownership simple.

Domain abstraction

The key element of our interface is the abstraction that happyDomain creates on the fly: it groups services efficiently.

For example, to declare a Matrix server on the example.com domain, you’d ideally add the following SRV record:

_matrix._tcp.example.com.  SRV 10 0 8448 matrix.example.com.

In addition to the various fields, the order and meaning of which has been forgotten, we can see here that the registration has been added to a special sub-domain of example.com. In happyDomain, this service is referenced under example.com, as you’d expect, and not under _matrix._tcp.example.com.

The origin of the zone, the various registrations required to operate an e-mail server or even name delegations are all grouped and sorted. The result is a clearer, less error-prone view of the zone.

Turning DNS records into concrete usage

The life of a DNS zone is punctuated by the addition of services: adding a blog, a mail server, a website, etc., usually using a service provider such as Google, Over-blog, OVH, Wordpress or Ionos.

This is where it can be tricky to find your way around: documentation is very disparate, and the rustic interfaces of domain name hosting providers don’t help to make documentation easy to access for the general public.

We solve this problem with a form for each provider that:

  • automatically retrieves technical information when accessing the user’s account,
  • alternatively, guides the user to retrieve the information they need.

Of course, we’re far from having covered all the hundreds of services available on the Internet, but we’re working on it!

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Would you like to try happyDomain?

You can choose to try it out:

  1. Online: create your user account on https://happydomain.org/.
  2. On your server: download the binaries here: https://get.happydomain.org/master/. You'll find them for Linux, both for classic machines and servers (amd64), and for recent Raspberry Pi models such as armv7 or arm64, and older ones like armhf.
  3. You can also launch our Docker image:
    docker container run -e HAPPYDOMAIN_NO_AUTH=1 -p 8081:8081 happydomain/happydomain
    The NO_AUTH option bypasses user account creation, which is ideal for testing. Of course, don't use it in everyday life.
    Then go to http://localhost:8081/ to start managing your domains!

You can help us go further!

happyDomain is growing, and we need your talents to make it even simpler and more useful.

Users, administrators, newcomers, give your opinion to guide future functionalities by suggesting or voting for future features.

Developers, translators, copywriters, screen designers, testers, join the joyeuxDNS team! You'll find us on our Git repository here.