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DBAB(8) System Manager's Manual DBAB(8)


dbab - dnsmasq based ad blocking


If you like dbab, check out its sister project dbab-packer
It has been my default way of using dbab for quite a while now, thus I'm officially recommending it over the host-package-installing approach.
I will update the Debian package for the last time and stop packaging it after 2021.


# start dbab-svr server
/etc/init.d/dbab start
# stop dbab-svr server
/etc/init.d/dbab stop
# get/update ad blocking list
# add your own to the ad blocking list


dbab provides a total solution for SOHO service environment, smoothly integrates DHCP, DNS, local caching and Ad blocking into harmony operation. Ad blocking is done by DNSmasq and dbab-svr the pixel server, i.e., done at the DNS level -- all requests to ads-sites are blocked right there at DNS level. No more user space extensive pattern matching necessary at all. Work for your mobile devices as well. You don't need to install anything to your mobile devices to enjoy the ad-free and speed-up browsing.


People may also use browsers' adblock-plus extension to block ads, but fewer think over how it works internally. Here is an overview of Adblock Plus from a thousand mile high [1] -- whenever the browser needs to load something, the extension kicks in and do a thorough pattern matching of all known ad urls using regular expressions, then hectically replace all found ad urls with something else. This is done on every page, every load, and every component of the web page, using JavaScript. Thus it is by nature slow and CPU intensive, at least inefficient. There are other alternatives to this, e.g., privoxy, but the concepts are the same.



Comparing to other ad-blocking efforts, dbab will be super light. Only a few operations are enough to determine and stop the ads. No heavy-lifting (using CPU intensive URL pattern matching) necessary. Thus it will be super light and lightning fast.

The advantages of using dbab are:

Work at the DNS level. Leave the web pages intact, without any pattern matching, string substitution, and/or html elements replacing.
Work for your mobile devices as well. Were you previously in the dilemma of choosing ads free or slow response for your mobile devices (iphone, ipad, etc)? Now you don't. You don't need to install any thing to your mobile devices for them to enjoy the ad-free browsing experience. Moreover, their browsing speed will increase dramatically on revisited pages/images.
Serve instantly. All ads will be replaced by a 1x1 pixel gif image served locally by the dbab-svr pixel server.
Maintenance free. You don't need to maintain the list of ad sites yourself. The block list can be downloaded from periodically. If you don't like some of the entries there, you can add-to or remove-from that list easily.


The dbab-svr is a super minimal web / pixel server, it has one purpose -- serving a 1x1 pixel transparent gif file. It can optionally provide the automatic WPAD service as well if so configured. By default it listens on localhost, configurable from the file /etc/dbab/dbab.addr.


The dbab-get-list is used to get dnsmasq blocking list from to be used by DNSmasq. The result is stored as /etc/dnsmasq.d/dbab-map.adblock.conf.

You can run it once, or put it in a cron job so as to update the block list periodically. E.g., to update on a weekly basis:

ln -s /usr/sbin/dbab-get-list /etc/cron.weekly/

It is safe to do so, even if the machine might be offline when the cron job is triggered. The existing file will be intact if download failed.


You can use dbab-add-list to add your own entries to dnsmasq blocking list, if the list from is not sufficient for you. The result is stored as /etc/dnsmasq.d/dbab-map.trashsites.conf.


The dbab-chk-list can help you to check if your own list is already covered by


The dhcp-add-wpad will take the content in /etc/dbab/dbab.addr as the IP of the host of the dhcp server, the squid caching server, then enable the automatic WPAD service within the system, with the help of the DNS and DHCP server.


The IP address that dbab-svr listens on. Defaults to localhost.
The entries you want to filter out from the lists. List sites you still wish to visit there.
The entries you want to add to blocking list on top of the list, used by dbab-add-list.
The file which dbab-get-list updates.
The file which dbab-add-list updates.
The more detailed introduction and installation guild.


Copyright: 2013~2020 Tong SUN

The pixelserv was originally downloaded from
Wrote by Piet Wintjens, with BSD (no advertising clause) license.

December 2021