Relay Deployment with Cloud Image

Article author
Jordan Dusek
  • Updated

Azure Image

These instructions demonstrate how to perform the steps using the Azure Portal ( But you can also use the Azure CLI tools or any other Azure capable API to complete these steps.

We have prepared a generalized local image for Azure here. Please download it here and follow procedure below:


  • Upload the VHD file using the Azure Portal.
    • In the Azure Portal, select Storage Accounts.
    • Select the storage account where the Relay VHD file will be uploaded to.
      • If you do not have a storage account, click Add to create one.
      • Note that the selected location will dictate where the image can be created and subsequently deployed to.
  • Under BLOB SERVICE, select Containers.
  • Select a container to upload the VHD file to.
    • If you do not have a storage container, click Add Container to create one.
  • Click Upload and select the Relay VHD file to upload.
  • Ensure that the Blob type is set to Page Blob.1.png

This process may take a long time depending on your network connection and the location of your Azure storage account.

  • Create an image using the Azure Portal.
    • In the Azure Portal, select Images.
    • Click Add to create a new image.
      • Give the image a name. Remember that this image is a template that will later be deployed to a virtual machine with a different name.
      • Ensure that the location is the same as the location of your storage account.
      • In the OS disk section:
        • Select Linux and the OS type.
        • Click Browse on the Storage Blob field. A new panel will list your storage accounts. Using this panel, navigate through the storage account and container to locate the VHD that was uploaded.
      • Click Create to begin the image creation process. This process typically takes minutes to complete.
      • When the process has completed, return to the Images panel and verify that the new image was created.



This image can now be used to deploy Relay virtual machines in Azure.  Make sure to click on see all images and choose My Images.





Setting up the Relay

1. Log in to the VM:

    • user: dnsfilter
    • password: ChangeMeNow!

2. Change the password


 3. Edit the relay.conf file:

      sudo nano relay.conf -- (this is a symbolic link to /etc/relay/relay.conf)

           Update the secret site key (change secret_key = “<secret site key>” to be secret_key = “WHATEVER_YOUR_SECRET_SITE_KEY_IS”) thensave the file


4. Configure your networking - By default, the system is set to use DHCP to obtain an IP - this is fine as long as you create a permanent DHCP lease in your firewall for the MAC of the Virtual NIC of the Hyper-V Container. If you wish to have a static IP assigned to the machine, you can do the following:


           sudo nano /etc/netplan/00-installer-config.yaml

           Add a # before dhcp4: true

           Remove the #’s before the next 5 lines

           Update addresses: [] to reflect the static IP that the machine is going to have -               (ie: it would become addresses: [])

           Update gateway4: to the appropriate gateway of the network the machine is on - (ie             it would become gateway4:


           Save the file and run:

           sudo netplan apply

           Reboot the machine


5. Verify General Connectivity:

           Run the following command to verify that the correct IP is shown


           Verify that a response is received by running:           



            If everything has gone well up until now, it’s time to start up the relay!


6. Start the Relay containers by running: 

            sudo docker start relay1 relay2

7. Wait 10-20 seconds


8. Verify the containers are running properly by running:

            sudo docker ps


This will provide some output similar to one of the two following blocks:

*Good* output looks like this and you can move to step 9:












6 days ago

Up 12 Seconds 






6 days ago

Up 13 Seconds




           *Bad* output looks like this and some troubleshooting will be required:












6 days ago

Restarting (1) 3 seconds ago






6 days ago

Restarting (1) 4 seconds ago




            If you run:

            sudo docker logs relay1

            You will receive the output of the logs for that container (relay1) - the two most common errors you will see are:

  1. time=“2022-02-23T21:53:33.355562001Z” level=fatal msg=“can not auto-register agent, please verify settings or contact support, trace: invalid organization or network secret key”

This means the secret key you’ve entered into therelay.conffile is invalid.

                        Double-check  that the correct value is in the file.


  1. time=“2022-02-23T21:58:33Z” level=fatal msg=“not a valid TOML config file” config=/etc/relay/relay.conf error=“open /usr/local/bin/lan-proxy.conf: no such file or directory”

This means there is a formatting error or errant character in yourrelay.conffile - verify                            that it is nearly identical to our example file


           Resolve these issues and run:

sudo docker restart relay1 relay2

And verify things match the good output above, and move to step 9.

If you still have error messages, please reach out to DNSFilter Support


9. Verify the relay containers are doing what they’re supposed to:

nslookup -type=txt (from the VM itself)

nslookup -type=txt <internal IP address> (from another machine on the network)


           *Good* Output looks something like:

Non-authoritative answer:

debug.dnsfilter.comtext = “time=2022-02-23 22:02:45.528505065 +0000 UTC”

debug.dnsfilter.comtext = “serverid=55802”

debug.dnsfilter.comtext = “serverip="

debug.dnsfilter.comtext = “serverport=53”

Along with multiple additional lines. Skip ahead to step 10.


          *Bad* Output looks something like:

Non-authoritative answer:

*** Can’t find No answer

Authoritative answers can be found from:

origin =

mail addr =

serial = 2271027187

refresh = 10000

retry = 2400

expire = 604800

minimum = 3600

If this is your output and you're certain the containers are running properly, the likely culprit is <Transparent Proxying> and we recommend you investigate that or reach out to support.


10. You’re done! You can now point all appropriate machines on the network to use this VM for DNS Resolution

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