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Newsletter February 2016: Leap Year, Leap Forward

This month may be short, but we have plenty of updates. First off, we won an award from the registry of .cn domains, also we have a PHP update rolling out for Simple Hosting, which as a bonus included the offering of Composer dependency manager.

Going in depth this month, we're looking at ICANN's EBERO plan, and a brief history of Debian.

And of course we have this month's release calendar and promo round-up available for your perusal.

Also, don't miss our events coverage. Last month we were at SCaLE and this month we'll be at M3AAWG.


Summary: At a Glance

1. Gandi receives award from Chinese registry
2. Recently-Approved TLDs
3. Parking page ads and UDRP
4. Events at Gandi
5. Events outside of Gandi
6. Update: PHP update on Simple Hosting
7. Update: Composer on Simple Hosting
8. Update: Gandi notifications


In Depth: EBEROs
Tech Fundamentals: Debian

And as always, we'll be wrapping things up with

This month's release calendar and
Promo Round-up.

It may be the shortest month of the year but it’s starting to heat up (well, not necessarily literally) and things are starting to really cook.

Since our last newsletter, a lot has happened: we went to SCaLE in Pasadena, we were awarded the award for most promising registrar by the registry for .cn domains, which we see as a really promising development for future cooperation (not just promising for ourselves), and we’ve made some updates to our Simple Hosting php platform.

We’re happy about what we’ve been able to do this month and we’re looking forward to more next month.

One thing we’d like to highlight, though, is that we have what we consider a great crop of promotions running this month and we encourage you all to take a look at them and see if there’s anything that interests you. There are some good finds in there.

Gandi receives award from Chinese registry

This year, at the annual China Domain Name Industry Conference, Gandi received an award from the registry as "Registrar with the highest potential".

The conference, which took place in Guangzhou, China this year also highlighted that .cn now has more than 16 million registrations, which makes it the most used ccTLD in the world, just ahead of .de.

Receiving this prize acknowledges our commitment in the region to provide the best Chinese-language customer service and to assist individuals and companies to build their online presence for the Chinese market. Last year, Gandi became directly accredited with CNNIC (the registry for .cn) to be able to register .cn and .xn--fiqs8s (.中国) domain name extensions.

Overall we're very excited about this award. It tells us a couple of important things. First off, that the .cn registry is committed to opening up the Chinese domain name market to non-Chinese registrars. This is a market that's long been dominated by Chinese enterprises, so the fact that Gandi received this award confirms our hunch: this space is opening up.

Second, it shows that our ethos and approach can make a serious impact in Asia. Like we said, we only just got accredited last year, and the .cn registry is already recognizing our hard work.


Recently-Approved TLDs

There were no real "trends" per se in this month's new strings delegated to the root, but as always, we've pulled out a couple of the more interesting ones.

Helsinki has apparently joined the growing list of cities with their own TLD. On January 26, .helsinki was added to the root. It seems like most city TLDs are outside of the US, which, okay, is logical since most cities, period, are outside the US but there are dozens in Europe (.berlin, .london, .amsterdam, .brussels, .madrid, .barcelona, .hamburg, .paris, .stockholm .cologne, .helsinki, .zurich, .moscow, .istanbul, .budapest, .wien) and a handful in Asia, and many scattered around Africa, Oceania, and South America but in North America we really only have .miami, .nyc, .quebec, .vegas, and .boston.

(Which reminds us: .boston, which used to be owned by the Boston Globe as a brand TLD has just been sold to Minds + Machines).

This month, .compare and .select (January 15) were also added as was the IDN .xn--g2xx48c (.购物, "shopping", /gouwu/) (January 16). The Chinese domain name market is hot right now, like we said, and shopping is always popular, so this one seems like a pretty solid win.

Another interesting addition was .tube (on January 11). We're curious to see how this one pans out. Latin American Telecom beat out Google and Donuts for this extension, and it will no doubt be a go-to TLD for various video hosting sites.

You can check the full list here for recently added strings.

Remember: these are new TLDs on the cutting edge of having been added by ICANN. As such, any discussion of one of these TLDs should not be interpreted as meaning any of these extensions will be imminently available on Gandi (though we, of course, try to offer all the extensions we possibly can).

Parking page ads and UDRP

Last fall we highlighted our stance on the monetization of domain parking pages in our High Price of Cheap post. We didn't hold back, calling it "internet pollution." But now we can add to the reasons not to endorse the practice after the domain name lost a UDRP claim leveled against it by Enterprise the car rental company.

UDRP, for those unfamiliar with it, stands for Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. Essentially, it's ICANN's answer to the so-called "trademark dilemma." In other words, it provides companies a way to make claims against domain name registrations of supposed trademarks. While generally, we think if your domain name happens to correspond with somebody else's trademark, it's not fair that they would be able to snatch it up from you with this process and usually UDRP claims need a bit more reason than simply mere coincidence in naming.

In the case of, though, the previous owner of the domain name ultimately lost because, according to ICANN's ruling, the owner was "using the similarity between the disputed domain and the ENTERPRISE mark to confuse and attract internet users for commercial profit."

At issue, specifically, was precisely the pay-per-click ads on the domain's parking page, which utilized keyword algorithms to serve ads that, not surprisingly, were related to the kinds of search engine searches related to Enterprise the car rental company. ICANN found that such monetization which specifically included ads related to the car rental industry were thus in "bad faith."

Ultimately, we don’t oppose parking page monetization. We believe you can do what you want with your domain name. But we also don’t condone the practice and, especially, we don’t do it by default. This UDRP ruling signals that if the idea that polluting the internet with parking page ads doesn’t offend you, there may be other reasons to avoid it as well.

Events at Gandi

OpenLate: TCP/IP flaws

On January 26, we hosted the final OpenLate event of the meetup’s temporary residency at Gandi. Peter Shipley was the guest speaker and he gave a talk about the security flaws inherent to TCP/IP.

This was a version of a talk he first gave some fifteen years ago, yet the flaws still haven’t been corrected for.

While future OpenLate events (for now) will be held again at OpenDNS’s space on Bluxome in San Francisco, we nonetheless invite anyone interested in attending future OpenLate events (the next is February 23 at 6:30 pm).

Check out their meet up page here.

UX Speed Dating

Every third Wednesday each month, we have been hosting another meetup for those who like to try out user interfaces without committing to them: it’s UX Speed Dating and it works like speed dating except instead of evaluating romantic prospects, the focus is on evaluating user experience.

The next meet up we’ll be hosting in our SOMA SF office space will be on Wednesday, February 17 at 6:00 pm. So stop on by!

The Root Zone

Gandi and Cloudflare are starting a new meet up series about DNS we’re calling The Root Zone. The idea is to start a conversation about DNS and to help generate new ideas and new implementations for the DNS system, which is something we all rely on heavily.

The meet ups will rotate between the Gandi US offices and the Cloudflare offices and we’re also inviting other companies involved in DNS to contact us either to present or to host future meet ups.

Check out the meet up page here.

Gandi (re)fait le .Point

On February 18, starting at 8:30 AM (Paris time of course), at Le Tank, Paris 11 (a Parisien coworking space, near the Bastille Metro stop), Gandi will be holding the third annual “Gandi (re)fait le .Point.” This is an event to which we invite our customers interested in learning the ins and outs of registering domains in the new batch of TLDs that have been rolling out over the past few years.

This year in particular we are focusing on effective strategies to protect your brand without breaking your budget. There are still a few slots left so if you’re in Paris (or can be in Paris) on 18 February, sign up! For more information, check out our Eventbrite page.

Events outside of Gandi

SCaLE 14x

This month we attended the SCaLE conference held in Pasadena, California. This was a highly technical conference that has a heavy focus on Linux and Open Source Software sessions.

The hottest topic this year was clearly security. Almost every room we walked by was focused on security and these sessions were consistently overflowing with enthusiastic attendees.

Special thanks to Josh Simmons from O’Reilly for talking with us about OSCON among other things.

And we also met up with friends from EFF, Free Software Foundation, Pyladies, Open Source Foundation, FreeBSD.


Next week, Gandi will be attending M3AAWG at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. We also attended last year’s event in San Francisco as well as M3AAWG in Dublin last summer. M3AAWG, if you didn’t now, stands for Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group, the premier industry group focused on internet abuse issues. This is a great chance for our abuse team to meet and learn from the agenda-setters in the field of online abuse.

ICANN 55: Marrakech

Next month is ICANN 55 in Marrakech. While no one from our US office will be attending this ICANN session (it's a little bit too far for us), members of our Paris team will be attending. This is really a great event for cracking into the policy decisions that are shaping how the Internet works, especially in the realm of domain names.

Update: PHP update on Simple Hosting

The much anticipated update to PHP on our Simple Hosting platform is now available: PHP version 5.6 is here! Now PHP version 5.6 is the new default option for instance creation (PHP 5.4 can still be selected at creation). For those who already have a Simple Hosting instance using PHP 5.4, we have created a guide for migrating your instance from PHP 5.4 to PHP 5.6 (available here).

As of March 22, 2016, we will release an automatic upgrade feature for PHP 5.4/MySQL, which is by far the most common. Any other instance types using PHP will have to migrated manually.

Also of note: the PHP 5.6 instance runs on a new system image based on Debian 8 (Jessie), in anticipation of new changes yet to come.

Update: Composer on Simple Hosting

Along with the upgrade to PHP 5.6, you can now also use Composer, PHP’s most popular dependency manager, to install your applications dependencies on Simple Hosting.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, dependency management tools allow web developers to easily keep track of third-party code included within a project. Instead of having to manage the files and versions manually, these tools offer a simple way to list an application’s external dependencies and then take care of downloading, installing and including the correct files.

Simple Hosting already supports dependency managers for Node.js, Python and Ruby instances using the “npm”, “pip” and “bundler” tools, respectively and now with the addition of Composer to our PHP instances, we can now cover modern development workflows on all instances types.

If you’re interested in learning more and getting started with Composer on Simple Hosting, check out the example project and documentation here.

Update: Gandi notifications

We are currently in the midst of a complete overhaul of our messaging system. We’ll be upgrading our mailing system to a modern, 2016 mailing system, adding additional protocols and multiple recipients and will span our entire suite of products. As you can expect, it’s no small task, and while we aren’t able to roll out a whole new system quite yet, we want to give some of you a sneak peak at what’s in store: we have now added notification by SMS message to our IaaS (Gandi Server) crediting system so that now, when your Server approaches the point where it will run out of credits, the notification can be delivered via text message.

As new notification options roll out (including this one), you’ll be able to manage those preferences from the “Messages” tab of your Gandi account. If you’d like more information, as always, the most extensive documentation available is found in our wiki.

In Depth: EBEROs

With new strings being added to the root multiple times per month and new gTLDs entering the Sunrise phase just about every week, it makes sense to start wondering: what happens when a TLD dies? While we hope that all new TLDs will live forever and ever, registries are businesses, and the more registries there are, the more likely that at some point, one of them may go out of business. And it may be sudden.

But! There's no need to panic! First of all, rest assured that there are no distressed gTLDs currently out there. So far, only brand TLDs—that is, TLDs that a company has bought to administer themselves—have gone under. And second of all, ICANN has a plan.

ICANN, an organization that deeply cherishes acronyms, has established what they are calling EBEROs: Emergency Back-end Registry Operators. Currently, there are three EBEROs: CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center, the registry of .cn domains), CORE Association (which provides the technical backend for .cat and .museum), and Nominet (the registry for .uk domains, among others). These three were selected from 14 applicants based on, more or less, their capabilities as providers of registry services, and geographic diversity.

The process ICANN has created goes like this: an operator of a TLD fails, ICANN declares an emergency "EBERO event," and activates the EBERO that will take over operating the TLD, the EBERO will follow the "Common Transition Process" (or CTP, again, they love their acronyms), and the domains will be administered by the EBERO long enough to give registrants time to transition out of their domain in the failed TLD.

As of January 26 this year, ICANN is conducting a test of the process. The TLD .doosan, which was originally delegated by ICANN as a brand TLD, was killed off by its owner Korean conglomerate Doosan Group, last fall. ICANN is currently using this as an opportunity to simulate a gTLD operator failure. The EBERO participating in the exercise is Nominet. Once the simulation is complete, ICANN says they'll post an update here.

Tech Fundamentals: Debian

Debian started with a manifesto.

In 1993, the most popular Linux distribution was SLS (Softlanding Linux System), but one idealistic, young programmer named Ian Murdock grew frustrated with the perceived maintenance issues and bugs rampant in SLS and created a new Linux distribution that he believed would better live up to the ideals of Linus Torvald’s original concept and GNU licensing in particular but also free and open-source software in general.

Murdock named it after his then-girlfriend Debra and himself: Deb + Ian = Debian and his manifesto proudly proclaimed a “brand-new kind of Linux distribution.” From its very inception, Debian was committed to the idea that its software should never sell at more than cost, and that it should come with everything it should come with.

This radical orientation attracted the attention and support of the Free Software Foundation, which sponsored the Debian project between 1994 and 1995. After FSF withdrew its support, Murdock shifted to managing the project as a whole and delegated control to Bruce Perens who eventually came to control the project in 1996.

Perens was controversial due to what some perceived as an authoritarian management style and his fervent commitment to Debian. Nonetheless, Perens innovated another step in the democratization of software when he drafted the Debian Social Contract.

This social contract contained five key points:

1. Debian would be free 2. Debian would give back to the free software community 3. Debian won’t hide problems 4. Debian’s priorities would be its users and free software 5. Debian will clearly seperate non-free content from free content

Finally, in 1998, Debian ratified the Debian Constitution. This document laid the groundwork for leadership election and accepting applicants for membership. It established the organizational structure and decision-making process and delegated powers and responsibilities of the Project Leader.

These commitments were not just politics, though, they had real impact on what Debian became. Debian doesn’t pre-bundle third-party codecs and other software that doesn’t have GPL licenses, which makes it a clean version with little bulk.

Debian was the first real Linux distribution to us a packaging system. This meant that each service or application would be contained within a single package.

These traits helped make Debian the basis for popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

Debian is still an active project to this day, with its latest release being Jessie. It’s enduring legacy has not only been one of the most popular Linux distributions and operating systems in general for personal computers and network servers but the Debian Manifesto, Debian Social Contract, and Debian Constitution are milestones in the development of the free and open-source software movements.

New gTLD release Calendar for February

Here's a look at this month's release calendar:

Wednesday February 10 :

    .kyoto (GoLive)

Thursday February 11 :

    .bet (Landrush)

Tuesday February 16 :

    .cloud (GoLive)

Monday February 22 :

    .信息 (.xn--vuq861b, “info, knowledge, message”) (Sunrise)

Tuesday February 23 :

    .pet (GoLive)

Wednesday February 24:

    .mom (Sunrise)

Promo Roundup for February

New promotions

  • Nothing says "I love you," like a domain. Get a whole bouquet of .pink and .red ones for $3.26 until February 14.
  • Get your .ski and .bio domains half-price from now until Valentine's Day.
  • Think .global for $20.00 per year and act local this February.
  • For passwords, professional web and Palaos, there's .pw: just $0.99 this month.
  • For all types of clicks and links, from February 1 through June 30, .click and .link are on sale for 65% off.


  • Half-price for a half-year means .in domains are on sale for $7.75 until June 30, 2016.
  • You and .me can spend 2016 together with 40%-off one-year registrations all year, that's just $14.40.
  • From January 1, 2016 until March 31, 2016, .asia is on sale for just $7.50 per year—that's 70% off.
  • Through March 31, .rocks and .social are half-price: $7.77 and $16.25 , respectively.
  • EXTENDED .irish is on sale until November 10 December 31 February 29 for $15.
  • Attention designers! From January 1 until February 15, .design domains are 50% off. That's just $31.18 per year.
  • A virtual explosion of colorful (and more) extensions are 50% off from now until June 30.

We also suggest you keep an eye on our promo page to be sure not to miss any other promotions that might pop up.

That’s all for this month. We’ll see you again on the other side of the leap day. Oh yeah, and don't forget: we're hiring !

And of course don't hesitate to drop us a line below.

You can also reach us at:
and on the #gandi channel on Freenode. \o/

All the best,
- The Gandi Team

Newsletter January 2016: New year, new projects, new beginnings

Maybe it's a bit trite to start off the new year with a "new beginnings" theme. But so far it's turning out to be quite a start for us for 2016. We launched a new TLS/SSL integration project with Let's Encrypt just a few days ago. Not long before that, we launched our new Live DNS service in Beta. We debuted our Packet Journey virtual router project on GitHub, we have a PHP update coming for Simple Hosting, and we are concentrating our energies in regards to supported system images, including adding FreeBSD.

Going in depth this month, we're looking at emoji domains, and a brief history of BSD. And of course, this month's release calendar and promo round-up.


Summary: At a Glance

1. Gandi Integrates Let's Encrypt
2. Recently-Approved TLDs
3. Live DNS now in Beta
4. Introducing Packet Journey
5. Events at Gandi
6. Events outside of Gandi
7. Reminder: .uk prices going up
8. Update: PHP update coming on Simple Hosting
9. Update: System Image Deprecation on Gandi Server


In Depth: Emoji Domains
Tech Fundamentals: BSD

And we'll be wrapping things up with

This month's release calendar and
Promo Round-up.

The New Year is sometimes a time for transition. We said goodbye this past month to longtime Gandi US cornerstone Amy Bowen, who many of you likely met at events at Gandi, meetups around the city, and at conferences. We're proud to have had her on the team, advocating for presumed lost causes and pushing us to constantly do better. Best of luck, AJ.

And outside of Gandi, we all collectively lost a guiding light in the open-source community in Ian Murdock, the "-ian" in Debian. It was a sad day when we learned of his passing and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. His legacy lives on.

We think it's important to recognize not so much that we are at a "new beginning" but that the new year is a point—albeit arbitrarily-located on the calendar—to refocus our efforts. What is Gandi refocusing on? Being on the cutting edge of the most advanced software, the stuff our customers want, without bogging ourselves down with jargon and arcane technical knowledge, empowering those without profound technical knowledge and experience to wield the same powerful technology nonetheless, and sticking to our commitments, most importantly, No Bullshit. And there's no better New Year's Resolution than that.

Gandi Integrates Let's Encrypt

The biggest news out of Gandi this month has to be the announcement of our financial support for Let's Encrypt and our subsequent technical integration with our Simple Hosting and Gandi Server platforms of Let's Encrypt certificates.

We are proud to be on the cutting edge of ensuring universal adoption of confidential and secure communications through the widespread adoption of TLS/SSL certificates. Let's Encrypt is the most exciting project in a long time in this area as it directly confronts the main barriers to adoption of public-key encryption on the web (price, difficulty in certificate generation and installation) and so we have been eagerly awaiting the moment where we can help facilitate the adoption of Let's Encrypt's certificates on our products.

That said, we highly recommend checking out our tutorials on adding Let's Encrypt certificates to your Gandi hosting here.

And of course, keep following us as we continue to expand the availability of this integration across our entire range of hosting options.

Recently-Approved TLDs

There have been a couple of pretty interesting developments since last month in TLDs being added by ICANN to the root. The biggest by far has to be the addition of seventeen new strings to the root, all of which were won by none other than Amazon, who will be running the registry. Amazon, of course, has been slowly breaking into the domain game over the past few years with Route53, for example, but the addition of these seventeen strings shows that Amazon is getting into the domain name business for serious now.

The list includes the following:  .smile, .bot, .joy, .buy, .got, .fast, .jot, .pin, .circle, .safe, .call, .room, .like, and .zero.

It also includes a few somewhat controversial additions, namely .read, .book, .author, all of which were contested by an industry group consisting of Barnes & Noble and other booksellers who basically asserted that it was unfair for one bookseller alone to be able to delegate domains in TLDs relating to such a broad market sector. The fact that these have now been added means ICANN ultimately sided with Amazon on that question.

A couple of other new strings added to the root by ICANN this past month have been a handful of extensions to be managed by Turkey-based Asia Green IT System (AGITSys), all of which target the wider global Persian community, with .nowruz, .shia (December 5) and .pars (December 7). AGITSys's stated goal is the opening up of the Internet to Persian-language speakers, and as far as that goal is concerned, it's certainly something we can get behind.

Remember: these are new TLDs on the cutting edge of having been added by ICANN. As such, any discussion of one of these TLDs should not be interpreted as meaning any of these extensions will be imminently available on Gandi (though we of course try to offer all extensions we possibly can).

Live DNS now in Beta

We are really excited about this one. We are currently beta testing our new DNS service, LiveDNS! This represents a significant development from our previous (current) DNS service. We completely overhauled the backend and the new service has its own set of nameservers that we update immediately upon any change you make. LiveDNS offers powerful features to manage DNS Zone templates that you can then integrate into your workflow, such as:

  • bulk record management
  • association with multiple domains
  • versioning and rollback

You can easily create a zone file and assign it to one or more domains with a couple of HTTP calls, and it makes it simple for developers to programatically pilot their zones and automate DNS management.

Currently, we are beta testing the service through the RESTful API and we want to invite you to give it a spin.

To start playing with the new API, get your API token from your Gandi Account and your favorite HTTP client, then head over to the documentation.

Keep in mind that the platform is in Beta, so we don't recommend that you use its nameservers in production just yet. But if you're feeling adventurous, you can try pointing your domain to the new LiveDNS nameservers once you have created the appropriate records using the API:


Happy testing!

Events at Gandi

OpenLate: Docker Volume Plugins

OpenDNS continues to host its OpenLate series in our space.

Last time, on December 15, Anshu Gupta, Director of Information Security at HelloSign, talked about handling various security and compliance issues, with an emphasis on electronic signatures.

Last night, January 12, Clint Kitson, an EMC CODE Developer Advocate, spoke about how leveraging Docker containers by taking advantage of Docker Volume plugins with VirtualBox.

UX Speed Dating

For those who missed last month's User-Experience Speed Dating (UX Speed Dating) event hosted at our office space, your chance to drop by this month is coming up next Wednesday, January 20 when we are once again hosting the UX Speed Dating meetup in our SOMA office space. It's not exactly a singles-ready-to-mingle kind of speed dating—more like user-experience-enthusiasts-ready-to-test-drive-websites kind of vibe—but still a great chance to meet people.

Events outside of Gandi

Last month we gave a run-down of some of the exciting events this year at one of our favorite conferences of the year, SCaLE. SCaLE kicks off this month and we are in fact attending this year's conference. Look for us there!

Reminder: .uk prices going up

It won't be for a while yet, but we wanted to give you a fair warning about this upcoming price increase on .uk domains (including, and On the first of March, prices for these domains will be changing in all currencies. For the details, we suggest navigating to this page.

But overall we want you to know that if you own a .uk domain—or want to—now is the time to register or renew it, before the price increase in March.

Also, don't forget .net prices go up in February!

Update: PHP update coming on Simple Hosting

Love it or hate it, PHP is the backbone of a lot of sites online, including popular CMSs like Wordpress, and it's by far the most popular language choice for a Gandi Simple Hosting instance, which currently uses PHP 5.4.45. The good news this month is that by the end of January we expect to be pushing version 5.6 on new Simple Hosting instances. No interruption in service will occur this time around since the change will only be applicable to new Simple Hosting instances. For those who currently have Simple Hosting instances using PHP 5.4.45, we're still working on an update procedure that will minimize the impact on your up-time. We'll keep you posted as we make further progress on that part. For now, though, once this update is installed, new instances will have PHP 5.6 available, good news to a growing portion of current and potential Simple Hosting users.

Update: System Image Deprecation on Gandi Server

"Jack of all trades, master of none," has never been a slogan we subscribed to. But we do recognize the need to focus our energies on making what we do well as perfect as possible, and yes, sometimes that means letting other things go. It's in that spirit that we are, as of January 16, 2016, reducing the number of available systems on our cloud infrastructure hosting platform.

Starting January 14, 2016, only these systems will still be maintained by Gandi staff:

  • Debian 8.x and 7.x
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 12.04 LTS
  • CentOS 7.x and 6.x
  • FreeBSD 10.2 (a ZFS version and a UFS version)

All other images will be flagged as deprecated on January 14, 2016 and will be removed on June 14, 2016, at which point you will no longer be able to create new servers or disks with them, so make your backups with snapshots sooner rather than later.

As part of our ongoing effort to transition our customers to the new HVM platform, supported images will only be available for one  architecture (x86_64) as we are also deprecating all 32-bit images on  our Xen platform.

Going forward, we will offer the latest stable versions of selected systems according to the release schedules of the upstream developers. Please see our wiki article for detailed information about supported and deprecated images.

For more information on how to migrate to HVM, we suggest this page.

You might notice on the above list of supported systems the addition of FreeBSD, which was not previously supported. FreeBSD in addition to being one Gandi's premier supported projects, is most known for the its stablity and its security. The servers with the highest uptime on the Internet run FreeBSD. Some also like the FreeBSD community and feel it's a group driven more by technology than ideology. And of course, that little demon/daemon guy. Whatever the reasons to use FreeBSD, we are now supporting it on our cloud infrastructure.

In Depth: Emoji Domains

Okay, so Oxford English Dictionary may not be the hippest, most trendsetting media source anymore (it's hard to be when the full print version comes with a magnifying glass, by necessity), so our response to their November 2015 blog post that the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji was their word of the year wasn't exactly overly enthusiastic but we have to admit they make a good argument: not only did the face with tears of joy emoji see a surge in popularity in 2015, the word "emoji" itself apparently tripled in usage last year and continues to rise (check out Deadpool's emoji billboard).

We don't need to rehash the obvious reasons. We all know: mobile technology, texting, the SnapChats and Facebooks.

But this year there were also a couple of events that brought emojis into the world of domain names. First, Coca-Cola had a successful advertising campaign in Puerto Rico involving smiley emoji domain names. That generated a lot of buzz about the concept but maybe even more significantly, Wordpress version 4.2 was released in April with emoji support, adding not only the ability to save posts containing emoji but, radically, also in the URL slug.

This is an area where, sadly, domain names are actually lagging a bit behind. The domain name world is still grappling with a similar, related hurdle: IDNs or Internationalized Domain Names. Gandi is now on three continents, so we appreciate the fact that historically, the domain name game has historically been heavily biased towards English speakers. Even the accented characters in French, the language of Gandi's home country, are not permitted in the standard character set. Not to mention totally non-Latin scripts like Chinese, and ones that read right-to-left like Arabic.

Slowly but surely, through IDNs, non-English scripts are beginning to be accommodated more equitably online, but not without some risk. The IDN system also opens the door to very subtle fraud as it can be used to produce URLs that are, in some fonts, visually identical to an English-language brand name (say, for example, PayPal) but use characters from the Cyrillic alphabet. Last year at M3AAWG, we saw Mark Risher speak on exactly this issue (Hi Mark!).

It seems like for now most registries are still pretty reticent to accept domain names outside of the ASCII character-set, including emojis. The same security problem exists as with IDNs, and is perhaps worse. There are a limited number of identical-looking characters in all known natural languages, but emojis are a rapidly developing character set. Facebook might register, for example, and all it takes is a new emoji that looks practically the same as either the face-emoji or the book-emoji to be introduced—without necessarily notifying either Facebook, their registrar, the registry or ICANN—and a clever fraudster could easily harvest a bumper crop of Facebook usernames and passwords through a sly mailing campaign.

All that said, we hope that the technical and security hurdles presented by IDNs as well as emojis can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. Sure, some registrars are offering them in extensions with looser rules, but the big fish are the really high-volume TLDs, like .com. Emoji domains aren't likely to show up at Gandi in the near future but if you're interested, up-vote it on our wishlist and stay tuned ...

Tech Fundamentals: BSD

With Let's Encrypt, LiveDNS, Packet Journey and hosting images all cropping up in this month's newsletter it seems like as good a time as any to launch a new feature in our newsletter we're calling Tech Fundamentals, a monthly dive into the arcana of tech history. This month, since we are now supporting FreeBSD on our Gandi Server platform, we thought we'd take a look at the history of BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution).

BSD began, as it's name (Berkeley Distribution Software) implies, at UC-Berkeley in the early 1970s when the first distributions of AT&T's proprietary Unix operating system arrived on campus from Bell Labs, which licensed Unix to Berkeley for what was then the low price of $99. It was this cheap licensing in part that attracted Bob Fabry to purchase the license to the later-named "Research Unix", which afforded his department access to the Unix source code, giving them the opportunity to modify and expand Unix.

The Berkeley version of Unix, especially the Pascal implementation for the system worked on by Berkeley alum, AT&T employee, Unix founder and visiting professor Ken Thompson and improved upon by graduate students including Bill Joy, generated interest among other universities and in the spirit of academic cooperation, Joy compiled 1BSD, an add-on to version 6 of Unix in March of 1978.

It was the third distribution of BSD, 3BSD, released in 1979, that attracted the attention of DARPA, funders of the Arpanet, to Berkeley's unusually popular Unix distribution.

What made BSD an attractive distribution of Unix, so much so that DARPA funded Berkeley to adopt BSD for the Arpanet, was the fact that BSD was an open operating system, which made it especially attractive to researchers, who were the ones really behind BSD's proto-open source alignment. In essence, they treated playing with the source code research. And as with academic endeavour for centuries, the fruits of one researcher's inquiries were something to be shared openly, and the team at Berkeley carried on this tradition, which has in fact been a key aspect of the original spirit of Unix.

Essentially, Berkeley's code allowed users to do whatever they wanted with BSD code so long as the University of California retained the copyright.

With the coordination of DARPA, Berkeley's Computer Systems Research Group incorporated TCP/IP into Berkeley Unix, permitting perhaps one of the singular most significant advances in networking to the development of the Internet.

When a lawsuit from AT&T challenged Berkeley's copyright, Berkeley countersued. A settlement finally removed the last vestiges of AT&T's propriety over the BSD code.

An organizational model soon grew up that involves a "core group" who grant or revoke the right to commit code to the code base, an array of trusted committers extending from this core group and finally the general community of developers submitting bug reports, fixes and changes to the committers. This structure is something of a model for open source development.

However, while stuck in court battles with AT&T, the uncertainty of BSD's fate led BSD to largely miss the boat on developing a version of Unix for PC use. 386BSD was BSD's answer, but it was developed slowly and didn't incorporate patches quickly enough. So at that point, a group of developers dissatisfied with 386BSD founded FreeBSD. In the meantime, a new operating system, development structure and licensing model had been developed by Linus Torvald—Linux, which gained the upperhand through GNU licensing and a distinct, though related, open-source development model.

However, BSD survives, largely in the form of FreeBSD, to this day.

New gTLD release Calendar for January

Here's a look at this month's release calendar, which includes quite a few intriguing new options. The new TLD .ist, for example seems not only ripe for all kinds of -ism domains but also for listicles.

Saturday January 9 :

    .feedback (Landrush)

  Monday January 11 :

    .swiss (GoLive)

  Sunday January 17 :

    .family (Landrush)

  Monday Jaunary 18 :

    .feedback (GoLive)

  Tuesday January 19 :

    .corsica (GoLive)
    .pet (Sunrise)

  Wednesday January 20 :

    .auto (GoLive)
    .car (GoLive)
    .cars (GoLive)
    .family (GoLive)

  Sunday January 24 :

    .vin (Landrush)
    .wine (Landrush)

Monday January 25 :

    .cloud (Landrush)

Tuesday January 26 :

    .protection (Landrush)
    .security (Landrush)
    .theatre (Landrush)

  Wednesday January 27 :

    .protection (Landrush)
    .security (Landrush)
    .theatre (Landrush)
    .vin (Landrush)
    .wine (Landrush)
    .ist (Sunrise)
    .istanbul (Sunrise)

Promo Roundup for January

The new year is starting out with a lot of new promotions, some longer lasting than others. There are also a few that are still hanging on from last year, including .irish, which has now been extended until the end of February.

New promotions

  • Half-price for a half-year means .in domains are on sale for $7.75 until June 30, 2016.
  • A virtual explosion of colorful (and more) extensions are 50% off from now until June 30.
  • You and .me can spend 2016 together with 40%-off one-year registrations all year, that's just $14.40.
  • From January 1, 2016 until March 31, 2016, .asia is on sale for just $7.50 per year—that's 70% off.
  • Attention designers! From January 1 until February 15, .design domains are 50% off. That's just $31.18 per year.
  • One-third off the TLDs for the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey: .je and .gg this January.
  • Link yourself in with a .link domain, on sale this January for 80%-off: that's $2.41 per year.
  • Got photos? Like photos? Take photos? Get a .photo domain for 80% off this January. That's $6.50 per year.
  • Explore .space this month (until January 31, 2016) when domains in this extension go on sale for just $1.60 per year.
  • From January 11 through March 31, .rocks and .social are half-price: $7.77 and $16.25 , respectively.


  • more than just your friends and .host more than a party this winter with this great promotion until January 15
  • Short for Cameroon (and with the imagination a few other things), .cm is on sale for $16.50 until January 31st.
  • EXTENDED .irish is on sale until November 10 December 31 February 29 for $15.
  • 50-75% off a delightful selection of TLDs from Minds + Machines Registry until January 31, 2016
  • .online is on sale for 80%-off for domain creations from December 15 through January 14.

We also suggest you keep an eye on our promo page to be sure not to miss any other promotions that might pop up.


That's it for this month. Best of luck to all of you on your own new beginnings and your own refocusing of efforts and energies. If you're looking for a new beginning at Gandi, we're hiring !

Otherwise, don't hesitate to drop us a line below.

You can also reach us at:
and on the #gandi channel on Freenode. \o/

All the best,
- The Gandi Team

Newsletter December 2015: Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow

Of course, we're always growing. Some of us are growing up, some growing older, growing wiser (hopefully), growing sales, growing employees, growing out of control? We hope not. But you get the point. You're probably actually wondering why we're stuck on growing things right now. The thing is, we just got some new plants in our San Francisco office (more on that later) and it's gotten us a little wild about growing things.

So in what other ways are we thinking about growing? Well, for one, we're taking the seed of our plaintext email newsletter and growing it into a more dynamic monthly blogpost (what do you think of it?).

Summary: At a Glance

1. Recently Approved TLDs Of course, ICANN is constantly growing its base of TLDs with new releases to the root, we'll be taking a look at that.

2. Gandi does Cyber Monday We've been helping you grow your portfolios at Gandi with last month's Cyber Monday promo code giveaways, so we'll do a quick wrap-up of that

3. Events at Gandi We've also been growing our DNS friends by hosting OpenLate in our office space, so we'll share some thoughts on one we recently hosted, as well as another recently hosted event: UX Speed dating.

4. Events outside of Gandi SCALE, or Southern California Linux Expo, is coming up, and it's a great way to grow your knowledge about open source projects and products out there.

5. Reminder: .net prices going up We've also got a reminder about .net prices going up next year, we guess that's more inflation growing than anything


6. What's a premium domain anyway? An explanation on another price that seems to grow: premium domains

And we'll be wrapping things up with this month's release calendar and promo round up, a call to help you help us grow, and just for fun a look at those new additions to the office that inspired this whole "growing" theme anyway.

Recently Approved TLDs

When ICANN grows its TLD list, it calls that adding strings to the root (kind of sounds like some kind of fuzzy potato). We thought you might be interested in what they've been adding lately. This doesn't mean we'll be offering these TLDs—we're not that far yet—but we thought we'd just take a peak.

And that quick look revealed, first of all, a lot of Brand TLDs. It's an interesting enough development if you didn't know, but a lot of companies now are starting to buy their own TLDs.

But putting aside those TLDs, two stuck out in particular: .med and .insurance. Medistry LLC, which is the parent of the Cleveland Clinic, an actual hospital in Cleveland, won out in its application against Google. As for, .insurance, it was fTLD, the joint project between American Bankers Association and the technology policy arm of the Financial Services Roundtable (BITS) who beat out Donuts, whose application was withdrawn to do an objection filed by none other than the Financial Services Roundtable.

Gandi does Cyber Monday

Last month we decided to get in on the national commercial holidays with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. We offered promotions on .online, .tech, .site, .website, .blackfriday, .christmas and .gift to help you get your domain name wintertime holiday shopping out of the way and then for Cyber Monday we went a step further and did the online equivalent of dropping dollar bills from a helicopter by randomly posting promo codes to our twitter feed.

We learned something from this experience. A couple of things, really. First, that people like free coupons on twitter as much as they like cash raining from the sky and second, that throwing them out gave us a fuzzy, warm feeling inside. We are still assessing whether this is a wintertime holiday miracle but we do know now that this won't be the last time we use our twitter feed for this kind of thing. Stay tuned ...

Events at Gandi

OpenLate: DNSSEC

OpenLate, an OpenDNS tech talk and hack night series, has been hosting events in our San Francisco office space lately and we couldn't be happier to have them here. Every Tuesday, they've been presenting on various topics of general interest to domain name types (and we happen to be some of those types).

Recently, they organized an interesting panel on DNSSEC where we met some interesting folks we thought were worth a o/ , so hello to Dani from Cloudflare and Kareem.

If you're around SOMA in San Francisco on Tuesday nights, feel free to drop by for future OpenLate meet ups:

A great series we are proud to support.

UX Speed Dating

It's always cool when someone revitalizes an old formula for a new purpose. And when that involves computer-stuff we get all the more excited. UX Speed dating combines all the awkward fun of speed-dating with user-experience testing and they hosted a meet up in the Gandi SF space this past Wednesday December 9:

Plenty of the type of people who like to sample a little bit of everything without committing too deeply dropped by and gave us some great tips on our UX (as well as on plenty of others).

Events outside of Gandi

One of our all-time favorite conferences is coming up in January: SCALE. For those not in the know, SCALE stands for Southern California Linux Expo and this January 21-24, the fourteenth annual SCALE is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center. SCALE's mission is providing educational opportunities regarding Open Source software, and achieves that primarily through technical seminars and booths where both commercial vendors and non-profit groups display products or run demos and tutorials.

A couple of the featured speaker presentations this year seem especially interesting.

Jono Bacon, community manager at GitHub, is one. He'll be talking about building communities on GitHub.

And Cory Doctorow is another, who is speaking about cyberwar, politics and the Internet.

The deadline for presentation proposals is already closed, but you should still be able to attend or volunteer.

We've been to SCALE in the past and trust us, it's worth it.

.net Prices are Going up

Just a quick reminder to owners of .net domains, or those who may be thinking about bringing a .net into their lives soon, that there will be a small rise in .net prices starting February 1, 2016. So once again, we'd just like to encourage all of you looking to keep your .net domains for at least one more year to renew them before that magic date of February 1 rolls around.

You can renew your domains for up to ten years so if you want to take most advantage of current prices, renew up to that limit and you'll be set for a decade.

What's a Premium Domain anyway?

Speaking of things getting pricier, "premium," we all know, is one of those words people use to make "expensive" sound better. You may have also come across this term or at least the concept in the realm of domain names too. Essentially, regstries reserve the right to charge more than is standard for certain domain names they have deemed to be especially high-value of high-demand.

You see, when they started releasing new gTLDs, registries learned from the wild gold rush days of domain name speculators that cool domain names can be sold for much higher than your run-of-the-mill domain name. So many registries of new gTLDs, both to try to restrict the inevitable panic of the rush on these highly desirable domain names as well as to make their pricing more responsive to demand, sat down and thought of what they expected to be the highest demand domains in their TLD and priced them differently for resale to registrars like us.

So that's why when you try to register a cool domain name in a hot new TLD you might get a little sticker shock when you proceed to checkout.

But don't get too down about it. Look at it this way: your domain name will be even cooler if you can think of one nobody thought to make premium.

New gTLD release Calendar for December

Here is this month's calendar of new gTLDs coming out this month :

Wednesday December 9 :

    .auto (Sunrise)
    .car (Sunrise)
    .cars (Sunrise)
   .xn--tckwe (.com in Japanese) (Sunrise)

Monday December 14 :

    .theatre (Sunrise)

Thursday December 17 :

    .protection (Sunrise)
    .security (Sunrise)

Promo Roundup for December

It's your last chance for a lot of promos we've been running for a while now. Here's a roundup of promos in the month of December:

  • Until December 31, .top is on sale for 50¢ to the dollar.
  • Get a .club for half the price until December 31.
  • .io or .tech? You don't have to chose between these two tech savvy TLDs: if you buy a .io domain name, you will get a coupon to register a .tech for free. Be quick, it ends on December 25.
  • Our funniest promo is ending on December 31.
  • Make it personal with a .me domain, and do it quick as promo's ending soon:
  • Promo on .irish is also ending on December 31:
  • Ending January 15, .press and .host are on sale.
  • .news and .eu promos are ending on December 31.
  • While .cm continues until the end of January.

Also, as Christmas is just around the corner, some flash sales might peep out. We suggest you keep an eye on our promo page to be sure not to miss them.

Gandi Wishes You a Happy New Year

Change is an active expression of conscious agency. And it's something we like to think about around the end of the year when we make resolutions for the new year. So, in the interest of positive change, we thought we'd throw the question out to you: what should our New Year's resolution for 2016 be?

Keep in mind, we already have a wishlist here:

So we're not looking for resolutions like "Add this feature," or "Do such-and-such better." If that's what you'd like to see, feel free to vote for it or add it to the wishlist.

But other than those types of suggestions, what would you like to see us, Gandi US, resolve to this year? New Year's Resolution updates, unlike DNS resolution updates, are not subject to any propagation delay.

Gandi US Now Grows Plants

The most literal way in which Gandi US is growing is in that we have recently added additional (non-animal) organic material to our San Francisco offices. Several new plants now populate our space. While we had some old-growth material before, this month we drastically expanded the amount of green matter in the office by hiring several plant-type employees. Their job is deceptively simple: they are charged with creating the impression that instead of a 1900s SOMA walk-up, we actually inhabit a surreal, prehistoric Amazonian wonderland.

So, let's meet the new hires:


Aloquisha is a hometown girl who started out working at the Palace in SOMA when she got noticed. She left the hectic life a fashion model to join the team.


Brady has 30+ years of experience in IT. Mostly infrastructure management but he's also done some product development and did a brief stint salmon fishing in the Yukon. We're excited to now have Brady at Gandi US in the role of Standing Next to Foreward Left Column.


We feel blessed to have Hope with us. She is a beam of pure optimism in an increasingly dreary El Niño winter.

Droopy & MOE

With backgrounds in sound engineering and production, Droopy and MOE immediately integrated themselves into our sound system. Then they started playing their weird plant music. Don't know if you know what plant music is like but sometimes it can get like super creepy. It's very subtle. Like the sense of foreboding you get deep in a dark forest, and all the trees feel like they're closing in on you ... but all around Droopy and MOE are pretty chill otherwise.


You probably know we're a pretty international team here at Gandi. Galicia, however, is not actually from Galicia. We think she's from like Modesto or something. Galicia brings a calming presence to everything she does, which largely includes standing, surveying the office, and being a shoulder (or stalk, as the case may be) to cry on.


"Chief" may not be his real name but we came to start calling him that because of his commanding stature.

June & Wednesday


June and Wednesday have kind of that Grady twins vibe to them. And when you get close you can almost hear a half a whisper: "All work and no play ..." For real, though, they're pretty chill. June is into poetry and hedgemazes and Wednesday has a pretty sick record collection.


Camilia is the most techie of all of them. She won't use any tool that doesn't have a CLI and by now she's basically programmed herself into a corner. But on the other hand, she's kind of become the new heart and soul of the team.

So those are are new plant friends.

Oh and we're hiring new humanoid employees as well.

You can also reach us at: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and on the #gandi channel on Freenode. \o/

All the best, - The Gandi Team

The High Price of Cheap

You might be here because you're looking for a domain. Since we don't advertise, we have to assume you're here because you're shopping around. We hope it's because someone you trust recommended us, but in any case you're also here because you aren't sure. We get it. Especially if this is your first domain name, comparing registrars is daunting and confusing. It's a tangled web, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The Facts vs. Bullshit

If you've heard about Gandi, you've maybe heard "No Bullshit," our beloved trademarked baseline (more on this here).

Domain name registration, like any other market, is a competitive market. And, like in any other market, companies have to make a profit in order to survive in the long term. You want long term if you are going to trust someone with your brand, name, company sales or anything else you want to use your domains for.

In our case, the services we offer along with domain name registration are what we think people want and need and we keep the price of domains with these services as close to at-cost as possible while respecting strong ethics. The modest profit we do make on top of it gets reinvested, either back into our own operations to improve ourselves or into the community.

To be clear, every registrar must pay the same price to both the Registry (the extension owner) and ICANN, the ultimate authority technically in charge of the Domain Names System (DNS). A .com domain, for example, costs a registrar about eight dollars (USD). And this cost doesn't include their employees, nor the electricity, or anything else yet. As a customer, if you are paying close to this or below this price, your provider will have to earn its money somewhere else. There's no magic here. You are giving your money to either a short-sighted, tricky or lying company, and you are trusting them with your domains and personal information.

Here are some examples of these tricks or lies and how to avoid them.

Selling your data

One important thing to consider, in this data-centric world, is to make sure your provider is not selling your data, contact details, habits... to another company. ICANN permits registrars to sign bulk WHOIS data access agreements, allowing them to sell your data to external companies. This has to be mentioned in the Terms of Service, though.

The only way to make sure your data is safe is to read the Terms and Services. If you do, you may smell something fishy. Try searching for the term "bulk WHOIS data", for example, in the Terms of Services before you sign them.

Parked Domain Monetization

Another practice that crops up is monetization of your parking page. When you register a domain name you don't necessarily have a web host up and ready and so by default your domain points to a parking page, which basically tells any visitor that the domain has been registered but just doesn't have a site yet. Some registrars take advantage of this by putting up ads on the parking page.

This is internet pollution. We've all experienced it: you type a request in your browser, click on a link which you thought was the legit website you were looking for, and end up on a directory "site" which is nothing else than aggregated links vaguely related to your search. And that's in the best-case scenario. Here is a nice podcast from our friends at OpenDNS with some other examples.

Domain warehousing

Gandi doesn't hold expired domains for ransom either or auction them off to the highest bidder.


Just like we don't put ads on parking pages and we don't put ads up by front-running domains, we don't send you mailings with ads for stuff you don't want either.

What you do get

When you register your domain, you need a bit more than to just reserve the domain. You should get more for your money than just that. To get an accurate idea of the value of your purchase, it's important to consider:

  • Consistency of prices
  • "Batteries included"
  • Average length of time domain is owned
  • Company values, long term vision and so health
  • Quality of the product, service, and customer care

Along with all the freebies you get with a Gandi domain, you also get:

  • World class Technical support, by real humans, who work in real Gandi offices in Paris, San Francisco, Luxembourg and Taipei
  • Talented and dedicated developers who work hard to make sure we remain an industry standard (they will hate us for saying so because we don't like bragging, but it's true)
  • 50% off of a Gandi Simple Hosting instance for a year (with up to one-hundred vhosts this covers you for a lot of domains)
  • Free whois privacy (for the TLD registries that allow it)
  • Free access to our API & the Gandi CLI
  • None of the shady practices we described above. We simply make a small profit for every domain we sell, and reinvest it, as we have for fifteen years.

In Conclusion

Whether you choose Gandi or anyone else, we encourage you to read the fine print on the contracts and really think about what makes sense for you as a customer. In the end, you're right to be skeptical – and by all means, please look around and compare others' experiences. We should also mention that sometimes registrars have special promotions for certain extensions so prices can definitely vary.

We hope you'll choose us like hundreds of thousands have for fifteen years, but if not, we'd love your feedback on how to improve ourselves.


The Gandi Team

Newsletter September 2015: new node.js functionality, .sex at Gandi, and lots of promos..

It's getting to be the end of the summer season, but just as Dylan Thomas said, we are not going gently into this good night (of fall). Here at Gandi, we are determined to get the most out of the last vestiges of summer. That's why we are launching a huge, huge, HUGE number of promos this month. It's incredible, dear customers, just how many deals we have running. We almost don't know where to begin!

As great as these promos are, of course they are pretty easy for us to do, as an administrative task. Our tech team is not to be outdone, however, and you will see we are launching a lot of new gTLDs this month as well, including .sex, brought to you by the same registry as .xxx, .porn, and .adult. It's in Sunrise this month, and won't be generally  available until November 4, so don't get too excited just yet. Still,  for those of you with brands to protect, now would be a good time to  contact our Corporate Services team to get your trademarks registered  in these potentially controversial, sensitive, and if not damaging then  at least potentially confusing TLDs.

Just in time for those end-of-summer sales on sporting goods, we are seeing .SKI going live, and on the West Coast .TECH is having a party! We are hosting, and you, friends, are invited. If you aren't able to come, well, watch for a .TECH promo for programmers week coming up. Did we mention there are a huge amount of promos this month? We did...

We are also upgrading all the things... This month we are settling in to  a new version of Gandi Site, and offering a month of the new version  for just $1 - a great way to try it out!

If you are the kind of person who likes to meet your business partners face-to-face, we are going to be at Strange Loop in St. Louis, and of course we will be getting to more meetings in the fall conference season.

We also have a special place in our hearts this month for the Open Source Initiative (OSI), who just migrated to Gandi for hosting their  open source advocacy sites. Go OSI!

When private and public domain names collide

"Name collision" sounds like a scary thing. We think of asteroids smashing into each other sending shards of rock careening dangerously towards Earth's orbit or the familiar sick thud of the back bumper crunching into a parked vehicle and the ensuing insurance mess, but name collision is really not so scary.

Simply put, name collision, at least in the context of domain names, is when two things have the same name on two networks and it is therefore not clear to which is being referred when requesting the thing with that name.

Newsletter June 2015: It's turning out to be an eventful year in domains


  1. Looking East to Gandi Asia
  2. What we know about surveillance, and what you can do
  3. What we did for Gandi's 15th birthday
  4. New gTLDs release calendar for June
  5. Special events and promos this month
  6. Promo roundup

Welcome to June, the month whose days grow long towards midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere of our small, blue planet. Here in this newsletter we reflect on the glories of the first half on an eventful year, this 2015, and look forward to the second half, which has a distinctly Eastern feel.

In politics, we have seen progress, in the rolling back of some of the most egregious surveillance laws in the USA, and setbacks like the French government proposing a knee-jerk law enabling domestic surveillance on an unprecedented (legally anyway) level.

We have also seen cause for celebration, as in the 15th birthday of our shared dream of a company here at Gandi.

It's a big month for new gTLDs, and we will give you a little summary of what to expect, the good and the bad. There are also some updates for ccTLDs you need to know about. Plus, we're launching a new meetup series for DNS nerds here in SF!

1) Looking East to Gandi Asia

Gandi Asia is open for business! While we've been offering support services in the Asian time zone for some time, we are now expanding to offer Asian customers a way more convenient way to buy domains and hosting from Gandi. For one thing, the Gandi website is now available in Chinese and simplified Chinese, and you can also pay in several Asian currencies. We have also beefed up our DNS services in Asia, and even trained a team to offer Corporate services to Asian companies. We feel so cosmopolitan! \o/ ---

2) What we know about surveillance, and what you can do

This past week has been dramatic in the US Congress, with the passing of the USA FREEDOM Act (which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring. They just had to go with the acronym ...), and the effective disabling of unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens by the NSA. Now they can only spy on all of us illegally, which makes us feel ever so much safer.

Still, its thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens like you that exerted public pressure on lawmakers not to extend the Patriot Act. While we joined forces with the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, the EFF, Demand Progress, and many others to lobby for this, you deserve most of the credit for standing up and making your voices heard. Great work everyone! And please remember: this fight is not over. There's still plenty to be done in the name of online freedom.

The French government is currently taking steps in the opposite direction, though thankfully the process is moving slowly, and there is still hope for a constitutional challenge to the law that has been proposed. You can take action to protect your content now (if you host it in France): just move it to Gandi's Luxembourg servers.


Your domains, we believe, will be unaffected in themselves. Privacy laws and treaties will remain in effect that keep takedown procedures in the realm of due process, but of course the traffic to your French web sites may well be snooped once (if) the law takes effect. We at Gandi are still working with advocacy groups in France to oppose and challenge this bad, bad, law. Stay tuned!

3) What we did for Gandi's 15th birthday

As you might expect, we did not have any sexist ads on TV, nor scantily-clad humans of either gender jumping out of cakes or other pastries. No, we threw parties for ourselves and our customers in Paris and San Francisco, gave away a ton of domains, hosting, and t-shirts of various kinds, and generally spread love and joy wherever we went. In the case of the San Francisco crowd, you actually gave us money in exchange for tickets to the party we threw, which we humbly gave to a charity providing aid to towns and villages in the Himalayas.

4) June new gTLD release calendar

This is a provisional calendar. Things change all the time, but this is how we think it will go:

Wed June 3rd:

  • .casino (GoLive)
  • .school (GoLive)
  • .football (GoLive)

Thurs June 4th:

  • .porn (GoLive)
  • .adult (GoLive)
  • .accountant (Sunrise)
  • .download (Sunrise)
  • .loan (Sunrise)
  • .racing (Sunrise)
  • .win (Sunrise)

Tues June 9th:

  • .dog (Sunrise)
  • .theater (Sunrise)
  • .taxi (Sunrise)
  • .hockey (Sunrise)
  • .run (Sunrise)

Wed June 17th:

  • .markets (GoLive)

Sun June 21st:

  • .sucks (GoLive)

Mon June 22nd:

  • .taipei (GoLive)

Tues June 23rd:

  • .bank (GoLive)

Thurs June 25th:

  • .irish (GoLive)

5) Special events, changes, and promos this month

Beware the changes to existing domains! We know it's a ways off, but you might want to renew any .BIZ domains before November 1: the price will rise by at least $1 on that date. In the much more proximate future, if you have a .SO, and you want to keep it, you should renew it now before the price goes way up on June 9. Seriously, the price will go up from $19 to $102.60, and all new registrations will be suspended until the new registry says otherwise. If ever there was a time...

But it's not all bad news. There is a great promo on .PARTY, .SCIENCE, and .WEBCAM this month - only $1.50 (at A rates, excluding tax). Cheaper yet at B rates and above. If that doesn't cheer you up, .EU.COM is half off new 1-year registrations for the whole month of June, and .ACTOR, .DANCE, .BAND and .ROCKS are just $5 each for a new registration of 1 year as well.

Are you .EU? If you meet the residency requirements, you can get a .EU for just $2 in June. We know some of you are more connected to the Old World, and so we thought you might also like to know that .WALES and .CYMRU (That's Welsh for "Wales" NB the country not the animal) are coming available. Can you spell diaspora?

If you are a little farther West, the .UK is having a birthday! You can pick up a .UK for half-off in celebration from June 10th until July 31st. Not only that, but there will be a prize drawing each week of this promotion with values up to £1000. Tally ho!

For those of you way out West, we are launching the DNS Nerds meetup in San Francisco (yes, in the Gandi office!) this month on the 18th. Come share your horror stories, tales of triumph, and cool solutions to pesky problems of this core service (you wouldn't get this newsletter if it weren't for the MX records for your email address). See you there!

6) Promo roundup

While gloom (approximately) rhymes with June, so does Boom! Ain't nothin' gloomy about the promos we have this month:

.ORG is going international with three new IDNs in Cyrilic, Hindi and Chinese: .орг (xnc1avg), ".संगठन"(xni1b6b1a6a2e) and .机构 (xn--nqv7f) at $16.02/yr each.

.ASIA and .IN are 50% off until July 1 ($12.50 and $7.75 respectively):

.SCIENCE, .PARTY, and .WEBCAM have incredible deals this month at $1.50 each. Normally they are $38.29!! Talk about a freakin' deal! These three new gTLDs are available for this price until Monday July 27:

.XYZ is on sale for all one-year domain creations for the teeny tiny adorable little price of $5.00 at A rates instead of the usual $13.63 (no offense regular-rate, you're beautiful just the way you are) until June 30th:

.CLUB is $10.74 instead of $13.43 all year:

The RightSide registry is offering a discount of 25% off the price of a one-year creation on TLDs in the following list: .ACTOR, .AUCTION, .CONSULTING, .DANCE, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .MODA, .PUB, .REVIEWS, .SOCIAL until the end of June:

UniRegistry is offering 50% off on .gift, .hiphop, .hosting, .link, .pics and .property through the end of June:


This month, and as always, grab that laptop off the side table by your lawn chair, put down the long island iced tea, and send us your thoughts, missives, encouragement, criticism, props, rants, and just general verbiage to We want to hear from you!

You can also reach us here:




and on the #gandi channel on freenode. \o/

Happy trails,

- The Gandi Team

Newsletter May 2015: Surveillance, promos and a new DNS meetup

It's been a busy month. We wrapped up our celebration of everything Gandi with a celebration at our office in San Francisco; the French legislature rushed through a new law on surveillance that has us pretty riled up and we've been zipping around to conferences like PyCon and the International Trademark Association Meeting; at the very end of the month we announced the availability of the Debian 8 image on our public IaaS platform; and we just saw a video of a bear walking on its hind legs (it's weird. Look it up).

What's in store for May? Well, some great promotions on some TLDs for one; we'll be at another conference, World Hosting Days; and videos of who knows what terrifying beast walking preposterously like a human (here's hoping it's not a moose).

France puts forward a new surveillance law

In France, in an atmosphere charged by terrorist threats and attacks, an intelligence bill that opens the door to massive and widespread surveillance of individuals and businesses is being passed by the National Assembly on April 13, 2015. It can become effective as soon as the end of this year, possibly before the end.

Newsletter April 2015: Our 15th anniversary, and many new promos in April

Summary: At a glance

  1. Happy Birthday Gandi!
  2. Gandi at PyCon
  3. April new gTLD release calendar
  4. Promo roundup

It was an exciting month for us here at Gandi. It's not often you celebrate 15 years, so we made the best we could out of it. It was like our bar mitzvah, our quinceañera (except we didn't ever convince Stephan to wear the dress, the best we got was the skateboard picture) and our Sweet 16 all rolled into one. That is to say, not only did we enjoy distributing party favors to all our favorite parties, but it feels like we've come of age now. We're teenaged (Yikes). Don't expect door slamming, loud music and "You don't own me, Mom!" petulance, though. If the last couple of years have been any indication, we've been having quite the growth spurt. We just hope the next few years are as great as the last fifteen, and that we continue to grow and mature into a nice, young company. The kind you take home to your parents on a first date.

Seriously, though, thank you, all of you. We couldn't have gotten here without you.

1. Happy Birthday Gandi!

We were quite happy that so many of you were able to snatch up the truckloads of promo codes we threw out like candy from a piñata this past month. We hope that for you it was all Jolly Ranchers, Tootsie Rolls and Smarties and not so many Bit O' Honeys (we're not promoting any brand names here, just saying, those are the good ones when it comes to piñata candy).

Here's a summary of all the goodies we gave away:

  • 530 t-shirts
  • 66,653 domain names
  • 16,861 months of Simple Hosting (or, if you prefer, 1405 years)


  • 1.5 billion hosting credits

And that's not counting the price reductions.

So thank you all for your beautiful expressions of love and kindness and your fanatical devotion to winning prizes, really, we're already starting to plan for the 20 year anniversary five years from now.

A quick reminder, though, for those of you who have won, your coupons are valid only until April 30th, that they can only be used for domain creations (and not renewals or transfers) and that if you have no idea of how to use them, share the wealth with your family, friends, pets, colleagues, dentists, baseball coaches and bank tellers!

2. Gandi at PyCon

PyCon 2015, the largest annual convention for Python developers, is currently underway in the lovely city of Montréal and of course, we are there with you. So far we have been having a marvelous time. Such nice people, such tasty poutine ...

We'll keep you posted on how it goes and of course, if you're there this week, come find us!

3. April new gTLD release calendar

Here's our calendar of expected domain releases this month. As usual, things can change, but right now this is how it looks from here:

Monday, April 13:

.tirol (Landrush)

Wednesday, April 15:

.fashion (GoLive)
.garden (GoLive)

Monday, April 20:

.college (Landrush)

Tuesday, April 21:

.poker (GoLive)
.gold (Sunrise)
.golf (Sunrise)
.mobie (Sunrise)
.plus (Sunrise)
.tours (Sunrise)

Tuesday, April 28 :

.amsterdam (Sunrise)
.cafe (Sunrise)
.express (Sunrise)

Wednesday, April 29 :

.fit (GoLive)

4. Promo roundup

April showers got you down? Try out one of the following promotions available this month:

.XYZ is on sale for all one-year domain creations for the teeny tiny adorable little price of $5.00 at A rates instead of the usual $13.63 (no offense regular-rate, you're beautiful just the way you are) until June 30th:

.WEBSITE is on sale for all one-year domain creations for $4.13 rather than the usual $30.31 but only until April 15th:

The sale on .SCIENCE has been extended! It will now go until May 24th, so you have a bit more time to empirically weigh the best way to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase a one-year domain creation at A rates for just $3.60:

.ASIA and .IN are 50% off until July 1 ($12.50 and $7.75 respectively):

.ME one-year creations are 40% off ($14.40 instead of $24) until the end of March:

.CLUB is $10.74 instead of $13.43 all year:

The registry RightSide is offering a reduction of 25% off the price of a one-year creation on TLDs in the following list: .ACTOR, .AUCTION, .CONSULTING, .DANCE, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .MODA, .PUB, .REVIEWS, .SOCIAL until the end of June:

.CO.COM is 60% off through June 30! A mere $16.14, instead of the usual $40.34 (excluding taxes).

Six extensions on one promo: .GIFT, .HIPHOP, .HOSTING, .LINK, .PICS, .PROPERTY all at reduced prices until the end of June:

.CAT is available for $6, through the end of April:

And one promotion that snuck up on us in the dead of the night is the one currently underway for .NINJA, which you can get for $2.00 instead of the usual $19.61:

That's it for this month. Send your postcards, care packages and perfumed love letters to us at

Love, The Gandi Team

Newsletter March 2015: Cheaper servers, SxSW, and Rights Delegation in beta

TL;DR: It's March, and spring has officially sprung, as they say. We're warming up for 2015 with (mostly) good news: we have an update on our Gandi Server pricing to share; we have a bunch more new gTLDs this month, bringing the running total to approximately eleventy billion; we have promos on .ME, .SOCIAL, .CLUB, .DANCE, .MX and a whole bunch more. And we'll see you in Austin for South by Southwest! In other news, registries are raising prices on .INFO, .ORG and .WS. For details, read on!

Newsletter February 2015: IRC, PVLAN, and other delightfully nerdy acronyms

It's the dead of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and many of you are suffering through cold and snows, looking for something to brighten your days. Actually, to be honest, we wouldn't know anything about that, since we're penning these lines in the heart of 73-degree San Francisco, where the constant jackhammering outside our office has driven us to the brink of giving it all up for a cabin in the woods.

Fortunately for you, we're afraid of bears, and so we shall press on to tell you about the latest happenings at Gandi, including the grand opening of our IRC channel, our new private VLAN tools, and no less than 19 promotions on domain names.

We've also lowered prices on .IO domains, rolled out privacy protection on .XYZ, released dozens of new TLDs, and are simply jackhammeringly feverish with excitement about next month!

Newsletter January 2015: NamesCon, a smarter domain search, and loads of new gTLDs

Gandi would like to wish all of you a happy new year, with best wishes and many thanks to all of you for being our customer. 2014 was a phenomenal year for us, and we finished it off by sending the donations from our December campaign with .xyz to Creative Commons, FreeBSD and Fight for the Future.

In 2015, we will be here to help you in your online endeavors, whether it's growing your online business, updating your blog, renewing your domains or deploying your web app. And to help you navigate the seas of new gTLDs, we are rolling out a new TLD suggestion engine--see below for details. You will also find our provisional January gTLD release calandar, advice on the price of .NET, and our promos for the year (there are some great ones!

Newsletter December 2014: Hosting statistics, new TLDs, and Operation Twitter LoveBattle

It is a distinctly European week in domains, this first week of December, with launches for .PARIS, .BZH (for the Brittany region, and also pretty fun to say out loud), and next week .IMMO (how you abbreviate real restate in French). Later this month are some very cool general openings as well, like .SOFTWARE and .PIZZA (Dec 10). Since these TLDs go together so naturally, it should be an interesting day, indeed. If you are wondering what else is happening in domains this month, check out our release calendar at the end of this newsletter.

The Gandi US team was all over the country in November; you can read about our escapades in this post!

Newsletter November 2014

It was an interesting month, with a .XYZ promo for only $4, and a .CLUB promo for $6.50. While the .CLUB domain is back up to normal for the moment, don't count them out! We are cooking up some interesting things for that TLD. And .XYZ, who will not hesitate to dress in purple and dance to get you to dream up a great domain with their extension, have gone and created a very Gandi-like promo for you: they will donate $0.50 for each domain sold in the month of November to the EFF. And nobody puts Gandi in the corner, so we're matching.

Our friends at Uniregistry are getting promos set up for .BLACKFRIDAY. Keep your eyes open for this one, all you e-commerce people. We'll send smoke signals when it's ready (and maybe also post on our news feed).

This month, Simple hosting instances will be upgraded to PHP 5.4, and we are making changes to the Gandi CLI approximately every 5 minutes. Thanks to those of you who have contributed so far!

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